Woodbridge Car Accident Lawyers Helping You Get the Recovery Compensation You Deserve
If you have been injured in a car accident, you need the right legal team of seasoned personal injury attorneys on your side. The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles estimates that around 180 people were injured in roadway accidents in the state every day in 2019. While many accidents are caused by external conditions such as equipment failure or poor roadway conditions, those who were injured in a car accident due to another driver’s negligent or reckless actions may be eligible for a personal injury claim. Here are a few important things to consider.
Is Virginia a “No-Fault” State for Car Accidents?
The state of Virginia is not a no-fault state when it comes to car accidents, but instead, it has a pure contributory negligence system. Unlike other states that allow victims to still receive some percentage of compensation even if he or she contributed to the accident, in Virginia if you were hurt in an accident and it is determined that you may have a small percentage of blame – even as little as 1% – you may not qualify to receive compensation.
What this also means is that as long as you can prove the other driver was to blame entirely for the accident, you may also be eligible to file a personal injury claim for additional compensation beyond what was offered to you by the insurance company. This often leads to insurance companies trying to obtain recorded statements or any type of evidence from you that can be used to prove you contributed to the accident to some extent.
How Do I Prove the Other Driver Was at Fault for My Accident?
You will need to be mindful of what you say both on the phone and at the scene of the accident. Something as innocent as apologizing for the accident can be used as an admission of fault against you. If you are able to take pictures and gather contact information for witnesses, this might help you when filing a claim. Additionally, in most cases, the police will create a record of the accident and will take notes of vehicle damage as well as skid marks, brake marks, and any signs of driver intoxication.
Even you don’t feel pain at the moment, you are encouraged to follow up with a doctor within a day or two of the accident, as it is common for certain injuries to not show up until days after your accident. In addition, you will want to keep a copy of your medical records as proof of your injuries. A personal injury attorney can make recommendations on the types of evidence you will need in order to support your claim, and he or she should also conduct an independent investigation.
How Long Do I Have to Report a Car Accident in Virginia?
You are expected to report a car accident to law enforcement immediately if there is anyone injured or any fatalities. Insurance companies prefer that any car accidents be reported immediately or within 24h of it occurring.
Apart from insurance companies and law enforcement, if you are planning to file a lawsuit for personal injury, the state of Virginia has a statute of limitations of two years from the date of the accident for a claim to be filed, and the same goes for a wrongful death claim. If your claim is for property damage, such as damages to your vehicle, you have up to five years to initiate a claim.
Do I Need an Attorney to File a Car Accident Claim in Virginia?
If your car accident is simple and did not result in any injuries, you may be able to resolve any minor vehicular damage claims directly with the insurance company. But if you believe you have been injured due to another driver’s actions, seeking legal help is important and will likely not cost you anything upfront. A skilled attorney can handle negotiations with the insurance company on your behalf and do everything to maximize your payout and get you a fair settlement amount for your pain, suffering, and expenses due to the accident. The Johnson Law Firm has helped many customers recover damages after a car accident, and is ready to help you with your case. If you have been injured in a car accident near Gainesville, VA, contact our office at (703) 884-8003to learn your options and get started.