State laws dictate the amount of time you have following a car accident to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for personal injury or property damage. Knowing the pertinent legal code for your state is critical because missing the prescribed deadline most likely will mean sacrificing your right to pursue a claim in court. Exceptions are extremely rare.
In Virginia, you have two years after an accident to file a legal claim in court for a personal injury case, such as for medical bills, lost income from missed work and future medical treatment, and five years to file for a property damage case. The calendar starts the day the accident occurs. The Virginia law, “Personal Action for Injury to Person or Property Generally,” encompasses more than just auto accidents, also including certain other incidents, such as medical malpractice cases. The statute of limitations can be much shorter if your accident involved a government vehicle, requiring you to file suit in as little time as a couple of months.
The time limit can particularly come into play if you are engaged in insurance claim negotiations with the potential defendant. If you don’t find satisfaction through the pursuit of an insurance settlement, you want to retain the option for filing a lawsuit – not just for the suit itself but for the leverage that the possibility of a suit provides. This argues for not waiting too long to begin to pursue an insurance claim, which can be a time-consuming process in some cases. Virginia statute does not establish a deadline for filing an insurance claim after an accident. Individual insurance policies establish those guidelines.
A car accident lawyer can help you navigate the landscape in a timely manner to avoid risking key deadlines and forfeiting your chance at working through the legal system to earn appropriate compensation.
One of the many complications that arise in the event of a hit-and-run accident is that sometimes the offending driver never materializes after driving away from the scene of the wreck, leaving no one around to take the blame. For the driver who remains at the scene, securing insurance compensation for the accident becomes a bit trickier than in a typical case. However, you still should be able to secure compensation as long as you have the appropriate auto insurance.
Drivers in no-fault states are able to make a no-fault claim with their own insurer for compensation for hit-and-run incidents. Collision coverage covers hit-and-run cases in some states, but it is insufficient in many states. In many other states, such as in Virginia, collision coverage does not apply to a hit-and-run case. Instead, you will need to have uninsured motorist coverage.
Uninsured motorist insurance claims largely are made by drivers when accidents are the fault of drivers who have no insurance or insufficient insurance to cover the amount of your claim, but they also apply to hit-and-run accidents when the driver at fault never is identified. In some states, uninsured motorist coverage is required, but it is not in Virginia. You can choose to have both uninsured motorist property damage coverage (for damage to your vehicle) and uninsured bodily injury coverage (for medical issues arising from an accident). If you are the victim of a hit-and-run in Virginia and have those lines of coverage, you can submit uninsured motorist claims to your insurer.
There are a number of details that your insurance carrier may require of you when you make this type of claim. For instance, you may need to demonstrate that you have made sufficient effort to identify and locate the other driver. Some insurance policies may require you to have made a police report about the accident within a certain amount of time after it occurred.
The process to make a claim in the aftermath of a hit-and-run can prove complex and involve a significant amount of investigative work, including depositions of any witnesses, so you will want to consider hiring an experienced attorney to help guide you through the process and ensure that you put your best foot forward in securing a settlement from your insurance provider that you deserve.
Are you in need of a car accident lawyer in Virginia Beach? Visit www.jeffbrooketeam.com today to speak with a Virginia Beach personal injury lawyer.
As if being in a car accident isn’t bad enough, sometimes you must navigate a long, drawn-out dispute over the circumstances of the crash to receive the compensation you are due. No matter how certain you are that you were not at fault, the other driver involved and their insurance company could have other ideas. Your best bet for resolving the dispute to your benefit is to approach it with patience and persistence.
The chief thing to consider from the outset is whether to consult with an attorney. Depending on the circumstances, your insurance company may provide you with legal help to dispute the cause of the accident and serve as the chief contact with the other party’s insurance provider. The decision of who was at fault could be determined between the insurance companies. However, you may decide that you need a personal attorney to help your cause, particularly if there is a lot at stake or if your insurance company is not backing your claim.
An accident dispute can be a complex process and the consequences can be costly for you, and an experienced attorney can help you navigate the experience expertly. Attorneys understand the intricacies of insurance companies and their investigations, as well as the legal system, if that is a factor in the incident.
A critical part of resolving the dispute to your satisfaction will be gathering as much information as possible about the accident. This includes noting your recollections as clearly as possible, scavenging your memories for as many relevant details as you can recall, so as to help build the architecture of the scene to show the responsibility for the accident was not yours. In addition, photographs of the scene of the accident can be illustrative in important ways; if you are in condition at the scene of the accident, it is ideal that you or a friend or family member take photos of the scene and the vehicles from a variety of angles and standpoints.
An accident dispute also means you – or an attorney – will want to interview witnesses. The testimony of neutral witnesses can be a crucial element in an accident dispute.
If police responded to the accident, an officer may have filed a report from the scene that includes an opinion of who was at fault. The officer’s version of what occurred will be an important consideration. If the accident resulted in charges against you, you will want to dispute these not only to prevent the possible legal ramifications but to aid your accident dispute.
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