Frequently Asked Questions About Motor Vehicle Accidents
At Crandall & Katt, Attorneys at Law, we field many questions every day from people who have been harmed in car, truck and commercial vehicle accidents. While each case is different, there is some basic information that any accident sufferer needs to know. We have discussed some of this information below.
Most likely you have specific questions about your own case. In a free consultation, an attorney at our firm can answer these and explain how we can help you.
Call 540.342.2000 today. Because if you’re injured, we care!
I was partially at fault for my accident. Is there any way I can get compensation?
Virginia follows the contributory negligence rule. That means that a driver who was even partially at fault for a car accident is not entitled to compensation. But it may be that you did not really contribute to the accident, so you may actually have a claim. Whatever your situation, you should speak with a lawyer at our firm. In a free consultation, we can review your case and explain your options.
“Even a seemingly simple accident may have come about through a complex chain of events. If your accident was not really your fault, my law firm will work tirelessly to obtain full and fair compensation for you.” – Daniel L. Crandall
I was hit by an uninsured driver. What are my legal options?
In Virginia, uninsured motorist coverage is mandatory for all drivers, yet some are not insured. If you have auto insurance, your uninsured motorist coverage can provide a source of compensation. This coverage also applies in hit-and-run accident cases. At Crandall & Katt, Attorneys at Law, we understand auto insurance. We will work hard to help you obtain all of the compensation you are entitled to.
What is the minimum amount of car insurance required in Virginia?
Virginia law requires every motorist to (a) carry minimum insurance or (b) pay an uninsured motor vehicle (UMV) fee to the state for the right to drive at their own risk.
- If you opted to pay the UMV fee and caused an accident, you would be personally liable for damages. That is a big gamble unless you have the financial means to pay for a serious accident.
- If you opt to buy insurance, the minimum liability coverage under Virginia law is $25,000 in bodily injury or death to one person and $50,000 in total bodily injury/death per accident, plus property damage coverage of up to $20,000.
If you are the victim of an accident and the other driver carries only the minimum insurance, you may be covered by your own Underinsured Motorist (UIM) policy. Your insurance would pay the difference if your losses exceed their coverage.
Why should I call an attorney before I report the accident to my insurance company?
Insurance companies make their profits by keeping their claim costs low, and your insurer does not necessarily have your best interests at heart. What you say to the insurance claims agent could be used to minimize the value of your claim.
By contrast, a lawyer at our firm can provide you with an objective evaluation of your case and explain what we can do to maximize the value of your claim.
Do I have to file a lawsuit and go to court?
Filing a lawsuit does not necessarily mean there will be a trial. The lawsuit is mostly a formality to protect your rights. It puts the other party on notice to provide certain information (such as insurance coverages) and to preserve certain evidence. If you don’t file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires, you could forfeit your rights to compensation. Most auto accident cases are settled out of court, but yours could be the one that goes all the way to a judge or jury trial. It is important to hire a proven trial lawyer who has the ability and resources to try cases.
What damages are awarded in a car accident?
Every case is unique. There are two main categories of damages. Economic damages refer to medical expenses, future care needs, lost wages and future earnings – the measurable financial impact. Noneconomic damages refer to less tangible harm such as compensation for disfigurement, disability, pain and suffering, or diminished qualify of life. In rare cases, punitive damages may be awarded if the at-fault party was egregiously reckless or indifferent. Our lawyers are adept at gauging the true worth of your injury claim and documenting those damages so that you are compensated as fully as possible.
Can I represent myself in an accident case?
You certainly have the right to do so. But chances are the insurance companies will take advantage of the situation and you. An accident claim involves many different elements, all of which require careful analysis. Issues of causation, liability and the damages you are entitled to can be highly complex. In addition, there may be insurance coverage that you don’t know about which could provide compensation. Without an experienced attorney on your side, you may not receive all of the compensation you deserve.
How much do your legal services cost?
Crandall & Katt, Attorneys at Law accepts all personal injury and wrongful death cases on contingency. This means you will not be charged any attorney fees* unless, and until, your case is settled or you receive compensation. So it costs nothing upfront. We take a percentage of your recovery – that percentage depends on whether your case settles or involves litigation.
Contact Our Firm
For a free consultation about a motor vehicle accident in Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina or surrounding areas, contact Crandall & Katt, Attorneys at Law.
Because if you’re injured, we care!
*Excludes costs and expenses.