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Virginia Motor Vehicle Accident Attorney

According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), a vehicle crash happens roughly every five minutes on the Commonwealth’s roads. They most often involve cars, pickups, commercial trucks, and busses. In all too many instances, these aren’t really “accidents” but rather the result of negligent or reckless actions of careless drivers. Driving in Virginia is dangerous enough, and automobile collisions, fatalities, and injuries all increased in the past year according to the Commonwealth’s Highway Safety Office. Statistics show that more than 120,000 crashes occurred on our streets and highways, resulting in 764 deaths and over 63,000 injuries, many of which were serious. Insurance companies are generally responsible for paying claims when wrecks occur, and they are motivated to protect their interests. That means that aggressive action needs to be taken to protect victims’ rights. If you or someone you love have been injured in an auto accident caused by someone else’s negligence, an attorney who is experienced in pursuing civil claim related to motor vehicle accidents can help you pursue damages for the harms and losses you have suffered. The following are the different types of Virginia motor vehicle accidents:

A motor vehicle accident can cause grave harm not just to your vehicle, but to your body

Causes of Virginia Motor Vehicle Crashes

The main culprit in most car accidents is negligence. Many drivers fail to fulfill the duty of care that they owe to others and themselves. As a licensed driver, you are required to obey all traffic laws and to use care not to harm others when you are behind the wheel. Negligence occurs when a driver fails to use reasonable or ordinary care and as a result causes injuries to another. Negligent actions that can cause dangerous motor vehicle crashes include:

  • Speeding – Speed plays a role in nearly one out of every five Virginia wrecks each year. Breaking the speed limit and causing an accident can form the basis for a negligence action, but other types of speeding are dangerous too. Driving faster than road or weather conditions allow, even below the posted speed limit, can also lead to a finding of negligence.
  • Reckless driving – A driver who fails to show regard for others’ safety by zooming through a red light or stop sign at an intersection, making dangerous passes on two-lane roads, or street racing with other cars can be cited for reckless driving. Other bases for a reckless driving citation include driving over 80 miles per hour, passing or overtaking an emergency vehicle, and driving more than 20 miles per hour over the posted speed limit. Where a vehicle wreck is caused by a willful intent or “reckless disregard” for the welfare of others, this can form the foundation for many reckless driving charges, which often are accompanied by dangerous accidents with serious injuries to others.
  • Drunk driving – Today, we have strong drunk driving laws, resolute law enforcement, and heightened public awareness campaigns to fight drunk driving. And yet, drunk drivers continue to cause tragic, and often fatal, motor vehicle accidents. The most recent figures show that roughly 8,500 alcohol-related crashes occurred in Virginia in 2012. Many were caused by drivers with a blood-alcohol content (BAC) above the legal limit of .08.
  • Drugged driving – Driving under the influence of drugs is just as serious as drunk driving and often leaves the driver equally impaired. Illegal drugs, legal prescriptions, or mixing either with a “safe” amount of alcohol can all result in drugged driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently reported that in the U.S., from 2010-2012, drug use among fatally injured drivers jumped by 13 percent.
  • Distracted driving – Talking on a cell phone or texting while driving is causing an alarming jump in auto accidents across the U.S. NHTSA has found that distracted driving kills 5,500 and injures 450,000 nationally each year. Lawmakers in Virginia, and across the country, have been passing legislation to prevent distracted driving, but the problem persists.
  • Fatigued driving – NHTSA also notes that over 55,000 sleep-related car crashes occur annually, resulting in nearly 40,000 injuries and over 1,500 deaths. Fatigued driving isn’t just falling asleep at the wheel, it can also be driving when you are not alert enough to drive safely. Driver fatigue can affect any driver, though a recent study released by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) found that 18 percent of crashes involving trucks were due to driver fatigue.

Another form of carelessness is driving without insurance. When an uninsured driver causes an accident or lacks sufficient coverage to adequately reimburse for all damages, victims may need to turn to their own insurance company to recover under an uninsured/underinsured policy. Sometimes insurance companies dispute rightful UM/UIM claims, which complicates matters even further for individuals who are already dealing with pain and suffering due to an accident. An experienced attorney can help navigate the complex legal process while you focus on a full and healthy recovery.

Contact a Virginia Motor Vehicle Accident Attorney

If you were injured by a negligent, careless, or reckless driver, you may be entitled to recover damages. An accident lawyer regularly works with forensic experts to determine causes of accidents and prove a defendant’s fault and breach of care. He works with medical specialists and economists to determine legitimate damages, current and future medical costs, past and future lost earnings, physical impairment, disability, and loss of earning capacity. Contact our law office today for a free consultation to discuss your options for a claim.