Auto Accidents

Important Facts About Wrongful Death Cases in Virginia

Tragically, last year, 819 people lost their lives in car crashes on Virginia roads.  While this number is down slightly from the number of traffic-related deaths in 2017, it is still significantly higher than the 700 fatalities that occurred on Virginia roads in 2014, since which the number of deaths has been steadily increasing, suggesting that our roads are getting more congested, and more dangerous. While I pray that you will never need this information, here are some important things to know about cases arising from traffic-related fatalities in Virginia. Who can file a wrongful death suit? Historically, Virginia law is based on English Common Law (law made by the decisions of judges), under which there was no legal right to recover compensation for a death caused by another person’s negligence.  Indeed, under the Common Law, while there was a long-standing right to seek compensation for one’s personal injuries, if the injured person died as [...]

By | 2019-08-06T11:02:23+00:00 May 16th, 2019|Auto Accidents, Wrongful Death|

Bicycle Safety and Virginia Law …FAQs

It’s pretty obvious that bicycles lack the many safety features that cars and other vehicles on the road have.  There is no enclosed cabin made of steel and plastic, no airbags, seatbelts, or other built-in safety features.  While riding a bike, you are completely exposed, and often hit the ground, tree, fence, other vehicle, or hard surface head first.  Bicyclists sometimes forget that they are “technically” driving a vehicle and must share the road and follow bicycle and traffic laws.  If you or someone else is injured in an accident involving a bike, failure to do so could impact your case in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Can I ride my bike on the sidewalk? It is legal in Virginia to ride your bike on sidewalks unless prohibited by local ordinances.  If riding on a sidewalk, you must always yield the right of way to pedestrians.  Sidewalks are constructed to keep pedestrians safe.  When attempting to [...]

By | 2019-08-06T11:00:02+00:00 April 12th, 2019|Auto Accidents|

I’ve been in a car wreck: Should I call a lawyer?

The short answer is YES! That was probably the answer you expected to hear, especially from a personal injury attorney, but my reasons are probably not what you’re expecting. A good personal injury lawyer can empower you to solve some of the problems arising from the collision yourself. Not everybody who has been in a collision needs to hire and pay a lawyer right away.  But if you’ve been in a car accident, there are things you need to know, questions you need answered, and real-world problems that you need to solve.  For instance: How does insurance work? How do I get my medical bills paid? What happens to my car? How do I get it fixed?  Who pays for the damage? Whose insurance company should pay for the property damage and medical bills? When should I use my own insurance? Should I accept a settlement from the other driver’s insurance company? Should I even [...]

By | 2019-04-09T11:47:36+00:00 February 14th, 2019|Auto Accidents|

7 Steps to Take After a Car Accident in Virginia

You’re on your way to work on the Beltway.  A car in another lane swerves toward you.  You try to avoid it, but . . . crash . . . Over 120,000 automobile accidents occur each year in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Most involve only property damage… damage to the vehicle, but just over 50% involve personal injury to the driver and/or passengers in the car.  And unfortunately, approximately 750-800 accidents result in a fatality each year. If you or a family member is in a car accident, it is important that you protect yourself and your interests.  Here’s a quick checklist of things you should do immediately after a crash. Stop! Never leave the scene of an accident even if it seems minor and you don’t think anyone was hurt.  Unless your vehicle is interfering with traffic, remain where you ended up after the accident.  Turn on your hazard lights.  If you are in [...]

By | 2019-03-19T11:40:57+00:00 January 11th, 2019|Auto Accidents|

How Child Personal Injury Cases Differ From Adult Cases

Whether walking or biking to school, or riding as a passenger in a car, any accident or serious injury involving a child is a traumatic event to both the victim and her family.  A child’s injuries can be very complex and can affect his life now and into the future, sometimes for the rest of his life.  If the child’s injury arises from the negligence of someone else, it is important to know that the law treats children differently than adults.  Let’s look at some of those differences and how they might affect your case. Children are held to a different standard As I discussed in a previous blog, “Contributory Negligence – Do I Need a Personal Injury Attorney”, Virginia is a contributory negligence state.  Contributory negligence is a rule of law that holds that if two people are involved in a collision and both were negligent in causing the collision, then neither can recover [...]

By | 2019-03-19T11:43:56+00:00 November 21st, 2018|Auto Accidents, Injuries to Children|

Contributory Negligence… Do I Need a Personal Injury Attorney?

Steve is driving home from work, approaching a 4-way intersection.  Steve does not have a stop sign, but traffic on the side-street, attempting to enter the intersection from Steve’s right or left does, so Steve has the right of way.  Steve is driving in his lane, under the speed limit, doing everything right, except . . . he’s texting.  At the same time, John is driving a car that is approaching the intersection from Steve’s right.  John is in a hurry, is speeding and distracted, and does not see the stop sign.  John blows through the stop sign and the two cars collide.  In the Commonwealth of Virginia, does Steve have a winnable claim against John?  Maybe not.  Why?  Virginia is one of a handful of states that still follows the law of contributory negligence.  Let’s take a look at contributory negligence and how can it affect your potential car accident case? What is contributory [...]

By | 2019-04-09T11:39:51+00:00 August 20th, 2018|Auto Accidents|

But He Hit Me!

Why should I use my insurance to pay for anything? It might seem a little odd, but sometimes, it makes sense to use coverages on your auto insurance policy to pay for expenses you incur as a result of a collision even though the collision was not your fault. Why? 1. You may have no other choice If the driver who causes the collision is unknown or does not have insurance, the only potential source of recovery for you is your own uninsured motorist insurance. See my report: "Am I Covered For This? A Quick Guide to Your Auto Insurance Coverages and How They Work. 2. Time is of the essence If your car is damaged and you are injured in a collision caused by someone else, that other driver, and his insurance, is ultimately responsible for your damages. But, it can often take a long time for a liability claim to be processed and, [...]

By | 2019-04-09T11:36:18+00:00 June 1st, 2018|Auto Accidents|

Am I Covered for This?

A quick guide to your auto insurance coverages and how they work If you've been in an auto collision, there are four basic coverages that might come into play, depending on the policy you have purchased: Liability; Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage; Collision; Medical Payments coverage Liability Liability coverage, whether it's for property damage or bodily injuries, applies when you are responsible for causing a collision and someone else who was involved in the collision brings a claim against you. If a liability claim is made against you, your insurance company will investigate, and possibly defend against, the claim, but may be obliged to pay an amount up to the limits of your liability coverage to dispose of the claim. Every auto insurance policy that is written in Virginia is required to afford at least $25,000 in liability coverage, so you must purchase at least that much. But if a claim against you turns out to be [...]

By | 2019-04-09T11:30:46+00:00 May 16th, 2018|Auto Accidents|