Virginia Auto Accident Claims
Car accidents are never fun, but they can be incredibly daunting if you live in Virginia or are just passing through. That’s because Virginia has specific laws and regulations governing car accidents.
No one wants to end up in a car accident. They are scary, messy, and can cause even more trouble in the days to come. But if you live in Virginia or are just passing through, you should be prepared with knowledge.
In this article, we’ll discuss the basics of Virginia auto accident laws, including insurance laws, determining fault, and the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit or car accident settlement. We’ll also provide some resources for car accident victims.
So whether you’re a car accident victim or just looking to learn more about Virginia’s auto accident laws, read on for all the information you need.
Is Virginia a No-Fault State for Car Accidents?
Virginia is an at-fault state for auto accidents. If you are injured in a car accident, you must seek compensation from the driver who caused the accident. You can only file a claim with your own insurance company if the at-fault driver has insufficient or no insurance.
There are three ways to seek compensation in Virginia after a car accident:
- File a car accident negligence lawsuit against the liable driver.
- File a third-party claim against the liable driver’s insurance company.
- File a claim with your own insurance company if you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
About 10% of drivers in Virginia have little or no insurance coverage. This means that if you are injured in a car accident with an uninsured driver, you may not be able to recover compensation unless you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
Having uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is crucial, even if you live in a state with a no-fault insurance system. This coverage can help you to protect yourself from financial hardship if you are injured in a car accident with an uninsured driver.
How To Determine Fault In A Virginia Car Accident
All drivers in this state must drive with a reasonable degree of care. If you violate this standard and cause an accident, the other driver can sue you for negligence.
To prove negligence in this state, you need to prove the following:
- The other driver owed you a duty. All drivers in this state owe others on public roads a duty to drive with a reasonable degree of caution and care.
- The other driver breached this duty. To prove it, you must show the other driver did not drive with a reasonable degree of care. An example is if the other driver was texting and driving.
- You sustained damages and injuries because of the breach. You must show that the other driver’s failure to drive responsibly led to the accident. This means, except for the driver’s actions, the car accident would never have occurred except for the driver’s actions.
While drivers are usually at fault for auto accidents, there are some cases where another entity could be liable:
- Manufacturers. Can be liable for an auto accident if a defective vehicle part led to the accident. In this case, a product liability lawsuit could be in order.
- Government entities. In some situations, poor road conditions, such as an open manhole, may have caused the car crash. The local, state, or federal government usually maintains the road.
If injured by a manufacturer or government entity, you need to hire an attorney skilled in these cases. These lawsuits are complex. Additionally, aggressive attorneys on the other end will try to deny your claim.
Tips To Maximize Your Car Accident Settlement Value in Virginia
- Seek medical attention immediately. This is important even if you don’t think you’re injured. The insurance company will use the fact that you didn’t seek medical attention as evidence that you weren’t injured.
- Document your injuries. Keep a journal of your symptoms, pain levels, and any other effects the accident has had on your life. You should also take photographs of your injuries.
- Get copies of all your medical bills and other expenses. This includes the cost of your hospital bills, doctor’s visits, medications, and any other expenses related to your injuries.
- Report the accident to the police. This will create a record of the accident and help you to prove liability.
- Get the names and contact information of any witnesses. Witnesses can provide valuable testimony about the accident.
- Only talk to the insurance company with an attorney. They are trying to pay you as little as possible. An attorney can protect your rights and get the maximum settlement.
Following these tips can help you maximize the value of your car accident settlement in Virginia. However, it is important to remember that every case is different. The best way to protect your rights is to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney.
Find out the maximum compensation you could receive.
Find out the maximum compensation you could receive.
How Car Accident Claims Work in Virginia
If you have been injured in a car accident in Virginia, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. The first step is to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. The company will assign an adjuster to your case. The insurance adjuster will be responsible for handling your claim. They will review the facts of the accident and determine whether the other driver was at fault. If the adjuster finds the other driver is at fault, they will offer you a car accident settlement.
The settlement amount will be based on the severity of your injuries and the cost of your medical expenses. You may also recover compensation for lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
Remember that the insurance adjuster is not on your side. Their goal is to pay you as little as possible. That is why it is advised to have an experienced injury lawyer represent you. Your lawyer can negotiate with the insurance adjuster on your behalf. They will make sure that you are offered a fair settlement and that all of your damages are covered. If the insurance company is unwilling to offer you a fair settlement, your lawyer can file a lawsuit against them. This will give your case the leverage to get an adequate settlement.
It is important to remember that you have a limited amount of time to file a claim. In Virginia, the statute of limitations on car accident claims is two years. This means you must file your claim within two years from the accident date or will be barred from recovering compensation. It is good practice to get legal advice after a car accident in Virginia as soon as possible and work with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer who can protect your interests and ensure you receive fair compensation.
How Much Compensation Can I Receive for a Virginia Car Accident?
The amount of money you can get from a car accident settlement in Virginia depends on how serious your injuries are and the medical expenses you incurred while treating yourself, and other factors. However, you can expect to receive compensation for your:
- Medical expenses: This includes the cost of your hospital bills, doctor’s visits, medications, and other medical expenses.
- Lost wages: This includes the money you lost because you could not work due to your injuries.
- Pain and suffering: This is compensation for the physical and emotional pain and suffering you have experienced as a result of the accident.
- Property damage: This is compensation for the damage to your car or other property.
The Average Car Accident Settlement in Virginia
The average car accident settlement in Virginia is around $21,000. However, the amount of your settlement could be higher or lower, depending on the specific circumstances of your case.
To give you an idea of the settlement values in Virginia, we have put together some examples of car accident settlement cases and the amounts they were settled for.
- A driver was rear-ended by another driver who ran a red light. The driver suffered minor injuries, including whiplash and a sprained neck. The case settled for $5,000.
- A driver was involved in a head-on collision with another driver. The driver suffered serious injuries, including a broken leg, a concussion, and a spinal cord injury. The case settled for $100,000.
- A lady was riding her motorcycle when she was struck by a car making a left turn. She suffered severe injuries, including a broken leg, a concussion, and a spinal cord injury. She received a $250,000 motorcycle accident settlement.
- A driver was driving a commercial truck when he was struck by a car making an illegal U-turn. The driver suffered serious injuries, including a broken leg, a traumatic brain injury, and a spinal cord injury. The commercial vehicle accident claim settled for $1 million.
These are just a few more examples of Virginia car accident settlements. As mentioned before, the amount of your settlement will depend on the specific circumstances of your case. However, these examples should give you a general idea of the possible range of settlement amounts.
How Long Do You Have To Report An Accident In Virginia?
You must report an accident in Virginia within 24 hours if there is grave injury or death. It is also required to do so if there is any property damage.
As expected, most car accidents involve one or more of these situations, so you should report the accident to the police within a day. If the police show up to the accident and file a police report, you don’t have to do anything.
If they don’t, you should go to the nearest police station and file a report within 24 hours. This will help to ensure you don’t get a misdemeanor charge for not reporting an accident. Worse, you could be charged with hit and run if the other driver reports it. So, always remember to report any accident to the police in Virginia..
How Long Do You Have to Report an Accident to Your Insurance Company?
You should report an accident to your insurance company as soon as possible but no later than 30 days after. Reporting the accident to your insurance company is essential because it allows them to investigate the accident and determine whether you are covered under your policy.
Virginia Auto Accident Laws: Government Tort Claims And Sovereign Immunity
In this state, you can file a claim or lawsuit against a government agency for property damage or personal injury because of negligence on the part of a government employee. This claim needs to refer to the lawful action of the government employee in the scope of their work.
If the injury you sustained was because of an illegal action, you can only sue the person for an injury individually. The government agency isn’t liable in this case.
Note that Virginia has caps in place for these cases. Claims made after July 1993 cannot be for more than $100,000. Also, you must file the claim within one year of the accident.
Virginia Auto Accident Laws: Contributory Negligence
Virginia has an unusual contributory negligence rule when determining liability for car accidents. This means you cannot receive damages for losses if you were even 1% at fault in the accident.
This rule makes it more difficult for some accident victims to receive compensation in Virginia. Many states have a comparative negligence standard, which means the amount of the car accident settlement you get depends on your amount of fault.
For example, most states say if you have $10,000 in damages but are 30% at fault for the accident, your settlement is $7,000. That is not the law in Virginia.
This is why it’s especially important to have an excellent attorney fighting for you if you have damages. You want to be sure that you don’t get any blame for the accident so you can get a settlement.
Virginia Auto Insurance Claim Laws
In this state, you are required to have a minimum amount of insurance:
- Bodily injury and death of one person – $25,000
- Bodily injury and death per accident – $50,000
- Property damage – $20,000
If you do not want to buy insurance, you are required to pay the $500 uninsured motor vehicle fee. This does not provide you with insurance, but it allows you to drive legally at your own risk. Virginia features a tort system in the case of an accident. This means if you are found to be at fault, you can be sued for a variety of damages, including economic and actual damages, as well as pain and suffering.
This state does not require you to carry other coverage such as collision or comprehensive insurance. But if you have a lot of financial assets, you would be wise to carry additional coverage in case you are sued after an accident.
People who have substantial assets should carry more insurance than the minimums so that your assets are protected if you cause a serious accident with severe injuries. There have been many cases where people with a lot of assets lose a lot of them because they caused an accident and didn’t have enough insurance coverage.
Rendering Aid After A Virginia Car Accident
If you are in a car accident involving injury or death, you need to file a report to the police. Also, you need to render reasonable assistance to anyone hurt in such an event. This may include taking the injured to a doctor or hospital if it is obvious that medical treatment is necessary.
If the driver does not stop, everyone in the car who is 16 or older must report the incident to the police within 24 hours.
Keep in mind that if you are dealing with a hit and run driver in this state, the police will do their best to find them. But if they cannot, then you will need to rely on your own insurance to pay your damages. That is why you should have uninsured and underinsured coverage.
Virginia Dram Shop Law
There is no Dram Shop law in this state. This law refers to the right to file a lawsuit against someone who provides alcohol to an obviously intoxicated person, who then causes a car accident.
While there is no Dram Shop law, you can still sue an intoxicated driver for damages if he caused the accident.
How to Find a Virginia Car Accident Attorney
Here are some tips on how to find an experienced car accident attorney:
- Ask for referrals from friends, family, or colleagues. This is a great way to start your search, as you can trust the recommendations of people you know and trust.
- Search online for attorneys who specialize in car accidents in Virginia. Many websites list attorneys by practice area and location. You may use the lawsuit info center website to contact a car accident lawyer.
- Schedule consultations with several attorneys before making a decision. This will allow you to meet with different attorneys and see who you feel most comfortable with.
When interviewing attorneys, ask about their experience with car accident cases, success rate, and fees. You should also ask about their style of representation and how they would handle your case. Some lawyers offer free consultation, so take advantage of that before committing to an attorney.
Virginia Car Accident Accident Settlement Taxes
For the most part, a car accident settlement that you receive from a personal injury is not taxable in the state of Virginia. The whole point of a personal injury settlement is to attempt to make you whole again. Taking taxes from this amount defeats that goal. After a car accident, the injured person likely receives compensation for lost earnings, medical costs, and/or pain and suffering. As a result of the accident, the injured person will usually have medical costs, lost earnings, pain and suffering, etc.
That said, there are instances where you can be taxed on a car accident settlement. If you receive punitive damages, those are taxable by federal and state. Punitive damages aren’t intended as reparations to the victim, but rather as punishment for the person responsible for the car accident.
Also, repayment for out of pocket medical expenses is taxable. This is something that you should review with a tax professional.
Lastly, interest or appreciation from your Virginia car accident settlement is also taxable.
Get Legal Help With Virginia Auto Accident Settlements
If you are in a car crash, it is highly upsetting and stressful. But you will be more prepared after digesting all the information on this page about Virginia car accident laws.
Please remember, if you are in a Virginia auto accident, you should stay at the crash scene until law enforcement arrives, and always seek medical attention immediately. You also should get in touch with your auto insurance company as soon as possible, and hire an attorney unless it is a minor accident without injuries.
If you do get in a car accident in Virginia, we can help you find a skilled attorney in your area. You may be eligible for compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost earnings. Please use this website, or our free car accident settlement calculator to locate a personal injury attorney to help you with your car accident claim or lawsuit.
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