The questions on this page were answered by our team of Virginia Beach & Norfolk personal injury attorneys. The questions are categorized by practice area such as car accidents, medical malpractice, wrongful death, etc. If you have specific questions about your situation, contact our firm to set up a free consultation with an actual attorney.
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In an auto defect lawsuit, do I need to prove the other party's negligence caused my injury?There are other rules in play in auto defect cases, such as strict liability, breach of express warranty and breach of implied warranty. Strict liability requires proof that the vehicle or parts were defective and caused your injuries. Breach of express or implied warranty means the auto defect violated the warranty so there could be liability.
What are the most common types of bicycle accidents?
At our Virginia personal injury law firm, we often handle bike accident cases, working to get victims the financial compensation they deserve for their injuries. Virginia has two specific statutes that address the responsibilities vehicle drivers have to cyclists, Code of Virginia § 46.2-818.1. and Code of Virginia § 46.2-839.
The most common types of cycling accidents we see include:
- An occupant of parked vehicle opening door of the vehicle into the cyclist
- Sideswipe by a passing vehicle
- Vehicle rear ends bicycle
- Vehicle turning left at intersection cutting off cyclist traveling in the other direction
- Vehicle turning right and cutting the cyclist off
What are the most common bicycle accident injuries?
Because there is nothing to protect the cyclist from the impact of the vehicle slamming into them, many injuries that bike accident suffer are severe ones. Many of these injuries are so catastrophic they result in the victim’s death. The most common injuries include:
- Brain and Head Injuries: More than 40 percent of bike accident victims suffer some type of head injury, including concussions, brain damages, and skull fractures.
- Limb Injuries: More than 40 percent of bike accident victims sustain injuries to their arms, while leg injuries occur to approximately 25 percent of victims.
- Abdomen and Chest Injuries: Although less than 10 percent of bike accident victims sustain injuries to these areas, when they do occur, they are often severe ones.
Who is most at risk of being injured in a bicycle accident?
Each year, there are approximately 45,000 cyclists injured and another 800 killed in bicycle accidents. Although any cyclist can find themselves the victim of a bike accident, there appear to be certain factors that increase that risk.
According to national statistics, the average age of cyclists killed in bike accidents is 45, although that number continues to creep up each year. The majority of cyclists killed or injured are male, accounting for more than 80 percent of victims.
Most fatal bike accident occur in urban areas and at non-intersections. And despite what many people may believe, about 80 percent of bike accidents occur during the day, although night cycling is definitely more dangerous.
Does Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage Apply to People Named in Your Auto Insurance Policy If Struck by an Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist?
Yes. Virginia Statute Section 38.2-2206 defines “Insureds” as the named insured and residents of the named insured in the same household (including the spouse of the named insured, and relatives, along with wards or foster children of either) while in a motor vehicle or otherwise. Basically, this means that if a relative in the same household is hit and injured by a driver who lacks auto insurance or who has insufficient coverage, can file a UM/UIM claims with the named insured's auto insurance policy.
Can a bicyclist who is injured by a motorist apply to receive med pay benefits?
Yes. If a bicyclist is struck by a motorist and is seriously injured, they have the right to file a claim with their automobile insurance carrier to recover medical expense benefits (a.k.a. med pay benefits). If you are unsure whether you have med pay benefits under your auto insurance policy, take the time to contact our personal injury law firm.
Can a pedestrian hit by a motorist obtain medical expense benefits from their auto insurance policy?
Yes. If a pedestrian is hit by a motorist and suffers bodily harm, they have the right to file a claim with their auto insurance carrier to recover medical expense benefits (a.k.a. med pay benefits). If you are unsure whether you have med pay benefits under your policy, take the time to contact our law firm.
How long does it take to settle a personal injury case?
There really is no one-size-fits all answer. Each case is different. Small cases that are less serious in nature will likely be settled in just a few months, while more serious cases involving millions of dollars may take years to settle. That’s because cases of this nature are often too huge to settle outside and therefore tend to go to trial.
It can be frustrating to see your case drag on for many months or even years. Many companies are willing to settle outside of court so they can avoid a costly court case. However, these offers are often lowball amounts, so it’s a trade-off. Are you willing to accept a quick settlement that may consist of less than 30 percent of what you’d receive at trial?
Typically, the longer you wait, the more money you can expect to receive. However, there is also the chance that you could lose your court case and walk away with nothing. Discuss this with your personal injury lawyer to determine how you should proceed.
What if the driver who hit me doesn't have any insurance, or some insurance but not much?
If the driver who hit you does not have auto insurance, do not fret. You should be able to access underinsured/uninsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage on your auto insurance policy. Most Virginia auto insurance policies require drivers to carry a comparable amount of UM/UIM coverage and liability coverage. This means that if you have $100,000 in liability coverage, you should have $100,000 in UM/UIM coverage. If the at-fault driver has auto insurance, but it is a minimal policy (Virginia law only requires a driver to carry $25,000 of coverage), you should be abe to access your UIM coverage to off-set any difference between your damages and the other driver's minimal coverage. For example, if you have $50,000 in medical bills, but the at-fault driver only has $25,000 in coverage, you can access your UIM coverage to cover the outstanding $25,000 in damages.
How much is my auto accident case worth?
Unfortunately, the answer is … it depends. The value of a case is determined by the damages in the case. Damages include the medical bills, the injuries suffered, the time lost away from work, any permanent harm from the injuries, and a number of other factors. The amount of insurance coverage also matters, because the most "valuable" case in the world in terms of damages is typically limited by the availability of auto insurance coverage. For example, if you have $100,000 in medical expenses, but only $75,000 in total available auto insurance coverage, the maximum "value" to your claim is likely $75,000.