"Who Will Pay For My Virginia Auto Accident?"
Virginia car accident lawyers outline all the options available to you
After an auto accident in Virginia, crash victims often have many questions. And right near the top of the list is this one: Who will pay for my accident-related expenses? That's because the financial toll of a motor vehicle accident can often add up to hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars.
And if you don't demand the money you deserve after your accident, you might end up having to pay for your crash out of your own pocked - even if you didn't cause your accident. We know because our attorneys have worked with countless accident victims throughout Virginia.
The attorneys at Davis Davis Davis & Davis, PC have decades of experience fighting for the compensation our clients deserve - and we have the case results to prove it. Many people don't realize there are many different types of compensation available to them after an accident. That's why we created this guide. And that's why we want to meet with you.
Virginia car insurance requirements
Unlike most states, drivers in Virginia are not required to have car insurance. If they don't want to have insurance, they simply have to pay $500 to Virginia's Department of Motor Vehicles to legally operate an uninsured car in the state for 12 months.
Drivers who choose to get car insurance in Virginia must obtain the following minimum amounts of insurance coverage:
- $25,000 for injury or death to one person
- $50,000 for all injuries or deaths per accident
- $25,000 for property damage
Such figures might seem like a lot of money. But as explained earlier, many car accidents cost injury victims and their families hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars during the course of their lifetimes. That's why we want to meet with you if you or a loved one was seriously injured or worse in a motor vehicle accident.
Virginia's 'fault' car insurance system
Virginia has a fault-based auto insurance system. Like many states, this system places responsibility on the at-fault driver for compensating all accident victims, including other drivers, passengers, pedestrians or cyclists.
In Virginia, accident victims can choose between three different options for obtaining compensation for their accident. These include:
- File a "first party" insurance claim with your insurance provider
- File a "third party" insurance claim with the at-fault driver's insurance company
- File a lawsuit against the at-fault driver
Our law firm can explore all these options with you and help you decide which one works best for your specific circumstances.
First-party car accident claims
Filing a claim with your own insurance company might make the most sense for your motor vehicle accident. Depending on what type of insurance you have, your insurance company may be able to compensate you for:
- Medical expenses
- Repairing damage to vehicle
- Car rental expenses
Which items you can request compensation for from your own insurance company will depend largely on the type of insurance you have. We can help you review your insurance policy and explain which expenses your insurance covers.
Third-party car accident claims
Filing a third-party accident claim against the at-fault driver can be a very complicated, adversarial process. That's because the insurance company for the at-fault driver will aggressively challenge your claim or even try to blame you for the crash. Their goal is to protect their client and their bottom line, not to compensate you.
We can help you with this process and make sure you submit your claim in a timely, effective manner. In most cases, we encourage accident victims to submit their third-party accident claim in writing to the at-fault driver's insurance company. That way, there's a written record of your request to receive compensation for your accident.
We can help you write your letter to the at-fault driver's insurance company requesting compensation. We can also take on the at-fault driver's insurance company if they try to blame you for causing your crash.
Filing a lawsuit against at-fault driver
The decision to take legal action against the at-fault driver often occurs once you and the other driver's insurance company fail to reach an agreement on how much to compensate you for your accident-related expenses.
In many cases, people choose to file a lawsuit after unsuccessfully filing a third-party car accident claim. This process can be very complicated and often requires going to civil court, where a judge or jury will decide whether to award any damages (financial compensation). However, it is also possible to reach a settlement with the insurance company even after a lawsuit is filed.
Our attorneys have decades of trial experience and know how to build a strong legal case. That's why we have such a strong track record of success. We can help you build a strong legal case and be there with you every step of the way in court.
Who decides who's at fault after a car accident?
In the case of first-party and third-party accident claims, insurance investigators are often the ones who decides who's at fault in an accident. If you file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver's insurance company, a judge or jury at your civil trial will likely be ones who decide who caused your crash.
In each case, it's critical that you mount the strongest possible legal defense. That's why you need to have an attorney on your side who thoroughly understands the legal system in Virginia. Our lawyers at Davis Davis Davis & Davis, PC have the knowledge and expertise you need to prevail in your case. That's why we want to meet with you.
Types of compensation available to Virginia auto accident victims
Many people don't realize how many different things they can be compensated for after a motor vehicle accident in Virginia. Depending on the circumstances of your crash, you may be able to be financially compensated for:
- Emergency medical expenses
- Long-term physical therapy
- Vehicle repairs or replacement
- Lost income during your recovery
- Lost future income if you cannot work or can only work fewer hours due to injury
- Pain and suffering
- Modifications to home to accommodate a permanent disability
Many people don't take all of these expenses into account; they often only consider expenses immediately after their crash. We think long term. We know that accident victims often deal with the aftermath of their crash for years afterwards. And if you don't take all these expenses into consideration, you might end up having to pay for them yourself.
Accidents involving uninsured or underinsured drivers
Since Virginia drivers aren't required to obtain insurance, accidents involving uninsured drivers sometimes occur. Another common type of accident in Virginia involves underinsured drivers. These are drivers who don't have enough insurance to cover all accident-related expenses.
If you have car insurance in Virginia, most likely you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. That's because the state requires drivers to have such insurance in the same amounts as the rest of their policy. However, drivers can request in writing to have lower uninsured/underinsured accident coverage.
How we can help you after your crash
Understanding your accident insurance and what's covered - and not covered - can be very confusing. That's why we want to meet with you and discuss your potential claim. We know how complicated car accident claims can be and we can help. Simply contact us and schedule your free case evaluation right now.