Virginia Car Accident Attorney
According to the Virginia department of Motor Vehicles Highway Safety Office, 128,172 crashes occurred on Virginia roads in 2019, causing 65,708 injuries and 827 deaths. This report tracks the number of crashes attributed to speeding or alcohol consumption, but there are many other ways traffic accidents happen, including texting while driving and other distracted driving, following too closely, failing to yield the right-of-way, failing to signal or check blind spots before turning or changing lanes, making a left turn when another vehicle is oncoming, and countless other forms of negligence or incompetence.
Statistics also show that all of us will be involved in more than one car accident during our lifetimes. If we are lucky, we’ll walk away unscathed, but the above statistics show crashes in Virginia result in injury or death about half of the time. Car accidents can cause catastrophic injuries, including traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, loss of limb, severe burns and more. Injuries can be permanent, and the pain and emotional trauma of a horrific crash can leave scars of their own.
Car accident victims often face significant costs after a crash to pay for medical care and make up for lost wages if they missed work or suffered a disability. There are ways to hold the at-fault driver accountable and make them pay for your injuries, but this job isn’t easy. Drivers might not have insurance, making it difficult to obtain a significant recovery. It can be just as bad if they do carry insurance, because the insurance company will use their trained adjusters and lawyers to avoid liability by disputing your injuries or claiming your own negligence was to blame in causing the crash.
Despite the difficulties in recovering compensation after a catastrophic car accident injury, it can be done with the help of an experienced Virginia car accident attorney. At MichieHamlett, we have a team of highly experienced car accident and personal injury lawyers who have achieved record-setting verdicts for injury victims harmed by another’s negligence. Call our office for a free consultation if you’ve been hurt in a car accident in Virginia. We know what it takes to build and present a strong case so we are prepared to negotiate a settlement with the other driver or insurance company or take your case to trial for a significant jury verdict in court. Count on MichieHamlett to help you get the care and compensation you need when you’ve been hurt by a negligent driver.
What if the Driver Who Hit Me Was Uninsured?
This is a very real situation in Virginia, where motorists can lawfully drive without liability insurance by paying an annual $500 Uninsured Motor Vehicle fee to the DMV. Otherwise, drivers are required to carry at least $25,000 in personal injury liability insurance per injured person or $50,000 bodily injury per accident, plus $20,000 in property damage liability. About one in ten Virginia drivers are uninsured, so the odds are pretty good that the driver who hits you might not have insurance.
Your options in this situation include going after the uninsured driver personally. If they have assets that can be reached by the court, you might be able to get an enforceable judgment against them that you can collect on. Another option is to file a claim with your Uninsured Motorist (UM) or no-fault insurance coverage (personal injury protection, or PIP). If you don’t have UM or PIP coverage, you are left with pursuing a claim against the negligent driver and hoping they have assets that can compensate you.
If you do have UM coverage, we can represent you in your claim with the insurance company. Insurance companies make money by collecting premiums and lose money when they pay out on expensive claims. The more serious the injury, the more likely they are to offer a low amount to quickly settle your case before you get a lawyer or try to find ways to avoid paying the full amount of your claim. Whether you are filing a claim against the other driver’s liability insurer or your UM coverage, having an experienced car accident lawyer represent you will help ensure that you are successful on your claim and that you receive the right amount of compensation that reflects your financial needs and the amount of harm done to you.
What if the Insurance Company Says I Was to Blame for Causing the Crash?
Insurance companies can avoid liability if you were in any way responsible for causing the crash through your own negligence. Even if the other driver was 90% at-fault in causing the accident and you only did one small thing wrong, Virginia’s strict rule of contributory negligence can keep you from recovering compensation from the other driver. Insurance companies take full advantage of this fact and will often try to paint you with a portion of the liability. If they do this, remember that you don’t have to take their word for it, and they don’t have the final say on who was to blame for causing a crash. If the insurance company doesn’t settle for an appropriate amount, the next step is take them to court. After a trial, the jury will decide who was negligent and liable for causing the accident.
MichieHamlett Virginia Car Accident Attorneys Can Help
With our record of success at trial, most often the insurance company would rather settle than face us in front of a jury. Either way, our team is prepared to take your case as far as necessary to get you the compensation you need and deserve when you’ve been harmed in a Virginia car accident through no fault of your own. Call MichieHamlett at 434-951-7200 for a free consultation to find out how we can help you on your road to recovery.