ClickCease Is Virginia a No-Fault State for Car Accidents?

Is Virginia a No-Fault State for Car Accidents?

Virginia Is an ‘At-Fault' Car Accident State

Virginia is an at-fault state, which means the driver who caused the car crash bears the financial responsibility for compensating the injured party. This differs from a no-fault system, in which car accident victims file claims with their insurance company, regardless of who was at fault for the accident.

If you were injured in a car accident and are wondering how Virginia’s at-fault system will affect your claim, call the Regan Zambri Long, Virginia, car accident lawyers. We will answer your questions and pursue compensation for your medical expenses and lost income.

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Virginia Is An ‘At-Fault’ Car Accident State

Filing a car accident claim in an at-fault state can be tricky. To help you better understand your claim, we’ll break down Virginia’s insurance requirements and your options for recovering compensation after an accident.

Currently, Virginia’s minimum requirements for car insurance are:

  • $30,000 liability coverage for bodily injury or death of one person.
  • $60,000 liability coverage for bodily injury or death of more than one person.
  • $20,000 liability coverage for property damage per accident.

Is Virginia a No-Fault State for Car Accidents?

Those minimum requirements will increase to $50,000/$100,000/$25,000 on January 1, 2025.

Now that we know the state requirements let’s look into Virginia’s Uninsured Motor Vehicle Fee. This is a $500 fee drivers can pay if they do not wish to carry liability insurance. You read that correctly – Virginia legally permits motorists to drive without car insurance. While this can leave the person who suffered injuries scrambling for compensation, there are options for financial recovery:

  • The at-fault driver’s insurance company: If the other driver has auto insurance coverage, you will file a claim against his or her insurance company.
  • Your insurance: If the other driver does not have coverage, you can file a claim with your insurance company if you carry personal injury protection or UM/UIM insurance coverage.
  • Personal injury claim: You can file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver, whether or not he has insurance coverage.

The Regan Zambri Long car accident attorneys take a comprehensive approach, considering your insurance coverage, the coverage of the at-fault driver, and all available legal options to ensure you receive the settlement you deserve.

What Is Pure Contributory Negligence?

The principle of pure contributory negligence is practiced in only a handful of jurisdictions across the United States, including Virginia. In an at-fault state, this legal principle plays a huge role in personal injury cases, so it’s important to understand how it works.

Pure contributory negligence states that if the accident victim is even slightly responsible for the accident and the injuries caused, he or she is barred from recovering damages. It doesn’t matter if the other driver is more at fault—if you share some blame, you cannot collect compensation.

For example, let’s say your car accident resulted in serious injuries. The other driver ran a stop sign, t-boned your car, and caused several broken bones that required surgery. However, during the investigations, it was discovered that you were also speeding during the accident. The defense attorney will argue that your negligence contributed to the accident and, therefore, you should not be able to recover damages.

Of course, defense attorneys quickly invoke the contributory negligence rule to get their clients off the hook easily. Your attorney will need to build a rock-solid case proving you were not at fault for the accident.

How important is my car accident report?

A car accident report is vital for a successful claim for three reasons:

  • Detailed Information: The police report serves as the main document containing crucial details like the types of vehicles involved, the location of the car crash, drivers’ contact information, insurance providers, and even license plate numbers. This information is essential for filing claims with your insurance and the at-fault driver’s company.
  • Legal Requirement: According to Virginia law, a police report is required for a car crash that resulted in injury, death, or property damage exceeding $1500. Failing to report the accident could mean you violate the law.
  • Liability evidence: Beyond details of the car accident, the police report will note the type of collision (t-bone, head-on, etc.), the weather and road conditions, visibility at the time of impact, estimated speeds, and any citations issued when the accident occurred. This information can help you prove liability in your personal injury claim.

How to Prove Complete Liability

Car accident claims in Virginia rely on the legal concept of negligence, which rests on four pillars: duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and damages. To establish complete liability, you must demonstrate how the driver’s behavior satisfied each of these elements:

  • Duty: The at-fault driver had a duty to you and other drivers on the road to operate his or her vehicle as safely as possible while traveling.
  • Breach of duty: The driver breached their duty by engaging in distracted driving, driving under the influence, speeding, drowsy driving, tailgating, etc.
  • Causation: Your injuries were the direct result of the accident.
  • Damages: You incurred financial and emotional damages due to the accident.

How can I prove the other driver caused my accident?

Proving the other driver’s complete liability requires a thorough investigation. The Regan Zambri Long law firm will utilize the police report and witness statements to investigate your accident independently.

We will partner with medical consultants, pour over traffic camera footage, and hire an accident reconstruction expert to analyze the crash. We will explore cell phone records to investigate distracted driving or even blood tests to demonstrate driving under the influence.

Building a strong case with this evidence significantly increases your chances of proving the other driver’s complete liability in the crash and maximizing your settlement.

If I can prove my liability, what losses can I recover?

You can recover three damages from a car accident claim: economic, non-economic, and punitive.

  • Economic damages are tangible losses that include medical bills, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, property damage, and funeral and burial costs if the car accident resulted in death.
  • Noneconomic damages are intangible and, therefore, more difficult to prove. They include pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of quality of life, and loss of companionship.
  • Punitive damages are rare in car accident cases. These are additional damages to punish the defendant for gross negligence or intentional conduct.

Is Virginia a No-Fault State for Car Accidents?What if the Accident Was Partly My Fault?

In a pure contributory negligence state, a partially your-fault accident makes it difficult to recover compensation. This is where you will need an experienced personal injury lawyer who will help maximize your damages. Speak to a Regan Zambri Long car accident lawyer who will work to build a compelling argument in your favor, proving you were not responsible in any way for the accident.

Call Our Virginia Auto Accident Attorneys for a Free Consultation

You don’t have to navigate Virginia’s at-fault, pure contributory negligence system alone. Regan Zambri Long’s top Virginia car accident lawyers offer a free consultation to discuss your case and explore your options. Contact us today, and let us help you get back on your feet.

Schedule a Free Consultation

Have you or your loved one sustained injuries in Washington DC, Maryland or Virginia? Regan Zambri Long PLLC has the best lawyers in the country to analyze your case and answer the questions you may have.

Call 202-960-4596

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