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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What if the driver's conduct did not cause the wreck?Another possibility is there was a mechanical failure that caused the accident. Our attorneys will look at the possibility of a product liability claim against the auto manufacturer or the manufacturer of the component that failed, such as the airbag or seat belt. Also, if a mechanic performed shoddy work, then there could be a claim against that mechanic or his employer.
What if I contributed to the negligence of the driver, or knew the driver would probably drive recklessly, such as I knew he was intoxicated?In this case, your claim could be in trouble because the defendant could assert a contributory negligence defense or assumption of the risk defense.
What is the legal situation when I am injured in a single car accident as a passenger?Our legal investigation first will begin with how the driver conducted himself. If the driver lost control, did not react properly, was drunk or speeding, then the driver is probably responsible for your injuries. You probably have a negligence claim against the driver.
How often are people killed by tractor trailers in the United States?The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety states there were 3986 people killed in truck crashes in 2016.
Should I accept the insurance company’s settlement offer?
Victims should be cautious about settling too quickly, despite all the “tricks” the insurance company may try. One common trick is to offer you a settlement far less than what you deserve but tell you that you must agree to the offer immediately or the window will close completely. Insurance adjusters know that they cannot get away with these types of manipulations with victims when there is a car accident attorney advocating for them. To ensure your rights are protected, you should retain an attorney to represent you.
How is a settlement negotiated?
Always consult with a car accident attorney before discussing any settlement with the insurance company. The attorney will be able to calculate how much your compensation you are entitled to for the losses your injuries have caused. The majority of insurance adjusters will offer a settlement that is far less than the victim should receive. This is why it is best to have an attorney negotiate for you.
What do I need to have ready before I speak with the at-fault driver’s insurance company?
It is highly recommended that you do not speak with the other driver’s insurance company before speaking with a car accident attorney. And regardless of what the insurance adjuster may tell you, you do not ever want to agree to give them a recorded statement.
Dealing with your own insurance company is different, especially if you need to pursue damages through your own policy because the other driver was uninsured or underinsured or it was a hit and run accident. You will want to have a copy of the police report, any photos from the crash, any medical expenses you have incurred, medical records, and an estimate of the repairs needed for your vehicle.
What driving precautions should I take if the weather is bad?
The first thing you want to do is slow down, regardless of what the speed limit is. Ice and snow reduce traction, and this leaves your tires unable to grip the road. This puts you at a greater risk of sliding – and crashing.
You also want to make sure to begin slowing down well in advance of when you need to come to a complete stop. Hitting your brakes too soon could also cause your vehicle to go into a slide.
When you are driving in an area with hills, you do not want to accelerate as you are going up the hill. This will just cause your tires to spin. Try gaining speed before you begin the ascent.
How should I prepare for Virginia winter driving?
There are certain steps you should take to make sure your vehicle is ready for any kind of weather you may encounter. This includes having an emergency kit in your vehicle that contains:
- Basic toolkit
- Blanket and warm clothes
- Cell phone charger
- Emergency flares
- First Aid kit
- Gallon of water (more if you are traveling distances)
- Jumper cables
- Kitty litter, sand, or road salt
- Non-perishable food such as canned food, energy bars and nuts
- Shovel, broom, and ice scraper
You also want to make sure that your vehicle is mechanically ready for the winter, too. Have your mechanic check the following:
- Antifreeze levels
- Battery and ignition system
- Exhaust system
- Fuel and air filters
- Heater and defroster
- Lights and flashing hazard lights
- Windshield wiper equipment and washer fluid level
What are the dangers in winter weather driving in Virginia?
Although Virginia’s winters may be considered mild compared to other parts of the country, we still get our fair share of freezing temperatures, ice, and snow. These conditions can make for some white-knuckle driving, especially when drivers do not make the necessary adjustments to how they are driving when the weather is bad. Black ice is particularly dangerous – and far too common – on the state’s roads during the winter months.
The milder winters can actually present more dangers when the weather does turn bad because many motorists are unprepared for the bad weather. For example, since Virginia doesn’t get much snowfall, most vehicles do not have snow tires on them. This means on the occasions when it does snow, driving can be treacherous.