Norfolk Car Accident Lawyer
Car accidents are often over as quickly as they begin, but their fallout can impact your life for years. These accidents can cause lifelong injuries and even disrupt your ability to go to and from work on a daily basis. As a result, both you and your family may find yourselves forced to contend with both financial and physical losses in the immediate aftermath of a car accident.
Instead of struggling with these losses alone, though, you can turn to Norfolk car accident attorneys for guidance. Our attorneys have the experience to guide you through your immediate and long-term accident recovery. Together we can file a claim for compensation and represent your best interests in court.
Car Accident Liability in Virginia Explained
The primary question you have to ask yourself after a car accident lies with liability. Liability determines who bears responsibility for a car accident and, in turn, who may owe you money in exchange for your losses. Breaking down liability can be complicated after a car accident, though, as it’s not always another driver who’s responsible for your losses. Instead, liability may lie with:
- A car’s manufacturer
- A person’s mechanic
- Government representatives who’ve waylaid road repairs
- Electricians who failed to repair stop lights
Matters grow even more complicated when you have to consider private car accidents versus commercial car accidents. Fortunately, you don’t have to sort through the legal classification process alone. Instead, car accident lawyers in Norfolk can guide you through the process and ensure that your claim, as applicable, targets the right party.
Virginia and Fault in Car Accidents
Virginia is an at-fault state. From an insurance perspective, this means that the party deemed liable for a person’s losses in a car accident will be expected to pay for those losses. If that person is underinsured, though, or the coverage doesn’t appear to be substantial enough, then Norfolk car accident lawyers can take an accident case to court.
That said, Virginia also operates on a “contributory negligence” rule, as outlined by Code of Virginia §8.01-58. If a court or adjuster determines that you contributed to your accident – even a little – then the state of Virginia bars you from receiving any compensation for your losses. This is the case both in terms of your potential insurance claims and court cases.
Settling Out of Court or Filing a Lawsuit After a Car Accident
Virginia’s contributory negligence rule can make it difficult for injured individuals to determine whether or not to take their cases to court. Fortunately, this is where an attorney can step in. During an initial consultation with a legal representative, you can discuss to what degree, if any, you may have contributed to the accident in question.
Based on your initial conversations, both you and a Norfolk car accident attorney can determine whether or not it’s reasonable for you to take your case to court. In some cases, especially those involving a larger company, it may be financially beneficial for you to pursue settlement talks outside of the courtroom. You can then pursue a complaint if these talks fall through.
Post-Accident Compensation: What to Expect
The compensation you can request after a car accident should reflect the damages you outline in your complaint. These damages can be economic and non-economic in nature, but do note that you’ll have to provide evidence of each of the losses you want to fight for. With that in mind, consider which losses fall into these two categories and how you’ll want to bring them to a court’s attention.
The Average Settlement in a Virginia Car Accident Case
You have the right to pursue both economic and non-economic damages when you take a car accident case to court. Economic damages include the cost of any procedures or medical aides needed to restore your mobility as well as property damage or maintenance. In contrast, non-economic damages include pain and suffering or, in some cases, wrongful death.
There’s no average settlement to reference when taking a car accident case to court. Instead, work with a car accident attorney in Norfolk ahead of time to estimate the compensation you may benefit from. So long as you keep the personal details of your case in mind, you can go into the complaint process with an idea of what financial support you’re fighting for.
Fighting for Accident Compensation in Court
Most car accidents will settle without ever going to trial. However, for some, this will not be the case. When an insurer or other at-fault party cannot or will not offer an adequate settlement, we aren’t afraid to face them in court.
To begin the civil process after a car accident, you have to file a legal complaint. Courts refer to these complaints to determine which of the area’s cases they want to bring before a judge and jury. In turn, you’ll want to be as clear as possible regarding the circumstances of your accident, the degree of your losses, and the identity of the party you wish to hold liable for your losses.
The Deadline to File a Car Accident Claim in Virginia
If you choose to pursue a civil suit after a car accident, know that you’ll need to bring your paperwork together quickly. The state of Virginia gives you two years to submit complaints regarding your losses in a car accident.
You can argue for an extension if you want to file solely for property damage, as, under Code of Virginia §8.01-243, Virginia offers a five-year statute of limitations on property damage cases.
Otherwise, car accident cases referring to personal injuries fall under the same statute. Fortunately, you can work with experienced Norfolk car accident attorneys to ensure that you submit a comprehensive complaint by this deadline.
Schedule a Case Consultation with a Norfolk Car Accident Lawyer
If you have questions about your rights after a car accident, know that you’re not alone. The team with Christina Pendleton & Associates has represented over 80,000 clients, and we know how to fight for you. For more information regarding your potential case, you can use our online form or office number to schedule a case consultation with Norfolk car accident lawyers.