In order to be successful in a vehicle accident injury case, you must be able to prove that the other party was completely at fault and that you were faultless. Contributory negligence, where the plaintiff has not used the appropriate amount of care, is a complete bar on personal injury cases in Virginia. For example, if you are driving through a red light when a drunk driver hits you, you are not eligible to recover damages.
Both passengers and third parties may recover when injured in vehicular accidents. Recovery for vehicular accident injuries include present and future medical bills, vehicular damages, pain and suffering, and if the accident was so egregious or willful there can be punitive damages awarded to account for the extreme circumstances under which the accident and injuries took place.
An example of a case where punitive damages are possible is where there is a serious injury or death due to a drunk driver induced accident.
All damages must be proven and shown to have actually been caused by the person at fault in the accident which they occurred.
In the event of an auto accident…
You should contact your insurance immediately to see what benefits you may be entitled to. Always consult with an experienced attorney before submitting any paperwork to ensure proper recovery. On matters of the other party’s insurance, you should never give them more information than is necessary as they may want to inquire about your injuries and try to settle immediately. Allow your attorney to advise you before answering questions or signing documents such as release forms or settlement offers.