Virginia Car Accident Lawyers
Nicknamed the Old Dominion, the Commonwealth of Virginia has both bustling cities and pretty small towns. It is home to several interstate highways as well as scenic roadways like the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Unfortunately, Virginia car accidents can happen anywhere. The modern pace of life means that drivers are often in a hurry, and they can forget basic road safety practices. Distractions abound, and it only takes a momentary glance at a smartphone or a glance at a passenger to create the conditions for a serious accident.
When you are in a car crash, insurance companies are not on your side. They want to minimize the amount that they must pay, so they will look for ways to keep their costs down. An experienced Virginia car accident attorney can seek a resolution that properly compensates you for your injuries.
At Emroch & Kilduff, our extensive experience with cases arising under Virginia’s automobile insurance and liability laws means that we understand the different sources for recovery available to car accident victims and their families. We have a comprehensive knowledge of the various theories of liability that let those victims collect from the parties who caused them harm.
If you have been injured in a Virginia car accident, you are likely far too aware of the resulting physical and emotional costs. Our staff members know how to properly calculate and document the associated monetary costs as well. Most importantly, we know how to present those facts effectively on your behalf in court or at the negotiating table. Our Virginia car accident lawyers at Emroch & Kilduff will provide forceful advocacy on your behalf.
Table of Contents
- Experience, Compassion, and Success
- Serving Communities Across the Commonwealth of Virginia
- Dealing With Auto Insurance Companies After a Virginia Car Accident
- Virginia Car Accident Statistics
- Virginia Car Accident FAQs
- What a Virginia Car Accident Attorney Can Do For You?
- Experienced Auto Collision Lawyers With Many Types of Auto Injury and Car Accident Cases
- Auto Accident Lawyers at Emroch & Kilduff
Experience, Compassion, and Success
The Virginia car accidents lawyers at Emroch & Kilduff have extensive experience in pursuing appropriate compensation for auto accident victims. Our legal team realizes the importance of giving our clients that best representation possible. We will hear your story and listen carefully to your needs.
Below are a few examples of some of the Virginia car accident cases we have handled.
- Truck Accident settles for $3.3 million
- Bicycle accident case settles for $1.3 million
- Automobile accident settles for $4.8 million
- Truck collision accident settles on the second day of trial for $9 million
- Accident Victim Receives $1.5 Million
- $1.75 Million Automobile Accident Settlement
NOTE: The recoveries in these cases do not necessarily indicate recoveries in similar cases in the future. Each case must be decided on its own facts and circumstances.
What Our Clients Say About Our Virginia Car Accident Lawyers
“Everyone I dealt with at the firm was kind and professional. Given the unfortunate circumstances that led to my acquaintance with E&K, I at least found the aftermath smooth. Thank you for making a terrible experience very much better! I am extremely grateful.”
“Everyone was very friendly and courteous. I was updated constantly on what was going on. My phone calls and questions were answered promptly. I dealt with two lawyers in the past ten years on different matters. Phone calls were never returned after one year into both cases. The lawyers contacted me and removed themselves from the cases, leaving me high and dry.”
Serving Communities Across the Commonwealth of Virginia
The law firm of Emroch & Kilduff has four conveniently located offices in Virginia. If your injuries are so severe that you cannot come to one of our offices, we will travel to you. Our team will do what it takes to get you on the road to recovery.
Our team is committed to fighting for those who have been injured by no fault of their own. We will not let your injury prevent you from receiving the compensation you deserve. If you have been a victim of a Virginia car accident, request a free consultation by calling us at (804) 358-1568.
Dealing With Auto Insurance Companies After a Virginia Car Accident
In many car accidents, there is often a dispute as to who is at fault. There are two common misconceptions about car accident victims and insurance companies. First, many people assume that those injured in a car accident do not need representation from an automotive accident attorney. Second, accident victims should get details from insurance companies before contacting an attorney.
There is one important fact to understand about insurance companies—they are quick to process claims and will attempt to do so for as little cost as possible. Without the help of an experienced Virginia car accident attorney, your needs may get pushed aside as the insurance company tries to rush through the process. Your lawyer will force the company to apply the brakes and do a thorough job.
Our experienced auto crash lawyers will help you communicate with the insurance company. These companies may seem like they are trying to be helpful during your stressful situation, but they could actually be collecting information that they can use to pay you less compensation than you deserve. The insurance company could use a few words out of context to make it look like you are accepting responsibility for the accident.
Due to the intricacies of most accidents, it is critical to consult with an attorney, and seeking legal representation can usually result in better compensation.
Virginia Car Accident Statistics
Virginia Car Accident FAQs
On average, 6 million car accidents take place in the country each year. In a recent year, there were 827 traffic fatalities in Virginia alone. These numbers may just seem like interesting and random statistics until you or someone you love becomes part of the accident count.
What are some common driving risks?
Car accidents happen for many reasons. To reduce your risk of being involved in one, you want to avoid these circumstances:
- Speeding: According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, speed is one of the most common factors in accidents in the state. In a recent year, speeding killed 349 people, accounting for more than a third of all traffic fatalities. Some crashes result from breaking the speed limit. Other drivers go too fast in hazardous road conditions.
- Distracted driving: About 20 percent of Virginia traffic accidents each year in Virginia and around the country are related to in-vehicle distractions. Whenever you eat, change the settings on the stereo, entertainment, or navigation system or do anything else that diverts your attention from driving, you are taking a huge risk. Texting while driving is especially dangerous. A driver who is texting is 23 times as likely to crash as a driver who is not.
- Driving while impaired: Alcohol is a major factor in traffic accidents. There was an alcohol-impaired traffic fatality every 50 minutes during a recent year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drunk drivers kill 30 people in accidents on a typical day. Virginia has strict laws and penalties governing impaired driving.
- Tailgating and aggressive driving: There are many aggressive drivers on the roads. They follow too closely, change lanes unpredictably, or otherwise drive recklessly. The NHTSA found that more than half of the drivers in a survey admitted to driving aggressively on occasion.
- Failure to yield: This type of accident stems from a variety of situations. When a driver makes a left turn in front of oncoming traffic, fails to yield at a flashing red light, or enters the street quickly from a private driveway, it sets up a dangerous situation. Often the victim collides with the car that failed to yield.
- Drowsy driving: Everyone is under pressure to work harder and do more in a day, so driver fatigue is common. Approximately 7.5 million drivers in the country admit to falling asleep at the wheel within the past month. A fatigued driver may experience the same level of cognitive impairment as someone impaired by drinking or drugs. Fatigued drivers often do not try to stop or avoid the accident, leading to more serious injuries.
- Vehicle defects: Do everything possible to make sure your vehicle is safe. Research a vehicle’s safety record before you buy it and follow the recommended maintenance program. As motor vehicles become more sophisticated and technologically advanced, there are more chances for safety defects and recalls. If a defective vehicle or component caused an accident, the manufacturer and others in the chain of distribution might be legally liable.
What types of injuries do victims suffer in Virginia car accidents?
Common types of car accident injuries include:
- Back and neck injuries: These range from mild neck pain to severe spinal cord injuries that result in paralysis. Serious back and neck injuries can result in long-term disability.
- Head injuries: Brain trauma also ranges from mild to severe. Head injuries or traumatic brain injuries may not be immediately apparent, but they can be devastating and often require long-term care. Watch out for symptoms such as headaches, nausea, cognitive impairment, and loss of motor functions.
- Internal injuries: Car accident victims may suffer from blunt force trauma to vital organs. Internal bleeding is dangerous and difficult to treat.
- Rib and torso injuries: The rib cage protects our vital organs. Therefore, injuries to the ribs and torso can be dangerous.
- Lacerations and burns: Lacerations and burns from motor vehicle accidents can be very painful. They may also leave the victim with disfiguring scars.
- Broken bones: Arms and legs are particularly vulnerable in a car crash. Broken bones may require long-term treatment or surgery.
- Seat belt injuries: Everyone knows that seat belts save lives. However, while saving your life, the restraining power of the belt combined with the acceleration of the accident can cause injuries, such as broken ribs, a broken sternum, or soft tissue injuries to the shoulders and abdomen.
- Wrongful death: The family or heirs of someone killed in an accident might be eligible for compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit.
What are the costs of treatment for Virginia car accident accident injuries?
Your out-of-pocket costs will depend on the type of health coverage you have. However, the more extensive the injuries, the more expensive it will be to treat them. The costs of serious injuries will add up quickly. An ambulance ride to the hospital can cost as much as $2,000 depending on where your accident took place. The average emergency room visit is about $1,400 just to be seen by medical professionals. A broken leg, a very common automobile accident injury, costs around $2,500 for the basic treatment alone. You can see how the costs of extensive injuries could add up quickly.
Of course, in addition to the initial medical expenses, you must also factor in the various costs of recovery. Working with a physical therapist can run anywhere from $50 to $150 per session, and many people need to see a therapist a few times a week. A traumatic brain injury can incur a lifetime treatment cost ranging from $85,000 to the millions, while the average costs for treating a spine injury that reduces motor function is around $218,504 for just the first year.
One of the advantages of working with the experienced attorneys at Emroch & Kilduff is our knowledge and experience with Virginia automobile accidents. Our staff usually has a better sense of the long-term costs of car accident injuries than our clients. After working through many successful cases, we know what amount is appropriate and how to pursue it effectively.
What factors determine the severity of automobile accident injuries in Virginia?
The severity of injuries sustained in a Virginia car crash depends on many factors. Two vehicles moving at high speed will hit one another with a great amount of force. This force is enough to do serious damage to your body. Even with the safety devices that are standard in modern vehicles, a full-speed collision can result in broken bones, internal injuries, and even death.
The angle of impact is an important factor. If another car hits you from behind, it does not need to be traveling at a great speed to cause whiplash and strained muscles. A minor fender bender can cause neck and back injuries that may require extensive medical care and treatment as well as long-term physical therapy.
One of the tasks of automotive accident lawyers is working with experts who understand the physics of collisions and how they affect the body. At Emroch & Kilduff, we have a network of specialists who can analyze the accident data and use it to determine who was at fault for the incident. Having expert testimony is critical in presenting a well-crafted case.
What is negligence?
If someone’s negligence caused your accident and your resulting injuries, you might be able to recover compensation under Virginia law. The definition of negligence is “a failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances.“ If you are filing a car accident lawsuit based on the negligence of another driver, you need to establish the existence of a legal duty that the defendant owed you, the defendant’s breach of that duty, proof that you suffered an injury, and proof that the defendant’s breach was the cause.
What compensation might a Virginia car accident victim recover?
If you have been injured in a car accident, you have probably incurred catastrophic personal and financial losses. Damages vary widely but may include reimbursement for medical care, lost wages, loss of future income, pain and suffering, emotional trauma, and the loss of the quality of your life.
How can I help prevent Virginia car accidents?
Defensive driving can help you avoid crashes. Here are some steps that you can take in that regard:
- Watch out for blind spots: These are the spots on either side of your car where a vehicle right next to you is difficult or impossible to see. Remember that other drivers also have these blind spots, especially if you are passing them or are right next to them. Always looking over your shoulder before switching lanes helps you to avoid blind spot accidents.
- Scan the road: You need to be aware of more than just the car in front of you. Scanning the road will give you time to react to sudden changes in traffic or upcoming dangers.
- Come up with a plan: If you do notice a potential hazard on the road ahead, actively come up with a plan to safely avoid it, whether that involves slowing down and switching lanes or pulling over to the side of the road.
- Keep an adequate distance: When driving behind another car, make sure you leave enough space between your vehicle and theirs to increase the amount of reaction time you have. Generally, you should leave 3 seconds of driving time between their vehicle and your own, and you should increase the distance in poor weather conditions or more hazardous areas.
- Avoid fast lanes: If you drive in the middle or right lane as much as possible, you will have more options to move into other lanes and escape serious collisions.
- Keep both hands on the wheel: People often drive with one hand on the wheel or both hands on the bottom of the steering wheel. However, you will have the best control if you are driving with your hands at the 9 and 3 o’clock positions.
- Be aware of other drivers: We have all seen drivers swerving in and out of lanes or being distracted while behind the wheel. When you are uncomfortable with someone else’s driving, either stay back or try to get out of harm’s way.
Do I have to notify the police after a car accident in Virginia?
Whether you are required to notify the police following a car accident depends on the specific circumstances of the accident. If anyone involved in the accident has died or suffered injuries, Virginia law requires that those involved immediately report the accident. The failure to do so can result in a Class 4 misdemeanor charge.
When car accidents are severe, reporting is typically not an issue. You, the other driver, or a passerby or witness may have called 911. The call summons law enforcement and emergency response teams to the scene of the accident. If the police arrive at the accident scene, they will compile a formal accident report, and you will not be required to report the accident yourself. If you were in an accident, especially one you believe was not your fault, report it regardless of the nature of your injuries. The record and formal report of your accident can be valuable evidence to support an insurance claim or lawsuit.
I am only a little sore. Do I have to go to the doctor?
If you refused medical treatment at the scene of the accident and went home, you should still seek a medical evaluation as soon as you can. Some common car accident injuries do not immediately exhibit symptoms and may only be apparent days or weeks after the crash. If you fail to receive a proper diagnosis, you cannot receive the treatment for your injuries that will lead to a full recovery. In some cases, failing to seek treatment right away can cause additional injury.
Of course, your health and well-being should be your top priority. However, pursuing an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit will require clear documentation of your injuries. Oftentimes, at-fault parties will attempt to argue that a victim’s injuries were not the result of the accident but rather that the injuries were preexisting. An evaluation by a medical professional soon after an accident can help support your claim that the injuries resulted from the accident.
I did not cause the car accident. Do I have to file an insurance claim in Virginia?
Virginia is an “at fault” insurance state, meaning that the party who causes a car accident has financial responsibility for damages. Even if you did not cause the accident, you should still file a claim with your carrier. In most cases, insurance policies require the holder to report damage when their coverage will apply to the accident. Failure to report can have negative consequences for your claim. Your claim may be denied, and the insurance company may reject your policy’s renewal or cancel your policy completely. Be sure to read the specific terms of your policy to determine whether you have a duty to report the accident to your insurance provider. Your car accident lawyer will help you do this.
If your vehicle needs replacement or repairs, you may have to wait for the other driver’s insurance company to accept liability. In some cases, insurance companies may refuse to accept responsibility for your claim. When providers refuse to negotiate a fair settlement, injured parties may have to file a lawsuit to seek compensation for property damage. If a lawsuit is necessary, you may have to wait to secure compensation for your damaged vehicle, but you may recover more money through the legal process.
When you file a claim under your own collision coverage, your carrier may approve the repair or replacement of your vehicle. Typically, your insurance company will cover the costs upfront and subsequently seek reimbursement from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Again, your Virginia car accident lawyer will help you through this process.
Finally, even though you believe the other person caused the accident, he or she can always claim that you were at fault. If you immediately report the accident to your insurance carrier and call a Virginia car accident lawyer, they can defend you against the other driver’s attempts to discredit your claim.
An uninsured driver struck my car. Now what?
Uninsured drivers who cause damage to other vehicles can leave injured parties in a difficult financial situation. Virginia law does not require drivers to carry uninsured motorist (UM) insurance. However, if the policy you chose includes UM coverage, it will provide compensation for accident-related damages within the limits of your policy coverage. If your policy does not include UM coverage, you may have to pursue damages outside of the insurance claims system.
Either you will be responsible for the costs of damages, or you may file a personal injury claim against the uninsured driver to seek compensation. An experienced car accident attorney can help injured victims fully understand their legal rights and options for moving forward.
Should I accept a settlement offer?
Consult a Virginia car accident attorney before accepting any settlement offers from the other driver’s insurance company following an accident. Insurance representatives are quick to offer an inadequate settlement when they believe they are likely to be fully liable for accident damages. When insurance companies know they are responsible for a claim, they may try to entice injured victims with quick cash to limit the extent of their financial exposure. They know that accident victims are in a vulnerable state and may see the settlement as an act of kindness.
Almost every settlement offer includes a waiver of the injured party’s right to seek additional compensation. Accepting a settlement will bar you from recovering additional funds even if the settlement amount is insufficient to cover the costs you incurred. While the initial offer may seem appropriate at first glance, our experienced auto crash lawyers can give you a better sense of how much compensation you deserve based on our work with previous clients.
Will my Virginia car accident case go to trial?
When you retain the competent automobile accident attorneys at Emroch & Kilduff, the insurance company knows that you mean business. Some of our most successful cases have been settled with minimal time in court. This is a different situation than the settlement amount an insurance company might have offered at the beginning of the process. Your lawyer would only advise to accept compensation that is appropriate and fair.
Insurance companies want to avoid the courtroom. For one thing, going to court is an expensive proposition for them. They will have to spend a great deal of money on their legal team, and there is the potential for a large payout if they lose the case.
The insurance company also wants to avoid the bad publicity of a trial. The public will not trust a company that does not meet its obligations. A public trial is bad for the insurance company’s bottom line.
Privacy is another aspect of publicity for the insurance company. The settlement negotiation process is a much quieter affair than a public trial. In some cases, the parties agree not to disclose the awarded amount. This can protect the insurance company from frivolous lawsuits in the future.
After advocating for our clients through many cases, the car crash lawyers at Emroch & Kilduff know how to work with insurance companies and speak their language. We know that they often do not want to go trial, and we can leverage that knowledge into a successful settlement offer for our client.
How much is a Virginia car accident claim worth?
The amount of your claim depends on your particular circumstances. Every accident is different, and the recovery time for injuries varies from person to person. The negligent motorist who is responsible for an injury may have to pay the injured person for such things as:
- Medical care and related expenses
- Income lost because of the accident, as well as because of the time that the victim was unable to work or was undergoing treatment for injuries
- Permanent physical disability or disfigurement
- Loss of family, social and educational experiences, including missed school or training, vacation or recreation, or a special event
- Emotional damages, such as stress, embarrassment, depression or strains on family relationships
Also, the following guidelines usually apply:
- The more painful the injury, the higher the potential damages you may recover.
- The more invasive and long-lasting the medical treatment, the higher the potential damages you may recover.
- The longer the recovery period, the higher the potential damages you may recover.
- The more serious and visible any permanent effect of the injury, the higher the potential damages you may recover.
An attorney experienced in auto accident cases can be more objective about your case than you. We can keep you from making a rash decision. When you may be tempted to accept a quick payout, your attorney may counsel you that it is in your best interest to wait for a more appropriate offer.
Should I hire an attorney after a Virginia car accident?
Yes. Competent car accident law firms such as Emroch & Kilduff often offer a free consultation and case evaluation for Virginia car accident cases. A consultation will allow an attorney to determine whether the firm is equipped to handle your situation. In severe accidents involving serious and catastrophic injuries, experienced car accident lawyers can provide invaluable advice throughout the claims process. In addition to handling the complex details of your case, when appropriate, an attorney may investigate the accident, gather documents and evidence and handle negotiations with insurance companies. Meanwhile, you will be able to focus your full attention on your recovery and rehabilitation.
What a Virginia Car Accident Attorney Can Do For You?
Even car accidents that seem simple can have complicated legal issues. You need to be aware that Virginia, like all states, has time limits for filing lawsuits called the statute of limitations. Therefore, if you or a loved one were injured in a car accident, speak with a lawyer at Emroch & Kilduff as soon as possible after the accident.
People who have been injured often feel overwhelmed by the legal process. They do not know their legal rights, nor do they know how to move their cases forward. You do not need to face a large insurance company on your own. Our experienced, dedicated attorneys at Emroch & Kilduff will evaluate your claim and fight for the compensation you deserve. For further information or to request a free consultation, drop by one of our Virginia offices or call us at (804) 358-1568.
Experienced Auto Collision Lawyers With Many Types of Auto Injury and Car Accident Cases
The attorneys at Emroch & Kilduff consider many unique factors in each case.
Here are a few types of motor vehicle injury claims that we have handled:
- Injuries Resulting from Texting While Driving
- Bus Accidents
- Truck Accidents
- Bicycle Accidents
Serious car accidents, truck collisions, tractor-trailer, and motorcycle accidents require the guidance of an experienced attorney. Fortunately, our auto accident law firm has many years of practice in this area of the law and a record of successful representation of people who have suffered significant injuries.
We will investigate your accident and aggressively seek appropriate compensation from all responsible parties. Our attorneys and staff work with physicians and other health care providers to assess and review all the short- and long-term medical aspects of each automobile accident case that we handle.
Auto Accident Lawyers at Emroch & Kilduff
As the victim of a Virginia car accident, you need to seek representation from an experienced Virginia car accident lawyer at Emroch & Kilduff. Otherwise, representatives from insurance companies may take advantage of your lack of knowledge of Virginia’s stringent laws. You may be entitled to more compensation than you expect.
If you were injured in a car accident in Virginia, you deserve to know your rights. Do not hesitate to give us a call at (804) 358-1568, or visit one of our offices in Virginia to schedule a free consultation with no obligation.
“Emroch & Kilduff was a great company to help me in my time of need. The staff was very kind and professional. They kept me very informative on everything and were very pleasing and easy to work with. Everyone was very friendly and knew all their information. Definitely would recommend and go back to them for help again. Thank you Emroch & Kilduff for all your time and help.”
Rating: 5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
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