Dedicated Virginia Car Accident Lawyers
A serious car accident can happen in so many different ways that it is impossible to catalog them all. Some of the most common causes are intoxicated driving, texting while driving, tailgating, speeding, aggressive driving and road rage. An accident might also be caused by a defective brake mechanism, poorly manufactured tires, or a malfunctioning traffic light.
Whatever the reason, the majority of car accidents are caused by human error at some point in the chain of cause and effect. Injustice results when the person who caused an injury accident is not the person who suffers the injury; anger and frustration are quite natural reactions. Legal action, rather than simmering rage, is the most effective response to such an injustice and having a skilled Virginia car accident lawyer on your side can make a big difference.
We Can Help You Fight Back
The Virginia personal injury compensation system is a complex organism with arcane and confusing rules of civil procedure and evidence. It doesn’t really simplify matters to choose negotiation over litigation, either – after all, an insurance company makes money by denying claims, and it has no motivation to negotiate with someone who they don’t believe can beat them in court.
Here at Koonz McKenney Johnson DePaolis & Lightfoot, LLP, we’ve got your back. After 35 years of practice and over $1 billion in compensation won for our clients, insurance companies know exactly who we are, and they know about our courtroom triumphs. Ironically, it is exactly these triumphs that keep most of our clients’ claims out of court – insurance companies would rather settle than risk facing us in court.
If We Don’t Win Your Case, You Will Owe Us Nothing for Our Services
We don’t mean that we will reimburse your legal fees. We mean that you’ll never have to pay them in the first place. If our Virginia car accident lawyers do win (which, according to past experience, is well over 90 percent likely), our fee will be calculated as a percentage of your compensation.
Testimonial from One of Our Satisfied Clients
“Mr. Depaolis: I can’t express enough how much your hard work and the results meant to my Dad. If you remember, 3 weeks before his passing he stopped all treatments. After learning about the large settlement he knew that financially my Mom would be OK. He was tired and ready to go and that check made his leaving us so much easier for him. Eleven years last month, I still miss him every day. God Bless” – Client in Virginia
Other Types of Cases We Handle
Medical Malpractice: Doctors and other healthcare professionals are like gods because sooner or later almost all of us are forced to place our lives in their hands. Nevertheless, they remain human and prone to error, and that is the scary part. Some errors are simply inexcusable, however, and they demand compensation.
Workers’ Compensation Workers’ compensation is more than just occupational injury insurance – it is an entirely separate system for compensating occupational injury victims, with both advantages and disadvantages compared to ordinary personal injury claims. The workers’ compensation bureaucracy can seem overwhelming and confusing to the uninitiated.
Construction Accidents: In general, it can be said that construction work is a dangerous, relatively low-paid occupation. The unfortunate consequence of these two disadvantages is yet a third disadvantage – the workers who are most likely to be injured are the ones least likely to be able to afford it. Most, but not all, construction accident claims are resolved through the workers’ compensation system.
Nursing Home Neglect: Although most nursing homes are filled with competent professionals who observe high standards of care, there are, unfortunately, some bad apples out there. The insidious aspect of nursing home neglect is that it is often difficult to detect, especially if your loved one has difficulty communicating. Our Virginia injury attorneys find nursing home neglect despicable, and we will fight to protect your loved one.
Asbestos Disease/Mesothelioma: Mesothelioma and lung cancer are cruel killers that can strike literally decades after exposure to asbestos. Asbestosis, although typically non-fatal, triggers life-altering consequences. Unfortunately, many companies that would otherwise become defendants in asbestos lawsuits are now out of business. Our personal injury lawyers are adept at pursuing alternative means of compensation.
Products Liability: How many different products do you use in the average day? Anything from a malfunctioning electrical system to defective medication can trigger a products liability claim against anyone in the chain of distribution of the product. Products liability claims can get complex, however, depending on the nature of the product, and can require considerable expertise to win.
Premises Liability: It doesn’t matter whether you are visiting a commercial establishment as a customer or visiting a private home as a guest – you are entitled to protection from unsafe conditions on the premises. When you are injured because the owner or occupier failed to repair a dangerous condition or at least warn of the danger, a premises liability claim arises in your favor.
Federal Tort Claims Act: Historically, governments have claimed immunity from being sued, on the reasoning that suing the government is the equivalent of suing the taxpayers who would ultimately fund any compensation. The U.S. federal government, however, enacted the Federal Tort Claims Act to remove some of its immunity when you are injured by a U.S. government representative.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is there a time limit on my claim?
Yes. Unless an exception applies, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. If you intend to file a wrongful death lawsuit, you have two years from the date of the victim’s death. If you miss the deadline, your claim will probably become worthless immediately.
What information should I collect after a car accident?
At the very least, you should collect:
- The names and contact details of everyone involved in the accident, including witnesses;
- The insurance details of other drivers involved;
- The date, time and location of the accident;
- The make and model of each vehicle involved; and
- Medical records of your injuries.
Can I file a claim against a trucking company for the negligence of its driver?
Maybe, maybe not. The trucking company’s liability will depend on whether the driver is classified as an employee or an independent contractor. You cannot sue the trucking company for the negligence of an independent contractor, but you can hold them liable for the negligence of their employee.
What if the accident was partly my fault?
Unfortunately, if the accident was even one percent your fault, you will recover nothing. Virginia is one of only a few states that still applies this harsh “contributory negligence” rule. You can be certain that the opposing party’s insurance company will bend over backwards to characterize your actions as negligent.
Are punitive damages available in Viginia?
Yes, if the defendant’s conduct exhibited “malice” or “willful and wanton disregard” for your safety. There is a $350,000 cap on damages. Under a special statute, you can win punitive damages against a drunk driver with a blood alcohol concentration of at least .15.
Can I win my claim if I can prove that the other driver was texting while driving?
Maybe. Although it is illegal in Virginia to text while driving, breaking a traffic law does not automatically amount to negligence – you must still prove that it was negligent under the circumstances. You must also prove that it was a substantial cause of the accident.
What is the mandatory auto liability insurance coverage in Virginia?
Virginia’s minimum auto insurance coverage limits are:
- $25,000 per person for bodily injury;
- $50,000 per accident for bodily injury liability; and
- $20,000 per accident for property damage liability.
You can drive legally without insurance if you pay a $500 fee.
Can I sue a nightclub after a DUI accident that injured me?
Unfortunately, Virginia is one of only a few states with no “dram shop law.” This means that you cannot sue a bar or a social host for providing alcohol to an intoxicated person who later injures you in a DUI accident.
An Award-Winning Team
Our firm’s 13 Virginia car accident attorneys are highly recognized in the field of personal injury law. Four of us have been selected Top Lawyers by the Washingtonian Magazine, five of us have been named “Super Lawyers” by our peers in the legal profession, and five of us were included in the “Best Lawyers in America” list, one of the legal profession’s highest honors. We can put that expertise to work for you if you want us to.
Now is the Time to Act Decisively – Call a Virginia Car Accident Lawyer Today!
We know you need money quickly. In response to that reality, from the moment we take your case, we will be seeking the quickest possible out-of-court settlement, as long as it doesn’t sacrifice your best interests for the sake of speed. After speaking with you, we will have a much better idea of the full value of your claim – and it might turn out to be worth quite a bit more than you think it does.
If you have been involved in Virginia car accident that you believe may have been someone else’s fault, call us at (703) 596-1718 or simply contact us online so that we can schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation and discuss your options with our skilled Virginia car accident attorneys.