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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Who is liable for a tire blowout crash?
If the driver of the vehicle had properly maintained their tires, then a Virginia car accident attorney will evaluate their case to determine who has liability for the crash. Some of the possible at-fault parties may include:
- Manufacturer if there was a design or manufacturing defect
- Municipality if road conditions caused the crash
- Other driver if the crash was caused by their tire blowing out because they failed to maintain their vehicle.
What causes tire blowouts?
Tire blowouts occur when there is not enough air pressure in the tire, causing the tire to stretch further than what it is meant to until the tire becomes separated from the internal fabric and steel cord reinforcement. Reasons why this drop in pressure may occur include:
- Defective tires
- Not inflated properly
- Slow leak
- Worn treads
How common are tire blowout accidents?
According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are more than 78,000 tire blowout accidents each year. These crashes are responsible for more than 400 death every year.
Ice and snow caused the car crash that injured me. Can I sue VDOT?
No, for at least two reasons.
Virginia, like every other state, requires drivers to adjust their driving to account for road conditions. This translates into a duty to slow down or stay off the road altogether when ice and snow makes pavement slick.
Additionally, Virginia enforces a contributory negligence rule that prevents injury victims who do something to cause their injuries from collecting on insurance claims filed against other people. The contributory negligence rule can also complicate injury claims following crashes during winter weather even if another driver was clearly more at fault.
What happens if the driver who caused my car crash injuries does not have enough insurance coverage?
Virginia requires drivers to carry car insurance that provides a minimum of $25,000 of liability coverage. The state also allows drivers to get around that requirement by paying an annual fee instead of obtaining car insurance.
If a driver carries minimum liability coverage, chooses to pay the noninsured driver fee, or just operates without any type of coverage at all, injured victims of a car crash can find themselves paying their own medical bills.
One more state law helps prevent that. Virginia requires each car insurance policy issued in the state to include uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage provisions. Car crash victims can invoke those provisions when they become victims of a driver with minimum or no liability insurance.
Who has liability following a chain-reaction car crash in Virginia?
Answering the question about which drivers owe legal duties to compensate other people for injuries suffered in a chain reaction crash is very difficult. Only a close examination of the incident will make it possible to determine where to file insurance claims.
The first driver who triggered the pile up will probably not be liable for all the injuries. In Virginia, the legal principle of contributory negligence will also factor into decisions about settling claims. Under that rule, people who are even minorly responsible for causing their own injuries lose their right to collect monetary damages from someone who is even more at fault.
The best way to know who has liability following a chain-reaction car crash is to partner with an experienced Virginia personal injury attorney who can do the investigation and analyses needed to determine which driver’s insurance company to contact.
What are tailgating accidents?
Tailgating accidents occur when one car is traveling too close to the vehicle that is in front of them. When a driver fails to keep a safe distance, the result is often a rear-end crash. The faster the vehicle in the rear is going, the harder the impact and the more serious the injuries.
While the majority of tailgating accidents are caused by negligence on the part of the driver in the rear vehicle, there are situations where the driver in front acted negligently or recklessly, causing the crash. Weather conditions can also cause a tailgating crash.
Are tailgating accidents preventable?
Studies show that tailgating accidents are one of the most preventable accidents that occur. Some steps drivers can take are:
- Always keep a safe distance between your vehicle and the one in front, using the three-second rule
- Slow down your speed in bad weather
- If a driver is going too slow, pass them instead of driving too close to them
- Make sure to give yourself enough time to get to your destination. That way you won’t feel impatient and rushed
- If there is a vehicle that is tailgating you, find a way to let them pass you
What are the most common injuries that occur in tailgating accidents?
There are more than 900,000 people injured each year in tailgating accidents. About 2,000 victims are killed every year. Some of the more frequent types of serious and catastrophic injuries include:
- Brain injuries
- Burn injuries
- Cuts and lacerations
- Leg injuries
- Lower back injury
- Shoulder, arm, wrist injury
- Spinal injuries
Who has the right of way at a four-way stop?
Drivers must always yield to the driver who stopped first. However, if both vehicles stopped at the same time, then the driver on the right has the right of way and goes first. Vehicles that are turning are required to yield to those going straight ahead.