Richmond Car Accident Attorney
The heightened penalties and increased law enforcement officer presence which Virginia has implemented over the past couple of years have helped decrease the number of accidents which plague the roadways throughout the state. However, unfortunately, a large number of accidents continue to occur each year, a number which seems set to increase based on the ongoing distractions which smartphones represent. If you or a loved one were injured in a car accident in Virginia, you may wish to speak with a Richmond car accident attorney to learn if you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
Car Accident Statistics in Virginia
In 2014, approximately 120,000 car accidents were reported throughout the state in Virginia. Out of this number, approximately 60,000 people were injured during the accidents, and 700 people were killed as a result of the accident. While these numbers seem staggering, they have historically been lower than the national average and represent an ongoing trend of decreasing accident rates which began in 2012. This could be due to a number of factors.
Fatality Rates: National vs. Virginia (2006-2015)
In 2013, Virginia passed a texting-while-driving law which increased the penalty for drivers who were pulled over for driving with a cell phone in hand to $125 (from $20). While critics of the law maintain that the law contains an obvious loophole wherein drivers may simply state that they are using their phone’s GPS feature, this law, along with more vigilant police forces have contributed to lowering the accident rate throughout the state.
Cities and counties in Virginia have also implemented various “no refusal weekends” on certain holiday weekends, which do not allow suspected drunk drivers to refuse a chemical test when they are pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving. During these weekends, magistrates are on call to sign the required warrants. These no-refusal weekends have helped curb the number of drunk driving accidents on the requisite weekends.
Daily Distribution of Fatal Crashes in Virginia (2015)
Statute of Limitations in Virginia
Virginia, like all states, has laws known as “statutes of limitations,” which limit the time you have to file a lawsuit for injuries sustained in a car accident. Virginia Code section 8.01-243 states that the statute of limitations to file an injury claim following an accident is two years and the “clock” starts running from the date of the accident, not when the injury was first discovered. These limitations only apply to the deadline for filing a claim in court; the process and deadlines for filing a claim with an insurance company may very well differ. One other situation in which the two-year statute of limitations will not apply is if you get into a car accident with a government employee. In these situations, your chance for receiving compensation will be determined by the time limits set forth by the government.
The process of investigating an insurance claim and negotiating a settlement takes time so it is important to file your insurance claim as soon as possible following a car accident. By starting the claims process early, you increase the likelihood that your case will fall within the two-year deadline, even if you end up going to court. Staying within the statute of limitations will also allow you to keep all your options on the table, giving you more leverage during settlement talks. If the statute of limitations filing deadline is fast approaching, it may be wise to speak with a qualified Richmond car accident lawyer to ensure your rights are protected.
Auto Accident Recovery
The aftermath of a car accident is undoubtedly chaotic. Between the exchanging of insurance paperwork (if the injuries are not too severe), to the towing of the car, and to the inevitable recovery, the Richmond car accident lawyers at Christina Pendleton & Associates understand that the last thing most people think about is the cost of everything. However, this should remain on the forefront of your mind, especially as insurance agents begin to contact you attempting to settle any future claims.
As a victim of a car accident, you are entitled to bring a claim for the injuries you suffered in the accident and the resulting costs, including:
- Medical expenses
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Lost wages
- Future earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
An experienced Richmond personal injury lawyer will be able to assist you in developing your claim for damages and in calculating the expenses, especially those which might not have a readily available valuation, such as emotional distress. The attorneys of Christina Pendleton & Associates are well experienced in placing a value on future earnings, pain and suffering, and other damages which do not hold an easy valuation.
Consult a Richmond Car Accident Attorney Today
If you or a loved one have been injured in a motor vehicle accident in Virginia, do not hesitate to contact the lawyers at Christina Pendleton & Associates. Our attorneys have years of experience in assisting our clients with their car accident claims and will work tirelessly to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries. We focus on your accident claim from the onset so you can focus on your recovery. Contact our Richmond, Virginia office today for your free consultation with a knowledgeable car accident lawyer.