If you were injured in a car accident and want to hold the other driver financially responsible, you need to understand whether Virginia is a no-fault state for car accidents. Virginia is, in fact, an at-fault state, which means the driver whose negligence caused your accident is responsible for compensating you.
Virginia does not require insurance on every registered vehicle. If the driver who caused your accident is covered, you can request compensation from their insurer. If the driver was uninsured or their insurer does not make an acceptable offer, you can file a lawsuit.
How Can I Prove the Other Driver Caused My Accident?
Compelling the at-fault driver to compensate you depends on proving negligence. That means showing that the motorist should have driven with appropriate care but did not. As a result, they caused your accident, and you incurred damages.
Negligence is typically proven with:
- Your car accident report
- Eyewitness statements
- Photos and video footage
- Accident reconstruction data
Notes and diagrams from the investigative officer can also help prove fault. This is one of the reasons why reporting your accident is so important. Va. Code § 46.2-894 requires the reporting of any car accident that causes damage to either vehicle or results in physical or fatal injuries.
How Important Is My Car Accident Report?
When you file a report after a car accident, the police who arrive at the scene will collect the involved parties’ names, addresses, driver’s license numbers, and vehicle registration numbers.
The police may also ask for your insurance information and include it in their report. This combination of information will help you and your lawyer contact the at-fault driver and their insurer. Your police report may contain additional helpful information such as:
- Each driver’s actions
- Drug or alcohol involvement
- A diagram of the collision
- Road and weather conditions at the time of the accident
Do not overlook the importance of obtaining a copy of the car accident report. If you are seriously injured and cannot actively participate in your case, the lawyer who represents you will obtain a copy on your behalf.
Proving Your Right to Financial Recovery
Proving the cause of your accident is only the beginning of your case. Your personal injury lawyer will also help you collect another set of evidence. It will prove the value of your recoverable damages and can include:
- Medical records
- Medical bills
- Auto repair estimates
- Auto replacement values
- Proof of lost wages
Your lawyer will help you compile this evidence. This process can take time because every physician and facility where your injuries were treated will bill you separately. Waiting to ensure all compensation-related injury is important, though. You don’t want to accept a settlement without knowing what you’re owed.
Damages You Can Recover in a Fault State
The evidence collected to prove your damages will vary on a case-by-case basis, just as your damages will vary. In most cases, you can request compensation for the following:
- Known and ongoing medical expenses
- Known and ongoing lost wages
- Physical disabilities or disfigurements
- “Pain and suffering” and inconvenience
- Vehicle repair or replacement costs
If your family lost one of its members in the accident, you could also recover several types of wrongful death-related damages. Your lawyer will help you assess these damages and ensure their values are accurate. Your lawyer will also clarify which surviving family members are eligible to file a wrongful death compensation case.
Avoid Any Delays in Your Fight for Compensation
The immediate aftermath of a car accident can be a confusing time. Your physical and emotional state can make it difficult to cope with legal and insurance issues. The state of Virginia, though, has laws in place that determine how much time you have to file a potential lawsuit after an accident.
- Va. Code § 8.01-243: The personal injury statute of limitations is generally two years from the date of the accident.
- Va. Code § 8.01-244: The wrongful death statute of limitations is generally two years from the date of your loved one’s passing.
Missing a filing deadline could leave you unable to compel the at-fault driver to compensate you. When you work with a personal injury attorney, they can help you understand your case’s deadlines, meet the statute of limitations, and remove the risks of filing late.
Call for a Free Consultation Today
Were you hurt in a car accident in Virginia? Since Virginia is a fault state for car accidents, you can hold the at-fault driver responsible for the costs that stem from the collision. Our personal injury lawyer at the Parrish Law Firm, PLLC can help you prove liability and fight for compensation.
Call one of our team members to review your accident and possible compensation. We can explain your options, answer your questions, and address your concerns.