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Virginia Car Accident Compensation Laws

April 27, 2022 by The Parrish Law Firm

Virginia is an at-fault state, which means the driver whose negligence caused the accident is responsible for its financial consequences. If you were injured when another vehicle collided with your car, a personal injury lawyer can explain Virginia’s car accident compensation laws.

Various state laws will require you to gather evidence, prove the at-fault driver’s negligence, calculate the cost of your injuries and their related expenses, and file your case on time. A lawyer can help with all aspects of your case. He can also negotiate on your behalf and help you avoid the frustration of the legal process.

You Must Prove the Other Party’s Negligence To Recover Damages

After a car accident, you want the driver who caused it — or his insurance company — to cover your resulting costs. Before you can get compensation from a negligent driver, the state requires you to demonstrate that they:

  • Had a duty of care to drive safely
  • Breached this responsibility
  • Caused your accident and physical injuries
  • Caused you to incur various losses

It can be difficult to understand and prove negligence on your own. A car accident lawyer will gather the evidence that proves each point of negligence and present it to the at-fault party and their insurance provider.

You Need Evidence To Support Your Right to Compensation

Evidence collection can be a time-consuming part of building your car accident compensation case. The at-fault driver’s insurance company — and the court, if your case goes that far — will require evidence such as:

  • Medical records and bills
  • Your medical treatment records
  • Your job and salary records
  • The car accident report
  • Accident scene photos
  • Witness statements

Some of the evidence on this list will do double-duty by proving the cause and cost of your injuries. A lawyer will help you compile and categorize all necessary evidence.

Calculate Your Virginia Economic Car Accident Damages

The at-fault driver’s negligence entitles you to recover a wide range of financial damages. You can request compensation for the wages you lost while recovering from the accident. According to Va. Code § 8.01-35, you can recover these damages from the negligent party even if you are reimbursed for them in another manner.

In addition, you can recover the following economic damages:

  • Medical bills
  • Property damage expenses
  • Temporary transportation costs

Economic damages are relatively simple to establish since they can be supported with documentation. The key is not to overlook any or agree to a settlement before all expenses are known.

Recoverable Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are more difficult to assign a value to than economic damages. That’s because, unlike economic damages, these expenses do not come with documentation. A personal injury lawyer will evaluate your situation to determine what types of non-economic losses you can recover.

Examples include:

  • “Pain and suffering” and inconvenience
  • Mental and emotional trauma
  • Disabilities and disfigurement

A lawyer can help ensure that every recoverable damage is accounted for in your compensation request. He can also ensure that none are overlooked, undervalued, or underpaid.

Virginia Law Imposes a Time Limit on Your Right to Compensation

The statute of limitations in every state defines how much time you have to file a civil lawsuit. If the statutory filing deadline expires, you will not be able to file your lawsuit at all. If your lawsuit is filed late, the courts will dismiss it with prejudice––meaning you can’t file it ever again.

If you or someone you love was injured in a collision, you generally have up to two years from the date of the accident to file your personal injury lawsuit, according to Va. Code § 8.01-243. Some circumstances of your case might extend or shorten the statute of limitations. A personal injury lawyer can explain how your case will be affected. He can also help you avoid the costly consequences of non-compliance.

A Car Accident Fatality Has Its Own Filing Deadline

If your family suffered the loss of a loved one in a car accident, you must also comply with the state’s statutory deadline. In general, Va. Code § 8.01-244 entitles you to two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

In wrongful death cases, the statutory clock starts on the date of your loved one’s passing, even if that date is different from the accident itself. Similar to personal injury cases, the age of the victim and certain other factors can change the statute of limitations.

The statute of limitations can be confusing. A good way to ensure you do not miss your right to seek recovery is to let a personal injury lawyer clarify it.

Review Your Case with a Consultation Team Member Today

Were you or someone you love injured in a recent car accident? Working with a law firm that is familiar with car accident compensation laws in Virginia can benefit your case. Find out how we can help you by beginning a free case review.

Contact one of our case review team members at the Parrish Law Firm, PLLC by calling today.

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