Rear-end accidents can happen in different types of motor vehicle collisions. From motorcycle accidents to truck accidents and multi-vehicle accidents, rear-end crashes are dangerous and usually have devastating consequences. The Insurance Information Institute reports rear-end collisions accounted for 7.2% of deadly crashes in 2018. In cases where these crashes aren’t fatal, they often cause catastrophic injuries that require urgent medical attention.
These crashes transcend physical pain for the accident victims and include emotional distress, financial losses, psychological trauma, etc. Fortunately, Virginia is a fault state, and accident victims can get the maximum compensation they deserve for their loss. They will, however, need an experienced attorney to get the best results. In this article, we’d discuss just how indispensable accident lawyers are in auto accident settlements — and more.
What Causes Rear-End Collisions?
Based on Virginia’s personal injury law, succeeding in a personal injury claim depends on finding the negligent parties. These persons breached their duty of care to other motorists or road users by disobeying traffic laws. Usually, it’s the rear-end driver who’s at fault. However, there are also other circumstances where the careless driver is the one in front.
Many situations can cause rear-end accidents. Some of them include:
Virginia expressly forbids tailgating or following too closely in Section 46.2-816 of the Virginia Code. According to the provision, drivers must not follow other motor vehicles more closely than is reasonable. Reasonability here depends on several factors like the traffic and road conditions, vehicle speed, etc.
Any driver that fails to observe this rule and rear-ends another driver is a negligent party in the accident. Such negligent motorists will be liable for all the accident injuries and property damage that the crash caused.
Faulty Brake Lights
Rear-end accidents due to faulty brake lights are most times, the front driver’s fault. Rear warning lights help to signal back drivers that the vehicle in front is slowing down. When these lights become faulty, they pose serious risks of auto accidents.
Drivers who engage in irresponsible and reckless behaviors like driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs often cause accidents. Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles data revealed that 28 people die in drunk driving accidents every year in the United States. Motorists are classified as drunk when their blood alcohol content (BAC) exceeds what the state prescribes for their category. Virginia prohibits the consumption of alcohol while driving and awards strict penalties for drunk drivers.
Distracted Driving or Driver Inattention
Distracted driving includes any activity that takes the drivers’ attention away from driving. Common examples are texting or making phone calls, looking away from the road, etc. Driving requires 100% attention on the road and mandates that all our senses are at alert. Anything less than that predisposes us to automobile accidents.
What Compensatory Damages Will I Get?
Innocent drivers deserve fair compensation for their losses in a rear-end accident. Fair settlement depends on the nature of their compensation claims, the applicable insurance policies, the damage involved, etc. Common examples of compensatory damages in personal injury or wrongful death claim due to rear-end crashes include:
Rear-end collisions can result in bodily injuries. Most accident injuries require medical treatment or physical therapy from severe traumatic brain injuries to neck pains and even mild bruises. The negligent party’s insurance company usually foots these medical costs.
Lost Wages and Future Earnings
When accident injuries get so bad, the victims may no longer work and earn a living. Compensatory damages usually include the reimbursements for the earnings the victims would have enjoyed but for the injuries. Victims may also receive payments for money they can no longer earn in the future because of the accident.
Apart from financial losses, affected parties can suffer emotional, psychological, and mental problems resulting from the accident. Depending on the auto insurance policy or the courts, victims may get non-economic damages for their non-financial losses. Common examples of non-economic damages are loss of companionship, pain, and suffering, etc.
A personal injury claim becomes wrongful death when the victim dies due to crash injuries. In such cases, the deceased’s family members can seek compensation for the funeral costs and other burial expenses.
Why Do I Need a Norfolk Accident Attorney?
As an accident victim, you need an experienced car accident attorney to help your accident claims in these ways:
Investigations and Accident Value Analysis
Many personal injury lawyers have extensive experience in investigating accident scenes. They can gather enough evidence to prove your personal injury claims. A knowledgeable attorney can also help you estimate your claim value from the get-go.
Personal injury attorneys understand the tricks and tactics insurance adjusters employ in frustrating injury claims. They’d give you sound advice on how to avoid them. They will also handle your complex paperwork and ensure that you file all documents in time.
Many times, getting the best compensation for your losses depends on your negotiation skills. Insurance adjusters will usually offer meager sums, hoping you will put up with anything they throw at you. With a skilled attorney by your side, you can negotiate for larger settlement sums and get them.
Legal Representation in a Lawsuit
If negotiations break down or the insurance company wouldn’t budge, the only other option you may have is to file a lawsuit. Your injury attorney will help you file early to beat the deadline and offer you top-level legal representation in court.
What To Consider in Choosing an Injury Law Firm
It’s important not to choose just about any attorney you see to handle your case. If you choose the wrong lawyer, you’d be setting yourself up for more legal complications in the future. It would help if you considered the following factors before choosing an accident law firm to represent your interests:
Years and Scope of Experience
How long has the law firm in question been in existence? Injury attorneys with extensive experience generally know how to handle complexities better than fresh lawyers. You can also leverage their reputation over the years to get the best deals from insurance companies.
Apart from the years of experience, you must be sure that they specialize in injury law practice. Lastly, they must know how to deal with your type of injury accident.
Ease of Communication
Communication is key in injury claims and lawsuits. Your law firm must be approachable and communicate facts and suggestions to your comprehension.
Your law firm should always have your interest at heart. They should exude compassion for your plight and explore every possible channel to help you get maximum compensation.
Some clients don’t have the financial strength to pursue personal injury claims and lawsuits. A good law firm will consider your pockets while charging your fees. Some law firms offer free consultations and only collect their legal fees when you’ve won your case. This means that you don’t have to pay upfront fees, and you’d lose nothing at the end of the case.
Your law firm must carry you along every step of the way. They mustn’t leave you in the dark as it relates to your case’s progress. They should also be transparent enough to let you know the methods they will employ in handling your case.
Consult With a Personal Injury Attorney Now!
The average person gives in to panic shortly after a rear-end collision. From concerns about medical costs to property repairs and life after the accident, it isn’t easy to remain calm. Our Norfolk rear-end accident lawyers at CAIL understand how difficult your situation is. As such, we’d put your needs first and ensure you get the maximum compensation.
Our experience and expertise in injury law practice are unmatched anywhere else in Virginia. You’re a real person, not just another statistic. We’d stand by you from when you contact us right to when you successfully win your claim. Contact us for a free consultation now.