Automobile Accident Attorney
Auto accidents can happen in the blink of an eye. Whether it’s someone running a red light or the person behind you following too closely, it’s often too late for you to do anything to avoid the impending collision.
The Commonwealth of Virginia has over 6 million registered drivers. With that many people on the road, accidents are bound to happen. In 2019 alone, there were 827 auto-related deaths in the state. The statistics show that, on average, 180 people per day were injured in a car crash.
Read on to learn more about the causes of these accidents, the legal concepts of automobile liability in Virginia, and the various elements that could affect your claim.
What Are the Main Causes of Car Accidents?
There are a wide variety of factors that can contribute to an automobile accident, some of which include:
When a driver is distracted, they’re no longer in full control of their vehicle for the very brief moment that their attention is turned elsewhere. Distractions come in many forms, such as screaming kids in the backseat, text messaging, and even changing the radio station. All it takes is a brief lapse in concentration for an accident to occur.
Alcohol and drugs (both prescription and non-prescription) are among the leading causes of auto accidents in Virginia. When intoxicated, the driver’s response time slows dramatically, and they aren’t able to react quickly enough to avoid a collision.
We have speed limits on city and highway streets to keep traffic moving at a safe speed. When motorists break the speed limit, it puts everyone in their path at risk as they’re traveling too fast for road conditions.
Running Red Lights
Another contributing factor to the high amount of accidents in Virginia is when cars try to beat the signal change and wind up running a red light. Signals have different timing, and the yellow lights often vary in length from intersection to intersection. Even a slight miscalculation on the part of the motorist can lead to an accident.
What Are the Main Results of an Accident?
If there is such a thing as an “ideal automobile accident,” it’s one where property damage is none-to-minimal, and everyone walks away, shaken but uninjured. However, that’s often not the case. People involved in car accidents can experience:
- Property damage (to their car)
- Short-term injuries
- Permanent disability
- Pain and suffering (both physical and psychological)
With so much at stake when getting behind the wheel of a car, you must understand your rights, responsibilities, and the elements of the law that could affect your case if an accident were to occur.
Comparative Fault (Negligence) vs. Contributory Fault (Negligence)
When it comes to determining the amount of money you will receive after an auto accident, Virginia abides by a legal concept known as “contributory fault.” This means that if you’re in an accident and the facts determine that you’re partially at fault, you cannot seek any financial restitution from the other party or their insurance company.
Virginia is one of only a handful of states that have contributory fault. The vast majority of other states in the U.S. have what’s known as “comparative negligence.” This means that if you’re 20% at fault in an accident and the jury awards you $100k, you’ll walk away with $80k (after legal fees/etc.)
How Is Negligence Determined?
Thanks to Virginia’s extremely tough standard on automobile accident negligence, you need to prove that the other party was responsible for the crash and that your actions did not contribute to the accident in any way.
Determining negligence is easier in some cases than in others. For example, if the other driver is intoxicated or they rear-ended you, proving negligence on their part is usually straightforward. However, if someone runs a red light and hits your car, they might claim that they had the green or yellow light.
To prove the other driver was indeed at fault will require an investigation that can include police reports, light timings, witnesses, and a whole host of additional evidence.
What Should You Do After an Accident Has Occurred?
If safety dictates, it’s essential to take photos of the damages and intersection immediately after the accident. Try to secure as much evidence as possible, including:
- Police reports
- Witness information
- Medical reports
- Insurance info
When it comes to giving statements to the insurance company—or signing any documents they present to you—it’s important to be aware that the friendly, smiling insurance adjuster only has the insurance company’s best interests in their mind.
This is why it’s vital to immediately contact an automobile accident attorney after getting into a crash. They know the exact steps you need to take to preserve the evidence to prove that the other driver was indeed 100% at fault. An attorney can also tell you what to say—and more importantly—what not to say to the insurance adjuster.
Locke & Quinn Case Results
Car accidents are an unfortunate part of reality. Should you be involved in one, it’s imperative that you know your rights and what you need to do to ensure that you have a strong case for the best chances of getting a settlement.
Richard Locke and Colleen Quinn consistently achieve top level case results in auto accident and moving vehicle cases. A few of our settlements that we’ve won for our clients include:
If you’ve been in an accident, give us a call today at (804) 285-6253 for a free consultation. Our attorneys will work hard to fight for your rights and the justice that you deserve. You need to focus on getting better; let us take care of the hard work.
**Please note that the results of specific cases reported are not meant to be a prediction or guarantee of any other case. Each case consists of factors unique to that case. Cases listed below reflect more recent case results from approximately the past fifteen years exceeding $100,000.