With offices in Petersburg, Virginia and Richmond, Virginia, the personal injury firm of Cuthbert Law knows that car accidents happen—bad ones—all of the time. As a result, our car accident attorneys have committed ourselves to representing those who have been seriously injured or killed by the fault of another person. We specialize in only two things: personal injury accidents and injuries and social security disability. This is because our passion is to help those who have been injured. If you’ve been involved in a car accident and it’s not your fault, important things to remember are:
- Your health and safety are a top priority, check yourself and others for injuries and call 911, even for minor accidents.
- Take pictures of all damages and the accident scene.
- Take down the names and contact information of witnesses.
- Go to the hospital to get checked out, even if you feel okay. Symptoms of internal bleeding or other injuries from great force are not always obvious.
- Protect yourself. Do not give statements to insurance companies without consulting a lawyer.
If you have been injured in an auto accident, you need to recover the money you’ve lost in order to take care of yourself and your family. There is no reason to simply accept the financial consequences of debilitating injuries and lost wages caused by another person’s carelessness. And you may be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering as well. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident in Virginia, you need the skilled Petersburg accident attorneys of Cuthbert Law Offices to help you obtain full and fair compensation. Contact us now.
Car Accidents in Virginia
Anyone who drives on major highway corridors in Virginia knows the significant safety risks posed by careless drivers of cars and trucks. We have represented clients who have been injured in car accidents on the following highways and others:
- Interstate 64
- Interstate 81
- Interstate 85
- Interstate 95
- Interstate 295
- S. Route 1
- Virginia Route 76 (Powhite Parkway)
- Virginia Route 150 (Chippenham Parkway)
- Virginia Route 288
- Virginia Route 360
- Virginia Route 460
If you were injured in a motor vehicle accident through no fault of your own, you may deserve to be compensated. Your compensation may include medical expenses, lost income, property damage, and pain and suffering.
Fatal Car Accidents in Virginia
Cases that involve fatal car accidents are especially complicated. With no testimony from the victim, your attorney must be diligent in tracking down third-party witnesses and evidence from the scene.
According to the World Health Organization, 1.2 million people die each year in car accidents, and almost 34,000 car accident fatalities per year in the U.S. alone. Car crashes cause a fatality about every 12 minutes in this country, which is the fifth most prevalent cause of death.
According to the Virginia State Police (VSP), after hitting a 10-year peak of 1,026 deaths in 2007, the state’s total number of traffic deaths had trended downward until 2011, when deaths unfortunately began to rise again.
In 2011, the NHTSA reported that 764 people were killed in Virginia car accidents. This marks an increase of 3% from the previous year. This number continued to rise in 2012 with a reported 777 car accident fatalities in Virginia. Traffic fatalities decreased by 5% from 2012 to 2013, however, which saw 740 fatalities.
According to the Virginia personal injury attorney, pursuant to Virginia Code section 8.01-52, damages in a wrongful death claim may include, but are not limited to compensation for:
- sorrow and mental anguish
- loss of the deceased’s care, comfort, guidance, companionship, society, advice, and kindly offices
- the value of lost wages and benefits, including those wages and benefits the deceased might reasonably have been expected to earn if he or she had lived
- medical expenses related to the deceased’s final illness or injury
- reasonable funeral and burial expenses, and
- punitive damages
All fatal car accidents represent a family member or friend who has been lost; most often these losses could have been avoided. If one loses a family member to a car accident caused by another driver’s negligence, the administrator of the deceased’s estate is eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Car Accident Causes in Virginia
- Speeding: One can easily lose control of a vehicle and fail to react when driving too fast, especially when road conditions are icy, wet or snowy. VSP statistics reveal that 34 percent of statewide traffic deaths in 2010 involved speeding.
- Fatigued driving: People cause accidents when they fall asleep at the wheel or when fatigue has substantially impaired their mental and physical faculties.
- Distracted driving: A series of recent studies, including one released last month by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, makes it clear that talking on a cell phone or texting while driving is a highly dangerous activity. Both hand-held and hands-free electronic devices take the driver’s attention away from the road and endanger other motorists, motorcyclists and pedestrians.
- Drunk driving or drugged driving: There is nothing more reckless than driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs. Over 346 people are killed each year in alcohol-related wrecks on Virginia roads, VSP statistics show.
Distracted driving has become a much larger issue in recent years with the rise of smartphone use. Many people claim they can use their phones and drive safely because they are “good multi-taskers”, but recent studies show that even “hands-free” cell phone use does not eliminate distraction while driving. This is because contrary to common belief, the human brain cannot effectively multitask, but only switch back and forth quickly between tasks. For example, you are 23 times more likely to crash while driving if you are also texting.
This point is illuminated when you consider that every day in the United States more than 9 people are killed and over 1,153 are injured in crashes due to distracted driving.
Examples of distracted driving include:
- Eating and driving
- Talking and driving
- Unrestrained pets
- Using GPS
- Searching for music
- Reading email
- Searching for change
Liability in Virginia Car Accidents
As stated previously, an injured person (or the deceased person’s family) may collect compensatory damages from the party responsible for the car accident. These damages are meant to reimburse the victims for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, lost future earnings, and the like.
However, if the defendant’s conduct is deemed as reckless or willful and wanton (showing a conscious disregard for the rights of others), exemplary damages or punitive damages may be awarded to the victims as well. These are meant to punish rather than reimburse for losses. Read more about punitive damages in Virginia.
Virginia Car Accident Statistics
The U.S. Census for Transportation reports that there is an average of 6 million car accidents every year in the United States. People between the ages of 15 and 25, and those over 75 are most likely to be affected by car accidents.
According to the Department of Motor Vehicles Virginia Highway Safety Office, there is a car accident every 4.37 minutes on average in Virginia, and 174 people injured per day in these accidents. 120,282 car accidents were reported in Virginia in 2013, a 1.22% decrease from 2012. These accidents resulted in 63,384 injured Virginians. 5,003 of these injuries were a result of alcohol-related crashes, and 13,378 were a result of speed-related crashes.
While the number of crashes has been declining in recent years, there are still well over 100,000 car accidents in Virginia each year, meaning there is much work to be done to increase road safety and decrease the number of car accidents in this state.
Choosing a Car Accident Attorney
Bringing a case to trial is more difficult and expensive now than ever before. Legislators are continually passing laws that put new restrictions on lawsuits. Hiring expert witnesses, preparing video depositions, and creating exhibits for court can run into the tens of thousands of dollars. So how do you choose a law firm to represent you—how do you pay for it
Whether you were in a car or truck accident, we are available to help you on a contingent fee basis. Our Petersburg car accident lawyers have been in business for more than three decades, and the staff of Cuthbert Law Offices has the experience and skill to help you get to the heart of your legal situation.
Unfortunately, time is not on your side. You do not want the wrongdoer’s insurance investigator to talk to key witnesses before we do, and you do not want key facts to disappear.
If you or a loved one has been seriously hurt in a car accident as a result of another person’s negligence contact Cuthbert Law Offices online now, email email@example.com, or call our offices at (804) 733-3100 (Petersburg) or (804) 643-3100 (Richmond).
Our firm is on call by phone for emergencies 24 hours a day. If you call after hours, tell the answering service that you must talk with an attorney on an emergency basis about a death or serious injury. We are here to help!
Our Car Accident Attorneys’ Representative Cases
Shepard v. Capitol Foundry of Virginia, Inc.
The attorneys at Cuthbert Law secured a $1.8 million dollar verdict for the family of Ikeyia M. Jones, an 18-year-old who died in a car accident on South Crater Road in Petersburg, Virginia. She was the passenger in a car that was flipped and crashed into Blandford Cemetery wall. No one involved would admit to driving the vehicle at the time of the crash.
Cuthbert Law’s expert legal tracked down eye-witness testimony, photographs from Petersburg Police, and medical experts to help secure a settlement for the Jones family.
In a related case, Cuthbert attorneys acted quickly to gather evidence from the scene of a car accident where the defendant was driving a large van that killed the passenger of a smaller vehicle. Details are in the video below.