Unfortunately, car accidents have become a common occurrence throughout the U.S. According to a report on road accidents, every three minutes, one car accident happens in Virginia. On average, over 178 people got injured in a car accident in 2015. Car crashes can be devastating and often results in life-altering consequences like physical impairment, fatalities, and long-term financial burden.
Often, auto accident victims think that suing the at-fault party for the damages and injuries is easy. However, one must know that car crash lawsuits require thorough investigation and preparation by expert lawyers. If you have sustained injuries or incurred property damage due to a car accident of no fault of yours, you must seek legal assistance from a personal injury attorney Hampton VA. With legal help from expert attorneys, there is a higher chance of getting a fair settlement.
This blog has discussed the essential aspects of car accident court cases that every injured plaintiff should know.
Auto Insurance Payout
In Virginia, the drivers are required by the state law to carry updated auto insurance. In case you get injured in a car crash and decide to sue at-fault driver, their insurance provider will not pay out the full settlement amount. How much they payout depends upon the insurance policy and coverage purchased by the driver. There are instances where the insurer can deny the claim and not agree to pay out any amount. In such a scenario, you can choose to sue the driver and take the case to court. It’s seldom that auto insurance providers refuse to settle the claim as doing so can attract litigations. However, insurance companies always try to convince the other party on less money than they claim. They have experienced insurance adjusters who know how to manipulate the plaintiff to settle for less than they deserve. Thus, it’s always in the injured party’s best interest to consult a professional injury lawyer Virginia when dealing with an insurance company.
The role of the jury in car accident lawsuits
Like any other accident cases, in an auto crash, the victim can take legal action on the at-fault driver to recover medical expenses, financial losses due to injuries, property damage, and other losses. However, not all car accident lawsuits go on trial before the jury. Some cases get resolved by both parties outside the court.
In case a car accident lawsuit reaches the jury, the jury has three primary roles. They are:
Determining who is at fault in the car crash:
Negligence or fault by the offender is established if they meet specific criteria laid down by the law.
The jury’s primary responsibility is to determine whether the at-fault party did anything wrong or was careless enough to cause the accident. In-car crashes, anything from drowsy driving to drinking and driving, distracted driving to breaking traffic rules can be deemed as a negligent or illegal act by the jury.
The fault of the plaintiff:
Virginia is amongst a few states in the U.S that follow contributory negligence law. According to the doctrine of contributory negligence, plaintiffs are not entitled to any compensation if they are found to cause the crash. The jury assesses the evidence to determine whether the plaintiff has contributed to the car crash or not.
Determining injuries and losses
Another crucial role of the jury in a car crash lawsuit is to evaluate the injuries and damages incurred by the victim. Besides personal injuries, property damage, and medical expenses, the jury also considers lost income due to the injuries, mental and emotional trauma, and long-term sufferings.