Car Accident Attorney Arlington VA
Over $25 Million Recovered for Victims of Negligence
In 2017, drivers in Virginia were involved in more than 127,000 accidents, resulting in 65,306 injuries and 843 fatalities, according to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the Virginia Highway Safety Office. More than 2,500 of these crashes occurred in Arlington County alone, resulting in 5 fatalities and 1,036 injuries. While the overall crash rate has decreased since 2016, the number of fatalities in the Commonwealth represents a 10.8% increase from the previous year.
If you were injured or your loved one was killed in a car collision caused by another person or entity, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your losses. It can be difficult to prove fault and/or negligence in car accident claims and, therefore, it is important that you discuss your claim with an experienced attorney.
Our Arlington, VA auto accident lawyer skillfully handles all types of car accident injury claims, including:
- Multi-vehicle accidents
- Rear-end accidents
- Texting while driving accidents
- Drunk driving accidents
- Head-on collisions
- Sideswipe collisions
- Uninsured and under-insured accidents
Contact the Law Offices of Ryan Quinn, PLLC to speak to our Arlington VA car accident attorney about your case today; call (703) 647-4113 for a free consultation.
The Car Accident Claim Process
Seeking compensation after a car accident can be a lengthy and complicated process requiring considerable paperwork, investigations, and back-and-forth negotiations with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Having an attorney on your side can help to minimize any unnecessary delays and ensure you are treated fairly throughout the duration of your claim.
Filing a car accident claim generally involves the following steps:
- Submit a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company detailing all injuries, property damage, medical expenses, lost wages, and other losses.
- Wait for the insurance company to perform their own investigation of the collision.
- Once the investigation is complete, they may make you a settlement offer. If you do not feel this offer is fair, you may submit a counter offer with additional evidence. It is possible your claim may also be denied, at which time you may be able to file an appeal.
- Additional negotiations will be performed, often multiple rounds.
- If you reach an agreement, you can accept their offer in exchange for waiving your right to pursue further legal action.
- If an agreement cannot be reached, you may file a lawsuit in court and pursue litigation.
Proving Fault in Car Accident Cases
Unlike many other states, Virginia does not follow the law of comparative negligence. Instead, Virginia is one of only a few states to still follow contributory negligence laws. Essentially, what this means is that, in order to bring a personal injury or wrongful death claim, you must be found completely free of fault. If you wish to recover compensation for your damages, you must show that the other person was entirely at fault for the accident.
In many cases, the negligence of another driver can lead to an accident that ultimately results in you being seriously injured. Examples of this include:
- A motorist who is texting while driving, looking at a GPS device, or otherwise distracted
- Someone who drives while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol
- A driver who is fatigued, falls asleep at the wheel, or drives while drowsy
- Someone who engages in reckless driving, including excessive speeding or tailgating
- A motorist who fails to follow the rules of the road, such as by failing to yield
- An inexperienced driver who makes an unsafe turn, lane change, or another action
In addition to driver negligence, the negligence of another person or entity may cause an accident. For example, a tire manufacturer may fail to properly test the safety of its products, leading to the distribution of thousands of defective tires. If one of these defective tires blows out and leads to an accident, the manufacturer may be found liable.
Investigating Your Car Accident
While proving negligence may seem like a straightforward task, the reality of the matter is that your claim will need to be supported by multiple forms of strong evidence to be acceptable by insurance. As mentioned before, an insurance adjuster’s sole job is to find ways to shift blame for the crash to you and minimize losses for the insurer. The more evidence that can be collected in your favor, the better your chances will be of securing a fair settlement.
Your attorney will be able to help you gather and analyze key evidence relevant to your car accident claim, including:
- Medical records
- Surveillance videos
- Photos of the accident scene
- Accident reconstruction
- Police reports
- Toxicology reports
- Vehicle “black box” data
- Eyewitness testimony
Virginia Car Accident Statute of Limitations
Car accident lawsuits in Virginia are subject to several different statutes of limitations depending on the circumstances of the crash. Code of Virginia section 8.01-243 states that car accident injury lawsuits must be filed within two years of the date of the accident, while property damage claims are subject to a five year statute of limitations. Wrongful death claims from car accidents must be filed within two years of the victim’s death, which could be later than the date of the accident.
Filing a lawsuit after any of these deadlines have passed can result in your case being dismissed, thereby preventing you from seeking compensation for your losses. Even if you are confident your case will be resolved through an insurance claim, it is crucial you get started and speak to an attorney as soon as possible after your collision to give yourself plenty of time to prepare your case and gain leverage during settlement negotiations.
How Much Is My Car Accident Claim Worth?
Every car accident is different, therefore every car accident injury claim will be different. It is virtually impossible to provide a rough estimate of a car accident claim’s worth without examining the evidence surrounding the crash. It is best to speak with an attorney after your collision to get a more accurate representation of your recoverable damages.
The following factors will all influence your car accident claim’s worth:
- The severity of your injuries and your required medical treatment, both present and future
- The extent of damage to your vehicle and personal property
- The amount of lost wages and other income caused the collision
- Your level of physical and emotional pain and suffering
Why You Need an Attorney
Pursuing car accident claims tends to be more complex in Virginia than other areas of the U.S., primarily due to the law of contributory negligence. If a jury finds that you are even 1% at fault for the accident, you will not be able to bring a claim. It is absolutely critical, therefore, that you speak to an experienced and skilled attorney about your case.
At the Law Offices of Ryan Quinn, PLLC, we have handled thousands of personal injury and wrongful death claims throughout Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. Our Arlington car accident lawyer has recovered more than $25 million on behalf of our clients. We can help you determine if you have a case, as well as the full extent of your damages. Our mission is to work directly with our clients throughout the process, with the shared goal of maximizing recovery.
Arlington Car Accident Attorney FAQs
If you have been in an accident, then you most likely have several questions for an Arlington, VA car accident attorney about your case. Many people have similar questions, so here are five of the most common questions our firm receives. Learn more below, and then contact the Law Offices of Ryan Quinn, PLLC for help.
What should I do after a car accident?
The first thing you should do after a car accident is to check for injuries and call for medical help if needed. If you are not injured, you should still get checked out as many injuries after a severe accident will not show up for several days. After seeking medical attention, exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver(s) involved in the accident. You should also take photos of the accident scene, including any damage to the vehicles, and gather contact information from any witnesses. It is important to report the accident to your insurance company, but you should not admit fault or discuss the details of the accident until you have spoken to an attorney.
Should I speak to the other driver’s insurance company?
No, you should not speak to the other driver’s insurance company without first speaking to an attorney. Insurance adjusters may try to get you to say something that could be used against you to deny your claim or reduce the amount of compensation you receive; insurance companies want to protect their bottom line, not your best interests. Your Arlington car accident attorney can advise you on how to deal with insurance companies and negotiate on your behalf to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
How much compensation can I receive for my injuries?
The amount of compensation you can receive for your injuries depends on several factors, including the severity of your injuries, the impact on your daily life, and the degree of fault of the other driver(s) involved in the accident. Compensation can include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. Your attorney can help you calculate the amount of compensation you are entitled to and negotiate with insurance companies to ensure that you receive a fair settlement. They will also explain to you how they calculate the level of compensation you are entitled to so that you fully understand the process.
How long will it take to settle my case?
The length of time it takes to settle your case depends on several factors, including the complexity of the case and the willingness of the insurance company to negotiate a fair settlement. Some cases can be settled in a few weeks, while others may take several months or even years. Your attorney can give you an estimate of how long it will take to settle your case based on their experience with similar cases and the specific circumstances of your case; they should be able to give a rough estimate during an initial consultation so you know up front the time it might take.
Do I need an attorney to handle my car accident case?
While you are not required to have an attorney handle your car accident case, it is highly recommended. An experienced attorney can help you navigate the complex legal process, negotiate with insurance companies, and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries and damages. Without an attorney, you may not fully understand your legal rights and may not receive the compensation you are entitled to; insurance companies will also try to use anything and everything against you, and without an attorney you may not be aware of these tactics.
In conclusion, if you have been involved in a car accident, it is important to seek the advice of an experienced car accident attorney. They can answer your questions, guide you through the legal process, and ensure that your rights are protected. Remember, the sooner you contact an attorney after an accident, the better your chances of receiving a fair settlement; reach out to an Arlington car accident attorney at the Law Offices of Ryan Quinn, PLLC for help today.
Contact our firm online or by phone at (703) 647-4113 today for a free, confidential consultation.