Virginia Personal Injury and Accident Law

Automobile insurance is generally understood by many as a means to protect assets from injured third parties, also known as liability coverage. What happens, though, when you are injured by an at-fault driver who has low insurance limits or no insurance? Your own policy will carry coverage known as uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM). This coverage can help guard against an adverse financial impact caused by an irresponsible driver.

A drunk driver who causes injury may escape jail time altogether, and any restitution may not even cover the injured party’s medical bills. However, if you are injured by a drunk driver, you may be able to recover more than just damages that compensate you for your injuries and damage to your property. Virginia recognizes a category of damages called “punitive damages” that operates to punish a wrongdoer over and above the amount of damage caused to the victim and to deter egregious conduct. Punitive damages are especially helpful in drunk driving cases when the criminal penalty imposed may seem insufficient.

You have been injured in an accident while the other driver seemingly walks away with a traffic ticket, perhaps for speeding or running a red light.  You pause and wonder about the fairness of this situation.  Although the other driver may be tempted to avoid the hassle of court and instead opt to prepay the associated fine, the law may be on your side. 

As the calendar rolled over to July 1, 2018, new laws have taken effect in the Commonwealth.  The following “short” list is not comprehensive, but includes those laws that may have interest among personal injury and civil litigation attorneys.

When you sue someone or are being sued, chances are high that you will find yourself in one of Virginia’s General District Courts (the “GDC”). The GDC oversees the adjudication of small civil claims, which is the focus of this post.  Other matters handled by the GDC include traffic violations, minor criminal cases known as misdemeanors and preliminary hearings for more serious criminal cases called felonies.

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