Who Bears Liability for Virginia Car Accidents in Certain Scenarios?

Who Bears Liability for Virginia Car Accidents in Certain Scenarios?

Virginia is a great place to live, a great place to work, and a great vacation destination. It has everything anyone could want, including historical sites that stem from its position as one of the 13 original colonies. These historic attractions include Thomas Jefferson’s plantation, the Jamestown Settlement, and Colonial Williamsburg. These sites make Virginia a superb tourist destination.

Given the large number of tourists and residents who travel on our roads, Virginia has a lot of car accidents. With more than 100,000 car accidents annually resulting in more than 50,000 victims suffering injuries, victims must first establish fault for their accidents. You cannot collect compensation for your financial losses without first knowing who caused your accident and presenting evidence that establishes that fault.

Below, we discuss a few scenarios that commonly occur and an explanation of who bears liability in each scenario.

Scenario One:

When driving home from work, you see a yellow light ahead of you. You start slowing down, so you can stop safely when you get to the intersection. The driver behind you has just picked up a cell phone and does not see your brake lights. The distracted driver rear-ends you as you approach the red light. Who bears liability in this scenario?

You did everything right. You slowed down when you saw the yellow light, which indicated that the light would turn red when you got to the intersection. You stopped safely. Now, you’ve suffered an injury and must deal with time lost from work, a damaged vehicle, and unknown injuries.

Clearly, the driver behind you violated Virginia law by using a cell phone while operating a vehicle. As such, the distracted driver bears liability for the accident in which you suffered an injury. Distracted driving poses a danger for everyone who operates on Virginia roadways. Virginia car accident lawyers can help you recover financially by holding the at-fault driver accountable.

Scenario Two:

Imagine that you’re walking around the city taking in some of the historical sites. While focused on the beautiful weather, the breathtaking sites, and enjoying yourself, you approach a crosswalk. You check both ways, and you see cars at three intersections stopped and no vehicle in the fourth intersection. The pedestrian light signals that you can safely cross. You cross the street, and the next thing you know, a car strikes you in the intersection that you thought was empty.

As a pedestrian, you know that you must take certain safety measures to prevent yourself from getting hit by a car. You took the proper precautions by checking for traffic and ensuring that you had favorable lights. You never expected a car to approach the intersection and strike you. Now, you face an emergency room visit and feel uncertain about the extent of your injuries because you only know you only feel pain while lying on the ground.

In this case, the driver who struck you bears liability for the cost of your injuries. Drivers must safely approach intersections. According to Virginia law, pedestrians have the right of way in Virginia, and drivers who fail to yield the right of way can face substantial fines.

If you, unfortunately, become one of the more than 1,200 pedestrians injured in Virginia accidents, you may hold the responsible driver accountable for the injury you suffered through no fault of your own. The driver owed you a duty of care, breached the duty of care by running the red light, and suffered an injury due to the breach. A Virginia pedestrian accident lawyer can help you seek compensation for the injuries you suffered as well as other financial losses, including your lost wages during your recovery.

Scenario Three:

While out enjoying a beautiful day on your bicycle, you take the Mount Vernon Trail from Mount Vernon Estate to Theodore Roosevelt Island and begin to head homeward. You know that you’re riding in one of the most bike-friendly areas of Virginia, namely the City of Alexandria. You decide to head home before sundown.

While pedaling along in a bike lane, you take note of the heavy vehicle traffic around you, and you feel concerned about a driver weaving in and out of lanes. You continue along and suddenly, out of nowhere, you fall from your bike to the ground and lose consciousness.

Bystanders call law enforcement and EMS to the scene, and they take you to the hospital. The hospital admits you with head trauma, a broken leg, and a broken pelvis. After your hospital stay, you file a request for an accident report. What that report reveals scares you. The driver who struck your bike was under the influence of alcohol and speeding at the time of the accident.

Clearly, in this scenario, the driver who struck you bears liability for your injuries. You were operating your bike safely in the bicycle lane and you had a helmet on at the time. The driver now faces a DUI charge, and you face a long recovery time. Your doctor has informed you that it may take some time to determine the extent of the brain injury you suffered.

Currently, your doctors don’t know how long you will have to miss work. You should seek guidance from a Virginia bicycle accident lawyer to help you determine what legal options you have to hold the drunk driver financially liable for your injuries, your medical bills, and the damage to your bicycle.

Walter H Emroch
Car Accident Attorney, Retired Walter H Emroch

Above, we discuss three possible scenarios that could occur on Virginia roadways. We have nearly six million registered drivers and more than eight million registered vehicles. Unfortunately, scenarios just like this play out nearly every day.

If you have suffered an injury in a Virginia roadway accident, you should contact an experienced Virginia personal injury attorney to help you determine what steps you can take to ensure you do not suffer the financial hardships associated with being out of work when you sustained injuries in an accident that you played no role in causing.

Contact us today to discuss your case or call our office at (804) 358-1568.

William B. Kilduff


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