An auto accident disrupts your life in so many ways. As you recover from your physical injuries, you also have to deal with the emotional trauma and financial hardship associated with medical bills, car repairs and other damages. At Hunter Law Firm, our experienced attorneys can relieve your burden and will fight for the compensation you deserve. From offices in Chesapeake, Newport News, Hampton and Gloucester, we answer pressing questions for vehicle collision victims, such as:
Virginia uses a traditional fault-based insurance system where the party that caused an auto accident is responsible for the personal injury and property damages incurred by the victims. If you believe the driver of another vehicle is to blame for the collision, you can sue them or file a claim with their insurance company without first seeking relief from your own carrier. However, there might be situations where you need to file a claim with your insurance company because the at-fault vehicle operator lacks sufficient coverage.
Virginia’s strict contributory negligence standard places a heavy burden on individuals who have suffered a personal injury. Victims cannot win compensation in a lawsuit if they contributed to the accident in any way. Even if a driver is held to be 10 percent liable for a car accident because they were slightly distracted, they are completely barred from collecting a financial recovery. This differs from the laws in many states that allow plaintiffs to obtain a percentage of the total damages even if they are partially liable for the crash.
Damages you might collect in an auto accident claim might include compensation for your healthcare costs, lost income and the pain and suffering you endured. Car repair bills are also compensable when someone else triggered the collision. In catastrophic injury cases, victims might require long-term medical treatments, in-home care and accommodations to their home. Before you decide to give up your legal rights by accepting a settlement, you should have an informed understanding of the potential financial recovery.
Once a car crash occurs, your immediate concern should be getting everyone to safety and calling for emergency assistance. If the scene is secure and you are physically able, you might choose to gather information that could strengthen your eventual injury claim. By taking photographs of the scene and recording your real-time impressions of what occurred, you can start to compile key evidence. Get contact information for the parties and any witnesses, if possible. When the police report is available, you should request that and take note of any potential errors in the document.
Insurance companies focus on settling auto accident claims as quickly and cheaply as possible. Someone who is struggling with medical bills resulting from a crash might be under a lot of pressure to get their check as quickly as possible, even if it is not as much as they think they deserve. At times like this, it is critical to have an experienced attorney who is committed to fighting for your interests. Our firm can advise you regarding the settlement or award amounts obtained in cases similar to yours. If you decide to fight the insurance company, we offer strong advocacy during negotiations and, if necessary, litigation.