Nothing is probably more unfortunate than getting involved and hurt in a car crash, especially if you were not the one at fault. If you live in Virginia, you should know that the state follows a fault-based rule for car crashes. However, the laws are largely different when compared to other states. You need to hire a Car accident attorney near me at the earliest in such circumstances to protect your right to seek compensation from the liable driver. In this post, we share more about the state laws related to traffic mishaps.
Know the time cap
The statute of limitations is a law that sets the time limit for filing a car accident lawsuit in court. According to the statute in Virginia, the deadline is two years, and it applies to all claimants and victims, including motorcyclists, passengers, and drivers. Keep in mind that you have two options following a car accident – to file a claim with the other party’s insurance carrier or file a direct lawsuit in court. The time cap is for lawsuits and not insurance claims. You have to notify the insurer as early as possible, preferably within a few days. For property and vehicle damage lawsuits, the deadline is five years.
Understand the contributory negligence rule
Most states follow the comparative negligence rule, which takes the share of the fault of each driver to determine the final settlement. Virginia, on the contrary, follows the contributory negligence rule, which prevents a claimant from seeking any compensation if they are liable for the accident in any manner. In other words, even if you are at a minor fault, you cannot sue the other party for their mistake. However, don’t let the strict rules stop you from pursuing your auto accident settlement.
Get an attorney
Many law firms in Virginia specialize in auto accident lawsuits, and even if you think that your case is not worth a lot, you should talk to an attorney to discuss the options. The insurance company of the other party will try and pass the blame, and the claims adjuster is unlikely to be fair with the settlement money. It would help if you had a car accident attorney who could be your support as you negotiate further. Also, the good news is the lawyer will only get a part of the compensation, for which you must recover money.
You can find listings of local auto accident lawyers through an online search.