If you have been involved in a car accident, it is important to find an esteemed auto accident lawyer Tysons VA is proud to have fighting for its community. The personal injury lawyers at Cohen & Cohen have collected millions of dollars on the behalf of our clients. Our experienced legal team want to help you navigate the complexities of automobile accident cases to ensure you are rightfully compensated for your injuries. A capable auto accident lawyer Tysons VA drivers rely on may be able guide you through each step of the legal process help unpack the complex issues at hand.
Because car accidents often involve multiple parties, it may be difficult to determine who is at fault and should pay for the damages that resulted. It is helpful to understand Virginia’s car insurance laws, because they come into play after a car accident and determine how much each person involved in the collision is required to receive or pay in damages in the state. Anyone involved in a car accident may have several options when it comes to seeking compensation for their injuries:
- File an insurance claim with his or her insurance company
- File a third party insurance claim with the other driver’s insurance company
- Take the case to court, especially if fault is unclear or a settlement negotiation was unsuccessful
Claims vs. Lawsuits
There are key distinctions between a personal injury claim and a personal injury lawsuit, so it may be important to consult an auto accident lawyer Tysons VA residents depend upon to determine which option works best for them.
- Personal Injury Claims. A personal injury claim is between the at-fault driver’s insurance company and the other driver. This process involves a series of negotiations with an insurance company’s claims adjuster. Ideally, these negotiations end in a settlement that satisfies both parties.
- Personal Injury Lawsuits. When a negotiation cannot be reached, a personal injury lawsuit is filed. Failure to settle a negotiation can occur for a number of reasons, including a disagreement over fault, the severity of the injuries or the amount that is demanded.
What are Virginia’s insurance requirements?
An experienced auto accident lawyer Tysons VA drivers count on may be able to help you handle stubborn insurance companies and their claims adjusters. Virginia does not require vehicle owners to purchase car insurance, so long as they pay a $500 uninsured motor vehicle fee to the Department of Motor Vehicles. This fee does not constitute any sort insurance coverage – it is simply the price drivers must pay if they wish to operate an uninsured vehicle. For insured vehicles, Virginia imposes the following minimums:
- $25,000 per person for bodily injury,
- $50,000 per accident for bodily injury if more than one person is hurt,
- $20,000 per accident for property damage
Choosing to forego car insurance can be extremely risky, as these drivers may be on the hook for thousands of dollars if they are found liable in a car accident.
Who pays the damages?
If the other driver is at fault for the accident, an auto accident lawyer Tysons VA residents respect may familiarize you with the scenarios involved in damage payment. These scenarios can include:
- The driver who caused the accident has insurance, but you do not
- The driver who caused the accident is uninsured, but you have insurance
- Neither you nor the driver who caused the accident has insurance
- Both you and the driver who caused the accident have insurance
These factors affect who pays damages and how much they pay. Because there is the potential of two insurance companies being involved, it is important to consult an auto accident lawyer Tysons VA drivers can rely on to advocate on their behalf.
What not to do:
An experienced auto accident lawyer in Tysons VA would likely advise car accident victims to avoid the following mistakes:
- Failing to contact their insurance company immediately following the accident
- Speaking with the other driver’s insurance company without first seeking legal representation
- Not getting the appropriate medical treatment
- Failing to follow up with medical treatment orders
- Not consulting a Tysons VA auto accident lawyer as soon as possible
What might I be entitled to recover?
Most of the damages awarded in personal injury cases are classified as “compensatory,” or intended to compensate the plaintiff for the injury (or injuries) that resulted from the defendant’s carelessness. The most common compensatory damages include:
- Medical treatment
- Property loss
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment
- Loss of consortium
How do insurance companies calculate damages?
When determining compensation, it is easy to add up the cost of medical bills, but it becomes difficult to put a value on “emotional distress” or “loss of enjoyment.” Regardless, insurance companies are required to calculate values for these damages, which is generally determined by their “damages formula.” At the beginning of the legal negotiations, an insurance claims adjuster adds up the “medical special damages,” or the total medical cost of the related injuries. This base value, commonly referred to as “specials,” is used to calculate how much to pay the injured party in “general,” or non-monetary, damages. When the injuries are minor, an adjuster may multiply the specials value by 1.5 or 2; when the injuries are major, the specials can be multiplied by a factor of up to 5, or even 10 in extremely severe cases.
Contact Us Today
Turn to Cohen & Cohen for an auto accident lawyer Tysons VA residents deserve. Regardless of the severity of your injuries, or whether you believe you will or will not be awarded damages, it is important to consult a legal professional. For more information, contact our Virginia office at (703) 548-4529. If you have been involved in a car accident, turn to Cohen & Cohen for a top auto accident lawyer Tysons VA drivers can trust.