Virginia Car Accident Lawyer

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), car accidents are a leading cause of death in the United States, killing over 100 people every day. In 2020, there were 774 fatal crashes in Virginia, making it one of the top 20 states for car accident fatalities. Every time we get into a car, we run the risk of being involved in an accident, not because of anything we did, but because of the negligence of other drivers. If you or your loved one were injured in a car accident in Virginia, then you have rights to compensation.  Call our Virginia car accident lawyers for your free consultation.

The car accident attorneys at Regan Zambri Long understand that a car accident can change your life in a split second and that the injuries you sustained in the accident can keep you from living the life you are used to. They have seen the physical pain, debilitating injuries, and grief that often follow a car crash. Consultations are free and the attorneys do not work on a retainer. The lawyers at Regan Zambri Long are experts in various insurance policies and Virginia law. They can help guide you through the claims process and negotiate with the insurance company for you, leaving you time to heal and get your life back on track.  Call (202) 960-4746 today

What are the common causes of car accidents in Virginia and how can I prevent them?

 

Distracted driving

The number one cause behind Virginia car accidents is distracted driving. The Federal Communications Commission reported that over 3,100 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents due to distracted driving in 2019 alone.  Drivers can be distracted by anything – navigating directions, eating, putting on makeup, taking a phone call, and talking to other passengers.

man texting about to have a car accidentHowever, one of the most dangerous forms of distracted driving is texting while driving. The average text message takes about five seconds to read. If the driver is going 55 mph, then five seconds of reading a text is like driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed. The best way to prevent yourself from distracted driving is simply to stay focused on the road. Set your phone to an automatic away message while you’re driving so you’re not even notified of text messages. Driving a vehicle is a huge responsibility. Keep your eyes on the road at all times.

 

Drunk driving

The  deadliest cause of car accidents in Virginia and across the United States is drunk driving. Over 10,000 people were killed as a result of drunk driving in 2018. Uber, Lyfts, and taxis are available all over Virginia, especially in towns like Arlington, McLean, and Falls Church, which are easy commutes to Washington D.C. If you spend a night out and decide to drink, do not get behind the wheel. The risk is never worth it.

Speeding

The third cause of Virginia car accidents is speeding. In 2019, 22,479 crashes in Virginia were due, at least in part, to speeding. Although keeping to the speed limit may be inconvenient, it not only keeps drivers safe on the road, but it can also reduce the amount of pollution coming from your car and can even lower your bill at the pump. It also prevents speeding tickets, since Virginia law states that you can be charged with reckless driving if you are going over 80 mph. The faster a car is going, the bigger the impact it will have if it crashes into another vehicle, making accidents more dangerous leading to serious injuries. Be sure to follow the speed limit set on Virginia roads.

Drowsy driving

Since highways like Route 81 serve as trucking routes, drowsy driving is especially scary in Virginia. Truck drivers are the most likely to drive while drowsy, and being involved in a trucking accident can be catastrophic. Driving while fatigued is as dangerous as driving while intoxicated, according to the CDC. It slows reaction time, and can cause the driver to fall asleep at the wheel. The best way to prevent driving drowsy is to get enough sleep, especially before a long car trip. Try to travel with a buddy and take plenty of breaks at rest stops. Finally, avoid driving during peak sleepiness periods, which are midnight to 6 a.m.

Other common causes of accidents are poor weather conditions, vehicle defects, inexperienced drivers, wrong way turns, animal crossings, and tailgating. While you cannot prevent everything, you can take the steps to make sure you are as safe as possible on the road. Be sure to take your vehicle for scheduled maintenance, especially paying attention to your tires. Be aware of vehicle recalls. Only get behind the wheel of a car if you’re completely sober and awake. While driving, stay fully focused on the task at hand and leave enough room between your car and the others on the road to give yourself time and space to correct if something happens.

What are the most common injuries from a Virginia car accident?

Thankfully, vehicle safety has come a long way in the last few decades. Cars are designed with airbags, safety belts, and crumple zones, which are meant to absorb some of the impact of an accident. However, even with these measures in place, severe injuriesemergency room negligence medical malpractice lawyers still occur in car crashes every day. They can range from a simple bruise all the way to a traumatic brain injury. The most important thing to do following an accident is to seek immediate medical attention, even if you don’t think anything is wrong. Injuries can worsen or develop into something else over time. After an accident you should look for the following injuries:

  • Bruising/contusions
  • Neck/spine/back injuries
  • Whiplash
  • Soft tissue damage (muscles, tendons, or ligaments that are damaged in the accident)
  • Concussions and traumatic brain injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Internal bleeding

Not all injuries are physical. Emotional trauma is a frequent result of a car accident. Look for signs of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, which causes extreme mental anguish. The victim of the car accident who suffers from PTSD may have nightmares, flashbacks, an onset of anxiety, depression, obsessive thoughts about the accident, or uncontrolled anger or aggression.

If you have suffered any of these injuries due to a car accident, contact a car accident attorney at Regan Zambri Long right away. Broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, back injuries, and PTSD take time to heal. Doctors visits, medicines, rehabilitation, and follow-up appointments can get really costly and you have a right to compensation to help offset the costs.

What should I do if I am involved in a car accident in Virginia?

Car accidents, whether it’s a fender bender or a major collision, are scary. Adrenaline starts to pump and it’s easy to react without thinking. Regan Zambri Long offers a comprehensive list of what to do following a car accident in order to keep yourself safe and also to ensure that you can recover the maximum amount of compensation for the damages incurred:

DO: Call 911. You need to report the accident to the police immediately. The responding officers will be able to direct traffic away from the cars involved, help with immediate medical needs, and start investigating the scene of the accident.

DO NOT: Leave the scene of the accident until the police officer says you’re free to go.

DO: Tell the police about any pain or injuries from the accident. They will coordinate with emergency medical help and get you or your loved one the immediate medical attention you need.

DO NOT: Hide or disregard any injury or pain. Even if you just think you’re in pain, you should report it right away.

DO: Cooperate with the responding police officers. Follow their instructions.

DO NOT: Allow the other driver to persuade you not to call the police. If the other driver offers you money, do not accept it. This could hinder your chances of recovering the proper amount of compensation from the insurance companies.

DO: Assess the damages to your vehicle once all your medical needs are taken care of. Take note of damages to your car and damages to any personal items in the car. Take pictures, videos, and notes.Close up hand of woman holding smartphone and take photo of car accident

DO NOT: Assume you’ll remember the details. There is a lot of stress and adrenaline right after an accident, so the chances of not remembering details are very high. Make sure to keep detailed notes of witness testimonials, pictures of the vehicles, and what you think caused the accident for future reference.

DO: Exchange information with the other driver, including:

  • Insurance company and contact
  • Full name, phone number, and address
  • License plate number
  • Drivers license number
  • Make and model of the vehicle
  • Location of the accident

DO NOT: Worry if the other driver does not provide that information. Do not pressure the other driver to provide it. If the driver refuses to give you the information, you can retrieve that information from the police report.

DO: Gather evidence. If you speak to any witnesses at the scene of the auto accident, take down their contact information and detail what they said. Document all the expenses related to the accident, including medical bills, vehicle repair or replacement costs. Keep a record of any mental or physical pain and suffering you experience. Finally, keep note of the work you have to miss due to any injuries you suffered from the accident and ask your employer to calculate the lost wages. Take note of security or traffic cameras at the scene of the accident.  Your Virginia car accident attorney can use this footage while negotiating with the insurance company.

DO: Continue to follow your doctor’s orders by going to appointments and taking all the medication prescribed to you. Document all treatment, test results, and examinations.

DO: Report the auto accident to your own insurance company. The Virginia statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim is two years, so it is important to contact your insurance company and the experienced car accident lawyers at  Regan Zambri Long  as soon as possible following the auto accident.

DO NOT: Speak to an insurance adjuster without contacting a car accident attorney first. Insurance companies will try to offer you the lowest amount possible in compensation. A Regan Zambri Long car accident attorney knows the ins and outs of insurance companies and Virginia laws. They will gather the evidence from the accident scene, along with your medical documentation and vehicle expenses and make sure the insurance company pays what is owed to you.

DO: Contact a Virginia car accident lawyer at Regan Zambri Long once you’re home. Even if your own insurance company offered a settlement and you think it’s enough, you never know how much your injuries will cost moving forward. The safest thing to do is get the highest settlement possible from your insurance company. Our Virginia car accident lawyers will be able to negotiate with the insurance company so you are financially secure following a car accident.

Frequently Asked Questions about Virginia Car Accident Lawyer

Why should I choose a Regan Zambri Long car accident lawyer to represent me?

The car accident attorneys at Regan Zambri Long have recovered millions for their clients and are experts in Virginia law. Along with car accident cases, Regan Zambri Long covers many other personal injuries, including slip and falls, product liability, workers’ compensation and nursing home abuse. They know that you want to get back to normal as soon as possible, so they work diligently and efficiently to make sure you recover the highest settlement possible so you can quickly rebuild your life following an accident.

How much does a Regan Zambri Long lawyer cost?

Regan Zambri Long car accident lawyers do not work on a retainer, which is a fee that the client usually pays up front. A fee is only taken at the end of a Virginia car accident case if there is a settlement or verdict in your favor. Initial consultations at Regan Zambri Long are free.

What is the difference between a settlement and a verdict?

A settlement is when the insurance company agrees to pay the proper amount of compensation owed to you. That’s not always the case, which is why Regan Zambri Long car accident attorneys prepare every case as if it were going to trial. A verdict is a decision that is made after a lawsuit is filed.

What kind of damages will I receive from my claim?

There are three types of damages you can collect from a car accident claim. The first is economic damages, which are meant to cover the cost of medical bills, property damages, and lost wages. Non economic damages, or “intangible” damages compensate the victim for physical pain, mental trauma and unexpected losses. Finally, punitive damages are awarded to the victim when the defendant commits the following:

  • Simple negligence: When someone fails to do something they were supposed to and results in harm to another person.
  • Gross negligence: When someone does something with extreme disregard that may cause harm to another person. For example, if someone is speeding through an area full of pedestrians and bikers, they know there is a higher risk of hitting someone. If they continue to speed knowing the risk of harming a pedestrian, they are committing gross negligence.
  • Willful and wanton negligence: When someone does something with an intentional disregard that it will cause harm to another person.

I was involved in an accident in D.C. Can I still hire Regan Zambri Long?

Yes, Regan Zambri Long car accident lawyers practice in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, DC.

I was a passenger in the car that was in the accident. Can I file a claim?

Yes, you can file a claim if you were a passenger involved in a motor vehicle accident. The claim can be against the other driver, or the driver you were riding with. Many people hesitate to file a claim against the driver of the vehicle you were in, especially if it’s a family member or close friend. However, you have to remember it isn’t personal – it’s exactly why they have car insurance. You are making a claim against the driver’s insurance company, not the driver and it is not a personal attack. You are simply securing financial compensation for medical expenses, personal property damage, and lost wages.

I was involved in an accident while in a rideshare car in Virginia. Can I file a claim?

Yes, you can file a claim. Rideshare companies often have insurance policies that cover accidents while passengers are in a Lyft or Uber. However, they are quick to deny responsibility for the accident. A Regan Zambri Long Uber accident lawyer can help you file a claim so that you secure fair compensation for the injuries you sustained in a rideshare vehicle.

Can I recover damages if the negligent driver is uninsured?

Virginia law requires all owners to have uninsured motorist coverage. However, if you are involved in an accident with a driver who does not have this coverage, then there are other routes to receiving compensation for your injuries. The car accident lawyers at Regan Zambri Long will help you navigate the claims process and see what different avenues you can take for complete compensation.

What is contributory negligence?

Contributory negligence is when the victim is considered to be a “contributory factor” or have some fault in the accident. There are five jurisdictions that still use contributory negligence laws: Virginia, Washington D.C., Maryland, Alabama, and North Carolina. If you are found to have any fault in the accident, you cannot make a claim for compensation. This is why it is important to contact a Regan Zambri Long car accident attorney right away. You will be able to speak with a Virginia car accident lawyer who will give you a reasonable assessment of your case. Call (202) 960-4746 today!