Personal Injury Claims and Virginia Law
The purpose of a settlement or lawsuit is to recover monies to compensate you for your losses due to the accident. There are several types of potential compensable damages, the usual of which being loss of income, medical treatment (both incurred and possibly future treatment if any of your injuries are permanent), pain & suffering, and even potentially mileage due to travel for your treatment. Should you be involved in an accident. Here are a few facts to consider concerning a personal injury claim after an automobile accident.
Virginia Law requires you to:
- Carry minimum auto insurance of $25,000 in bodily injury for the injury or death of one person and $50,000 for injury or death of two or more people or...
- Pay a $500 a year uninsured motor vehicle fee and not have insurance.
Although, either option is inadequate. It is important for you to have insurance and carry more than the minimum to cover any accident that may be your fault, but also to carry more than the minimum for underinsured/uninsured coverage. This second type of coverage is for cases where the at-fault person does not have enough insurance. If this is the case, then your insurance coverage will kick in to cover your damages. Exactly how much insurance to have is a personal choice, based on what you can afford and your assets. The more you have to lose from a lawsuit (because you can be made to pay any overage in damages), the more you should have in insurance. At a minimum we recommend at least $100,000 in single coverage, but encourage more if feasible. You will find the premiums are not that much higher. You may also want to investigate getting an "umbrella" policy, which is a cheap insurance policy that only comes into play if your other insurance is exhausted - think of it as a safety net.
How long does it take for my claim to settle?
Most injury claims do not take years to settle, assuming your treatment is finished. Once all of your damages are known either a demand can be made to attempt to settle, or a lawsuit can be filed. A demand is usually the preferred method; however, sometimes, depending on the insurance company involved or the type of case, a lawsuit is the initiating event. There are a lot of considerations in personal injury matters and you should expect your attorney and their staff to stay on top of the matter, notifying you along the way.
When you are injured, it is important to consult with an experienced attorney to properly evaluate your situation and help guide you through what is often a traumatic event. You should be able to focus on recovering from your injuries and not dealing with insurance companies and worrying about the financial aspects associated with being injured.
Please call us if you have been injured in an auto accident and want your claim evaluated.