In Virginia, the current motor vehicle death rate is 6.8 people per 100,000, and car accidents in the state cause about $1 billion in losses each year. In total, Virginia accounts for a little over two percent of all motor vehicle accident losses in America. The roads grow even more dangerous because large trucks that pass through the state are involved in crashes every year. Large truck accidents account for 13 percent of all accidents in Virginia, and about 2,500 people die in drunk driving accidents every year.
A driver could be involved in one of these crashes at any time and might need help recovering compensation for their injuries or losses. Reach out to our car accident lawyers in Virginia Beach when you have been hurt or lost someone in a car accident. We work diligently to help our clients obtain the compensation they deserve.
Why Do Accidents Occur?
Hampton Roads can be a dangerous place to drive, and Virginia Beach also presents unique challenges to even the safest drivers. Tourist activity, narrow bridges and tunnels, and population density contribute to all types of accidents in this resort area.
The most common factors of car accidents involve:
Distracted Driving: Distracted drivers on their cell phones or talking to other passengers cannot keep their eyes on the road. This becomes a major problem when drivers are on the narrow bridges or in tunnels. Distracted driving also includes anyone who is trying to follow a map when they do not know where they are going. Use voice commands on your phone or use the satellite navigation system to keep your eyes on the road.
Aggressive Driving: Heavy traffic during peak tourist season causes congestion that will result in more accidents, and tourists often do not know where they will turn next. Local drivers must be aware of tourists who do not know where they are going. Using aggressive driving tactics is dangerous and also causes catastrophic accidents.
Speeding: Heavy rains in the spring and summer, along with heavy winds, can cause conditions that are not safe for fast driving. Experienced drivers may believe that they can drive in these conditions without a problem. However, all drivers should exercise caution during all weather conditions.
Drunk Driving: Tourists in the area like to party and drunk driving can cause serious crashes at any time of day. If you had too much to drink, and you need a ride home, call a ridesharing service. Designating someone in your group who is responsible for driving everyone home that day is also recommended.
What Should I Do After an Accident?
When involved in a car accident, there are certain steps to take to recover from the accident, to receive help, and to collect information at the scene.
Try to complete the following tasks:
- Call 911, get out of the roadway, and check on people at the scene. Move to the side of the road or median as quickly as possible.
- Take pictures and video of the accident scene that show how the accident scene looks and the prevailing weather conditions. The police are not obligated to take pictures when they generate the accident report.
- Get the name and badge number of the responding officer. Your attorney may need to speak to them to gather more information.
- Gather eyewitness statements to learn how the accident happened and ask for their contact information so your attorney can reach these witnesses.
- Seek immediate medical attention. Without proper medical attention, the guilty parties might claim that you were not hurt during the accident.
- Contact a car accident lawyer immediately for a free consultation.
How Will My Case Be Litigated?
Virginia uses the contributory negligence rule, which states that the victim cannot recover any damages from an accident or be paid by the other motorist’s insurance company if they were at all responsible for the accident.
Proving negligence can be difficult in any car accident, and there are a few things to remember:
- Do not admit to anything. By explaining what happened, the other driver might take this as an admission of guilt.
- Do not apologize. This may seem like the nice thing to do, but courtesy could be used against you. Do not apologize to the other drivers or the police because they may construe this as an admission of guilt.
- Do not give your insurance company a verbal statement. The insurance company will try to use anything you say to deny coverage. Do not file a claim until speaking to a car accident lawyer.
How Will a Personal Injury Lawyer Help After My Car Accident?
Unfortunately, even the safest driver can still be hit by someone driving negligently. That is why we work to help injured people get their lives back on track after an accident. The aftermath of a crash can be incredibly difficult. Some accident victims miss work and are burdened with significant expenses after an ambulance transports them or they visit the emergency room or doctor’s office. In an ideal world, insurance companies would voluntarily compensate accident victims adequately, but that almost never happens. In the real world, accident victims need help. This is especially true when the injuries include a traumatic brain injury.
When you meet with your attorney for the first time, provide all the information you have about the case. Your attorney will investigate the matter to ensure your case has merit, and you may proceed from there. We will fight both the other driver’s insurance company and your insurance carrier for coverage. Complaining to your insurance carrier, the guilty driver’s insurance company, or the guilty driver’s lawyer will not help. In fact, anything you say could be used to show that you were partly at-fault for the accident. Forward all communications to our office for a response.
Can I File a Wrongful Death Claim?
If you lost a loved one in a car accident, follow these steps before filing a wrongful death lawsuit:
- A surviving child, spouse, or parent of the deceased may file a wrongful death lawsuit if one exists.
- If there are no surviving immediate family members, the surviving grandparents or extended family members may file the wrongful death claim.
- If no such relatives exist, the next person in line to inherit the estate may file the claim.
If extended family members are not available, a representative of the estate may file a wrongful death claim. The statute of limitations allows two years from the date of death to file a claim, and that is why it is vital to reach out to a car accident lawyer as soon as possible to avoid any delays.
Our Virginia Beach Car Accident Lawyers Help Victims with Personal Injury Claims
If you were injured in a car wreck, our Virginia Beach car accident lawyers can help. At East Coast Trial Lawyers, we will review your claim and obtain the compensation you rightfully deserve. For a free consultation, call us at 757-352-2237 or contact us online today. Located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, we serve clients throughout Chesapeake, Eastern Shores, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Suffolk, as well as North Carolina and nationwide.