Car Accidents Attorney in North Chesterfield, Virginia
Being involved in a car accident can be a difficult and emotional experience. According to data from the 2019 Virginia Traffic Crash Facts compiled by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, there were roughly 5,513 traffic crashes in Chesterfield County, Virginia in 2019, leading to 2,508 injuries and 22 fatalities. If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident, and you believe that accident was caused by someone else’s negligent actions, you have the right to pursue fair compensation through the process of filing an injury claim.
Here at The Thomas Law Firm, PLLC, I am committed to providing experienced legal guidance and compassionate representation to car accident victims and their families. As an experienced Virginia personal injury attorney, I will review the details of your situation, conduct a thorough investigation, work to establish liability, and fight tirelessly to protect your rights. Throughout the duration of your case, I will always prioritize your best interests and help you seek rightful compensation for your injuries, damages, or loss.
My firm, The Thomas Law Firm, PLLC, is also proud to serve clients throughout North Chesterfield, Virginia, and the surrounding communities of Petersburg, Richmond, and Henrico.
Determining Fault and Proving
Liability in Virginia Car Accidents
Virginia is an "at-fault" state. This means that the at-fault party (the driver who caused the car accident) will be responsible for injuries or damages suffered by accident victims. To recover damages, the injured driver or person may:
File a claim with their own insurance company ("first-party" claims)
File a claim with the insurance carrier of the at-fault driver ("third-party" claims)
File a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver in civil court to seek compensation for medical expenses, lost income, property damage, pain, discomfort, and suffering.
Virginia Insurance Requirements
Virginia motorists are required by law to have a minimum amount of liability insurance coverage or pay an uninsured motor vehicle fee of $500. Should you choose to pay the uninsured motor vehicle fee, the state will allow you to drive your uninsured vehicle at your own risk. If you do not wish to drive an uninsured vehicle, you are required by law to have a minimum amount of liability insurance coverage as follows:
$25,000 liability coverage for bodily injuries per person
$50,000 liability coverage for total bodily injuries per accident involving two or more people
$20,000 liability coverage for property damage per accident
State Laws Addressing Claims
Additionally, there are certain Virginia state laws addressing the time limit for filing claims or the amount of damages that may be recovered. These include:
Statute of Limitations
In the Commonwealth of Virginia, auto accident victims, including drivers, passengers, bicyclists, and pedestrians, are required to file injury claims within two years from the date of the injury or accident.
Contributory Negligence in Virginia
Furthermore, Virginia follows the "pure contributory negligence" system. Under this principle, an accident victim will only be allowed to recover damages when the at-fault party was 100 percent responsible for the accident. This means that if the victim was found to share any liability for the accident, even if it was only 1 percent, he or she may be barred from pursuing compensation.
Wrongful death can be described as a death that occurred from an accident caused by someone else's negligence or carelessness. An action for wrongful death may be brought if "the death of a person was caused by the wrongful act, neglect, or default of any person or corporation, or of any ship or vessel" (Virginia Code section 8.01-50).
Though no amount of financial compensation will be enough to bring a lost loved one back or fill the void left by their absence, many families do choose to pursue compensation. Filing a wrongful death action can provide the decedent's surviving loved ones with a much-needed financial boost to cover funeral expenses, burial expenses, lost income or wages, lost benefits, loss of consortium, as well as medical expenses incurred leading up to the death.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
According to Virginia Code section 8.01-53, the following persons or entity may file a wrongful death action:
The deceased person's surviving spouse, children, or grandchildren
The deceased person's surviving parents and siblings
Any relative who is a dependent of the deceased person
Any surviving family member who is eligible to inherit the deceased person's estate under Virginia's intestacy laws.
Under Virginia law, a wrongful death claim must be filed within two years of the date of the deceased person's death.
How a Skilled Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
Car accidents often have long-lasting consequences on the victim's lives as well as their family members. Such an incident can affect your financial, emotional, and physical health. Nevertheless, you don't have to go through this alone. When you're injured in a car accident, it is so crucial to reach out to a knowledgeable Virginia personal injury attorney immediately so that they can protect your rights and help you pursue rightful compensation.
At The Thomas Law Firm, PLLC, I've devoted my career to handling personal injury cases and car accident-related matters. As your legal counsel, I can help:
Fight vigorously to protect your rights and represent your best interests
Review every aspect of your case and carry out a comprehensive investigation
Gather every necessary piece of evidence, information, and required documentation
Seek to prove fault and establish liability
Determine the full extent of your injuries and estimate case-value
Handle all communications and negotiations with any insurance or legal representatives while you recover
Negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company
File a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit, when applicable
As an experienced car accident attorney, I will fight passionately to ensure that the liable party is held responsible. Having me on your side can help improve your chances of achieving a favorable outcome in your personal injury lawsuit. Reach out to me today to get the help you need.
Experienced Car Accident Attorney
Serving North Chesterfield, Virginia
If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to recover damages. Contact my firm — The Thomas Law Firm, PLLC — today to schedule a one-on-one case consultation. I can fight diligently to protect your rights and help you pursue fair financial compensation. My firm is proud to serve car accident victims and their families across North Chesterfield, Virginia, and the surrounding areas of Petersburg, Richmond, and Henrico.