Auto accidents usually happen unexpectedly and without much warning. Depending upon the specific facts surrounding the collision, vehicle occupants can sustain serious and life-threatening injuries. When another party is at fault for your injuries or for the injuries of a loved one, it is extremely important to seek advice from a Virginia car accident lawyer about moving forward with a claim. Yet we know that going forward with a lawsuit can feel daunting. You should know that our team of experienced personal injury attorneys will be here for you every step of the way. In the meantime, the following are five things to know about auto accident lawsuits in Virginia.
- Multiple Parties May Be At Fault for Your Injuries
You should discuss the particular facts of your case with a car accident lawyer because it may be complicated to determine fault. In some cases, more than one party may be liable for your injuries. Generally speaking, the following are among the parties who are most commonly at fault for a motor vehicle collision:
- Driver of another vehicle;
- Truck driver;
- Owner of another vehicle involved in the collision (who may be different from the driver);
- Designer of the automobile or one of its parts;
- Manufacturer of the automobile or one of its parts; or
- Owner of the premises where the accident happened.
- You Should Gather As Much Evidence As You Can At the Scene of the Accident
You should always gather as much evidence as possible at the scene of the accident to support your case later on. If you are able to do so, be sure to take many photographs from varying perspectives, distances, and angles. You should also jot down any information about the collision that might be useful to your attorney. And be sure to obtain contact information from anyone who witnessed the accident.
- You Might Begin the Process of Seeking Compensation with an Auto Insurance Claim
Many people who ultimately file a car accident lawsuit will start the process of seeking compensation by filing an auto insurance claim. For most types of car crashes in which another driver is at fault, the injury victim can decide to file either a first-party claim through his or her own auto insurer, or a third-party claim through the at-fault driver’s auto insurer. Under Virginia’s auto insurance law, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit even if you are able to recover through an insurance claim due to insurance limits.
- You Only Have a Limited Time Window in Which to File Your Lawsuit
The statute of limitations in Virginia personal injury lawsuits means you only have a short time window in which to file your lawsuit. Under Virginia’s personal injury statute of limitations, most car accident lawsuits must be filed within two years from the date of the accident. Differently, if a loved one is killed in a collision, a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within two years from the date of death according to Virginia’s wrongful death statute of limitations.
- Contributory Negligence Can Bar You from Recovery
While you should be working with a car accident lawyer on your case under any circumstances, it is particularly critical to hire an auto accident attorney if you have any concerns that the at-fault party will try to raise the issue of contributory negligence. As a “pure contributory negligence” state, if you are even 1 percent at fault in Virginia as a plaintiff, you are entirely barred from recovery. You do not want this to happen to you.
Contact a Virginia Auto Accident Lawyer for Assistance
If you have questions or need assistance filing an auto accident claim, one of the aggressive Virginia car accident lawyers at our firm can speak with you today. We are here to answer your questions and to discuss your options for seeking financial compensation. Contact Dougherty Tobias Iszard, Northern Virginia Law, P.C. for more information.