Top-Rated Car Accident Lawyer Representing Injured Victims in Virginia Beach and Throughout the Greater Hampton Roads Area
At Barney Injury Law, our Virginia Beach auto accident attorney is a skilled and experienced advocate for injured victims. We know that dealing with the aftermath of a serious car accident can be difficult—especially if you have been forced to miss time at work or if you have medical bills piling up. Do not go up against the big insurance companies alone.Scott R. Barney, Esq. is here to help you get justice and the full and fair financial compensation that you rightfully deserve. For a free, completely confidential initial consultation, please do not hesitate to contact us at our Virginia Beach law office today.
How Common are Car Accidents in Virginia?
Unfortunately, motor vehicle collisions are one of the top causes of serious injuries in our region. According to data provided by the Virginia Highway Safety Office (VHSO), 131,848 accidents were reported in the Commonwealth in 2018 alone. Taken together, these crashes resulted in 66,523 injuries and 819 confirmed fatalities. Every community, no matter how big or small, is affected by car accidents. For reference, here are the local auto accident injury statistics for 2018:
- Virginia Beach: 6,399 crashes and 3,258 injuries.
- Norfolk: 4,181 crashes and 2,142 injuries.
- Newport News: 3,546 crashes and 2,074 injuries.
- Chesapeake: 2,549 crashes and 1.825 injuries.
- Suffolk: 1,768 crashed and 1,173 injuries.
- Hampton: 3,242 crashes and 2,735 injuries.
- Portsmouth: 1,360 crashes and 930 injuries.
- Poquoson: 89 crashes and 48 injuries.
- Williamsburg: 206 crashes and 133 injuries.
Four Steps to Take After a Traffic Collision
Car accident injuries should always be evaluated by a licensed physician. Many common injuries—from whiplash to concussions—occur with a delayed onset. You may not realize how severely you are injured for days or even weeks after a crash. Further, you will not be able to pursue compensation for your injuries or your pain and suffering unless you have seen a doctor.
Serious motor vehicle accidents should always be reported to the appropriate law enforcement agency. Under Virginia law, all car accidents that result in injuries must be reported. You will want to make sure that an officer is sent to help control the scene and document the crash—especially if your accident happened because of the negligence of another driver.
As much as you are capable of doing so, you should try to secure as much relevant evidence as possible at the scene of a wreck. As a starting point, this means exchanging information with everyone else who was involved in the crash. Among other things, you should get names, contact information, driver’s license numbers, vehicle make and model, license plates, and insurance information. Additionally, take pictures of the crash and try to get the contact information for any witnesses.
If you or your loved one suffered a significant injury in a collision, you should speak to an experienced Virginia car accident attorney before you provide any statement to an insurance company. Do not go up against the big insurance companies alone. Your lawyer will protect your rights and interests.
Statute of Limitations for Auto Accidents in Virginia
Under Virginia law (Code of Virginia § 8.01-243), a car accident lawsuit must be filed within two years of the date of the collision. Failure to take legal action before the statute of limitations runs out could result in your claim being time barred as a matter of law. Do not wait to take action after a crash. An experienced Virginia Beach, VA car accident lawyer will make sure that your rights are protected and your claim is submitted before all applicable deadlines.
How to Prove Car Accident Liability in Virginia
To hold another party—most often another driver—liable for your auto accident, you must prove they were “at fault” for the crash. In Virginia, car accident fault is based on negligence. Drivers have a responsibility to comply with state and local traffic regulations and they have a generalized duty to operate their vehicle in a reasonably safe manner. When recklessness, carelessness, or another type of unsafe conduct leads to a crash, a negligent driver can often be held liable for the resulting damages. Some of the most common examples of driver negligence include:
- Running red lights
- Running stop signs
- Unsafe lane changes
- Distracted driving
- Texting while driving
- Drunk driving
- Drugged driving
Virginia is one of the few states that still operates under a pure contributory negligence rule. As described by the Cornell Legal Information Institute, contributory negligence is a common law rule that prevents plaintiffs from recovering compensation if they are, even partially, responsible for their own injuries. It is a very harsh legal standard that sometimes makes the claims process challenging for injured victims.
To best protect your rights, it is imperative that you consult with an experienced Virginia auto accident lawyer as soon as possible after a collision. Your attorney will help you secure and organize all of the evidence that you will need to prove negligence and protect you against an unfair finding of fault.
What You Need to Know About ‘Add-On’ No Fault Coverage in Virginia
Virginia is sometimes referred to as a partial no-fault auto insurance state. Motorists in Virginia can purchase ‘add-on’ no fault insurance called Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. If you have a PIP policy, that is almost always the first place to turn after a car accident. In Virginia, injured victims can recover through their PIP policy regardless of who was at fault for a crash. This is why PIP coverage is known as ‘no fault’ coverage.
To be clear, most PIP coverage typically has relatively modest limits. If you or your loved one suffered a serious injury in a crash, you can step around your PIP coverage and file a personal injury claim directly against the at fault driver. Our Virginia Beach auto accident attorney can help you navigate the insurance claims process to ensure that you are able to best recover financial support.
Call Our Virginia Beach, VA Car Accident Lawyer Today
At Barney Injury Law, our Virginia auto accident attorney is committed to providing reliable, client-focused legal representation to victims. If you or someone you know was hurt in a crash, we are ready to help you recover the full and fair financial compensation that you rightfully deserve.
To schedule a free, no commitment initial consultation, please contact us today. With a law office in Virginia Beach, we represent injured victims throughout the Hampton Roads region, including in Norfolk, Hampton, Chesapeake, Newport News, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Williamsburg, and Poquoson.