Virginia Personal Injury and Accident Law

Several new bills have been approved (or rejected) by the General Assembly and awaiting the Governor’s decision, some of which affect litigation and personal injury. Stay current with developments in the law by following PLDR Law.

Many people expect that all negligent actors can be held liable for damages. In Virginia, however, charities are immune for acts of ordinary negligence. This means that an injured party, even if a member or beneficiary of the charity, cannot sue a charity or its employees, provided due care had been exercised in selecting and retaining the employees.

Generally, creditors cannot reach proceeds from a personal injury or wrongful death settlement because such proceeds are exempt under Virginia Law. However, there are several important exceptions to this rule. One of these exceptions is for medical providers who provide treatment to the injured party. According to Code of Virginia Section 8.01-66.2, certain medical providers may claim limited amounts from a personal injury settlement when they provide services to a person who was injured by another. The statutory limit of the lien is $2,500 in the case of a hospital or nursing home, $750 for each physician, nurse, physical therapist, or pharmacy, and $200 for each emergency medical services provider or agency. If your medical bills are paid by your health insurance, the health insurance company may seek reimbursement from your settlement as well, but the right of reimbursement must be stated in the plan documents. Other liens, such as those asserted by Medicare and Medicaid, may also affect or reduce an injured party’s recovery.

Medical payments coverage is “no-fault” optional automobile insurance in Virginia. “No-fault” means that an injured person can receive proceeds from this coverage for personal injuries stemming from an auto accident regardless of who was at fault. “Medical payments” and “medical expense” is the same type of coverage, often used interchangeably. Attorneys and insurance adjusters simply refer to it as “MedPay.” Insurance companies will offer medical expense coverage typically in amounts of $1,000, $2,000, or $5,000. A car owner can purchase this optional coverage in addition to liability coverage (bodily injury and property damage).

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.

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