Car accidents are among the top cause of serious injuries in Virginia. According to data collected and published by the Virginia Highway Safety Office (VHSO), 3,416 people were hurt in crashes in Virginia Beach alone in 2017. Every community is affected by traffic collisions—from small towns to large cities.
Following a serious accident, you need to know how to protect your rights. Unfortunately, there are many myths and misconceptions about auto accidents. We want to make sure that you have the resources and information you need to maximize your financial recovery. Here, Scott Barney of Barney Injury Law, our Virginia Beach car accident lawyer clears up three common misconceptions about auto accident claims in Virginia.
Dispelling Three Common Car Accident Injury Myths in Virginia
The Crash Is Not My Fault, So the Other Driver Will Simply Pay for Everything
The reality is far more complicated. To start, it depends on the type of insurance carried by both parties. In Virginia, some auto accident injury claims are ‘no-fault’ cases. Additionally, while you can certainly hold negligent drivers liable for a serious accident, obtaining a full and fair settlement offer is rarely easy.
You need to build a strong and well-organized case that is backed by comprehensive supporting evidence. It is also important to note that Virginia is a contributory negligence jurisdiction. If you are found even partially liable for your own accident, you may be deemed ineligible to bring a claim against another party.
You Can Rely on an Insurance Company to Help You
False. Insurance companies—even if you are dealing with your own insurer—are simply not on your side. An insurance company is primarily concerned with its own bottom line, not what is in your best interests. After a major auto accident, you should never rely on one of the insurance company’s representatives for guidance. The big insurers put a lot of money into training their adjusters to serve the company—they want to find information that they can use against you to limit the value of your claim. If you or your loved one was seriously hurt in a crash, you should work with the insurance company through an experienced attorney.
If My Injuries Developed Later, I Am Out of Luck
Not true. Many car accident injuries occur with a delayed onset. Although it is important to seek professional medical attention as early as possible after a wreck, you are not prevented from bringing a claim simply because your injuries developed weeks (or longer) after a car accident. If you developed a late onset injury, you need to see a doctor and reach out to a lawyer.
Under Virginia law (Code of Virginia § 8.01-243), auto accident injury cases are regulated by a two year statute of limitations. You must take action before this deadline expires. The best step you can take to protect your rights is to consult with a top-rated attorney immediately after a crash. Still, if you are within two years of the accident, do not assume that you are prevented from bringing a claim. The statute of limitations has not yet run out.
Contact Our Hampton Roads Auto Accident Attorney for Immediate Assistance
At Barney Injury Law, our Virginia car accident lawyer is an aggressive, experienced advocate for injured victims. Our team is here to walk you through the claims process. If you were hurt in a crash, we will help you maximize your financial recovery. For a no cost, no obligation case evaluation, please contact us today. From our office in Virginia Beach, we serve communities throughout Hampton Roads, including in Newport News, Suffolk, Portsmouth, and Chesapeake.