Traffic cases involving accidents that lead to serious injuries could find the driver not only criminally liable but civilly liable as well. You may be entitled to bring an action for damages against the negligent driver.
If you or a loved one have been involved in an action caused by the driver’s negligent behavior, reach out to a Richmond traffic injury attorney as soon as you are able.
Traffic Laws in Virginia
Virginia has a myriad of traffic laws throughout the state for various actions. The violation of these laws could result in a ticket, or more severe penalties depending on the type of action.
However, traffic violations that result in injury to another person should be treated as a separate action. Unfortunately, the state does not always penalize the drivers for their actions based on any injuries caused. However, victims, fortunately, have an outlet to turn to in the civil court system.
Criminal speeding and reckless driving are two of the top traffic offenses which have the potential to cause serious injuries. Consistent law enforcement presence has helped curb the number of accidents caused by reckless driving and criminal speeding, although they continue to occur, especially during holiday weekends.
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Virginia Personal Injury Claims
Claims for any injuries caused by a traffic violation in Virginia can be brought alongside a criminal action. The civil action will not be dependent on the outcome of the criminal court proceedings, and may actually be more favorable to the victim.
The criminal court has a higher burden of proof. The prosecution must be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant met every element of the crime. The civil court claim only requires that the victim proves that the defendant’s actions caused the victim’s injury by a preponderance of the evidence.
You Can Still Bring a Civil Case Even if the Criminal Case Was Thrown Out
Even if a criminal court dismisses the traffic violation, the victim may still be able to bring an action in civil court for damages incurred as a result of the car accident. As the victim of a traffic accident, you are entitled to bring a claim for damages against the responsible driver. You and your Richmond traffic injury lawyer can file a claim for the following:
- Medical expenses
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Lost wages
- Future earnings
- Pain and suffering
An experienced personal injury attorney in Richmond, VA will be able to assist you in determining the total amount of damages you are entitled to receive as a result of your injuries. While items such as future earnings may be difficult to predict, it is important that your claim covers all damages that are ongoing, as well as potential damages that could linger well into the future.
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How Long Do I Have to File?
Under Virginia law, you have two years to file from the time of your accident to file a lawsuit. However, it’s in your best interest to file much sooner than that. Not only does it stop the clock on the statute of limitations, but it also shows that you’re willing to take action.
Letting your case linger can give an insurer the ammunition to state your injuries aren’t as bad as they seem. You know different, and we know the sneaky tricks of insurers. By acting fast in a traffic injury case, it shows you need help as soon as possible.
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Does the Other Driver Need to Be Guilty?
Even if the other driver beats their traffic charge, you can still sue them for damages. A guilty plea makes it easier to win a civil case, but remember, the standard of evidence is lower in civil court.
The other driver might plead no contest in criminal court to avoid the implication they’re guilty of your injuries. While it is a legal tactic, it can be beaten with the help of a skilled lawyer on your side, ready with the evidence.
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Contact a Traffic Injury Attorney in Richmond Today
If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident caused by a traffic violation, do not hesitate to contact the attorneys at Christina Pendleton & Associates. Our traffic injury lawyers in Richmond have years of experience in handling traffic accident claims due to the other driver’s negligent behavior.
Your injuries were caused by the negligent actions of another driver and they should be held responsible for any expenses associated with your injuries. Contact us today for your free initial case evaluation.
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