Virginia car accident lawyer

After a Crash, We Can Help You Prove the Other Driver’s Negligence and Rule Out Your Liability

by actuate | October 17th, 2022

In most states, the biggest hurdle to clear in a car accident claim is proving the other driver was negligent and the majority at fault for the crash. But in Virginia, there’s another hurdle: proving the injured driver played absolutely no role in his or her crash—especially if they were initially assigned even a small share of blame.

Because Virginia uses a contributory negligence system of fault, drivers who are assigned even 1% of fault for speeding, failing to signal, or having a brake light out can’t receive any compensation after a crash. However, fault assigned at the accident scene by police isn’t always accurate or even relevant.

For example, a driver with a brake light out who was hit head-on shouldn’t be assigned any fault for the crash if that was the only violation the responding police officer found them to have committed, because it had no role in the crash. Unfortunately, this type of situation still happens.

No matter how injured drivers are, they can’t get money for their medical bills and lost wages if the accident report notes they did anything, no matter how minor, to even potentially contribute to the crash.

At Lowell Stanley Injury Lawyers, we deal with this scenario every day. Not only do we work hard to prove at-fault drivers’ negligence caused their crashes, but we also find evidence to help reduce our clients’ level of fault to zero. If you were recently injured in a crash that wasn’t your fault, we want to help. Contact our Virginia car accident lawyers today for a free consultation.

Common Reasons Injured Drivers Are Denied Compensation in Virginia

by actuate | July 4th, 2022

Virginia’s contributory negligence rule is one of the strictest in the U.S. when it comes to awarding injured victims compensation for their damages. Unlike other states where compensation is reduced by percentage of fault, Virginia law says that people with any degree of fault for their accident, even if it’s 1%, are ineligible for compensation.

That means that many injured drivers end up not being able to get settlements for crashes that weren’t their fault. This is often due to many oversight or traffic violations, such as:

  • Headlight was burned out—When a crash occurs at night and the victim’s headlight was burned out, the insurance company may argue that the other driver couldn’t see them, even if they clearly caused the crash.
  • Taillight was burned out—When a driver is rear-ended by another driver, they may be blamed for a small percentage of the crash if their taillight was burned out. That’s because police or the insurance company may rule that it made it more difficult for the other driver to see their vehicle.
  • Distracted at an intersection—If a driver is hit in an intersection by another driver who ran a red light, they may be partially blamed for the crash if they were distracted at the time of the accident.

No one ever plans on getting into an accident, but because Virginia’s laws on getting compensation are so strict, it’s important to protect yourself in the event that someone crashes into you. That means regularly checking and replacing burned out bulbs, avoiding distractions, never speeding, and coming to a complete stop at stop signs.

And if you need help after a crash, the Virginia car accident lawyers at Lowell Stanley Injury Lawyers are always here to discuss your case via a free consultation.  

Can You Sue a Teen Driver if They Crash into You?

by actuate | April 25th, 2022

Statistically, teen drivers are among the most dangerous drivers on the road. Their inexperience, high likelihood of driving while distracted, and greater penchant for risk-taking behind the wheel make them more likely than other age groups to cause accidents. That means that if you’re ever involved in a crash that wasn’t your fault, there’s a good chance the at-fault driver will be a teenager.

Being able to get compensation from at-fault drivers is an important part of Virginia’s legal system, but how does it work when the at-fault driver is a teen? The answer depends on their age. If the teen driver is 18-19 years old, then filing a claim against them works the same way as it does against any other driver, as they’re a legal adult.

If the driver is under the age of 18, filing a claim against them may still work the same way as it does against an adult driver, as it will be handled by their auto insurance provider. This provider is likely the same provider that their parents use. In some cases, injured victims may be able to file claims against the parents of at-fault teens if the parents were aware of their children driving recklessly.

This is common if a child has already been cited for or caused a crash due to reckless and negligent driving. In cases like these, it can be argued that their parents were negligent for still allowing their children to drive or failing to properly supervise them.

If you or someone you love is injured in a crash caused by a teen or any other negligent driver, we want to help. Contact the Virginia car accident attorneys at Lowell Stanley Injury Lawyers today for a free consultation.

Don’t Count on Your Auto Insurer to Play Fair After a Crash

by actuate | March 21st, 2022

Many car accident victims expect that the other drivers’ insurers will play hardball when it comes to handing out settlements after crashes. But they’re often surprised when they go to their own insurers for compensation and find that their settlements are reduced or denied. Unfortunately, insurance companies don’t care if you’re a longstanding policyholder—all they see is a claim that can cut into their profits.

Insurance companies are known for denying all types of claims, and that includes claims like uninsured/underinsured driver coverage or collision coverage. Even when policyholders aren’t at fault and have the right type of coverage for their expenses, they may still find out the hard way that their insurer either won’t pay them a fair settlement or won’t pay them, period.

At Lowell Stanley Injury Lawyers, we work hard to help injured car accident victims get compensation, no matter which insurance company they’re filing a claim against. We know that injured victims’ insurers are just as likely to deny their claims as the insurers of at-fault drivers. And while this often takes victims by surprise, it doesn’t shock us. In fact, we expect it and begin preparing accordingly when victims contact us.

Don’t be caught off guard by your own auto insurer’s uncooperativeness after a crash. Contact our Virginia auto accident lawyers today for a free consultation. We want to protect your rights to the money you’re owed.

What You Should Know About Punitive Damages after Crashes

by actuate | February 21st, 2022

In most auto accident claims, victims are eligible to get two types of compensation: economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages cover expenses such as medical bills and lost wages, while non-economic damages cover reduced quality of life, pain and suffering, and more.

However, in some rare cases, victims may be entitled to a third type of compensation called punitive damages. But instead of this money being awarded to victims to truly “compensate” them for their losses, it is instead levied against the at-fault parties to punish them for their extreme misbehavior. These damages are rarely awarded, and they are capped at $350,000 under Virginia law.

When it comes to auto accident cases, punitive damages may be assessed for things like driving under the influence, especially for extremely high BAC levels or repeat offenders, road rage-related crashes, reckless driving, and more. Punitive damages aren’t awarded when cases settle out of court. Instead, they are levied against at-fault drivers in court by the juries assigned to their cases.

At Lowell Stanley Injury Lawyers, we know when auto accident claims may be eligible for punitive damages, and we don’t pass up that opportunity to help our clients get maximum compensation. When we build claims, we build them with an eventual trial in mind, even though most injury claims settle out of court long before they’re tried in front of a judge and jury.

We believe in being prepared for all possibilities, and that’s just one way we work hard to get our clients the financial recoveries they’re owed. Contact our Virginia auto accident lawyers today for a free consultation.

Can You Get Money for Pain and Suffering After an Auto Accident?

by actuate | December 13th, 2021

When many auto accident victims tally up their damages after a crash, they tend to think of their economic losses. These include their medical bills, which may continue to add up for years to come, and their lost wages, which also may be a factor for the foreseeable future.

But there’s another non-economic damage that auto accident victims can and should factor into their compensation claims: their pain and suffering. Whether they suffer chronic and debilitating pain, become physically disabled, or even develop depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder, victims of auto accidents can see their quality of life decrease significantly after crashes.

However, insurance companies are already reluctant to pay economic damages when victims have itemized bills and proof of lost paychecks. Getting them to pay for non-economic damages can be even more difficult, as they may balk at the idea of compensating someone for reduced quality of life.

At Lowell Stanley Injury Lawyers, our Virginia auto accident lawyers believe that people should be compensated not just for the losses that they can calculate on paper, but also the losses that can’t as easily be quantified. When we build auto accident claims for victims, it’s our job to determine how much money they’re owed for both their economic and non-economic damages.

Contact us today for a free consultation. We leave no stone unturned when we investigate crashes for our clients, and we won’t let any amount of compensation slip through the cracks for your family, either.

Can You Get Money if You’re Partially at Fault for a Crash?

by actuate | August 3rd, 2020

Virginia uses a contributory negligence rule when determining fault and liability in crashes. It means that drivers who are involved in crashes are only eligible for compensation if they’re determined to be 100% innocent of causing them.

Because of Virginia’s strict law when it comes to auto accident claims, it’s even more important to get an experienced Virginia car accident lawyer than it is in other states. That’s because insurance companies know they can get away with denying your claim if there’s any doubt concerning who was at fault and whether all the blame falls on the other driver or just a percentage of it—even if it’s 99%!

In addition to calling a lawyer right away, it’s also important to do two things after a crash to protect yourself:

  1. Never admit fault to the police or the other driver—If the responding police officer notes that you admitted fault, it may be game over for your claim. In addition, evidence may later reveal that you had nothing to do with the crash. It’s best way to let the facts show what happened.
  2. Avoid discussing your crash—When you report the crash to your insurance company, stick to the facts. In addition to not admitting fault, don’t volunteer information. Also, don’t talk about the crash on social media. Your statements may be twisted and used against you.

Even if fault is established at the scene by a police officer, that doesn’t mean that it can’t be revised or changed as more information is gathered and analyzed. Get Lowell Stanley Injury Lawyers on your side today after a crash. Contact us now for a free consultation.

3 Steps to Take Before Leaving the Scene of a Crash

by actuate | April 13th, 2020

The aftermath of an auto accident can be difficult to deal with. Car crashes are loud, shocking, traumatic, and painful. It can be hard to think straight when you’re still at the scene, especially if you were hurt. Your top priority during this time is making sure you, your loved ones, and other victims get the needed medical attention. But if you’re capable of doing so, there are a few other steps you should take to protect your rights to compensation.

Those steps include:

  1. Get contact information from others—It’s vital that you’re able to contact the other driver or drivers. Get their name, phone number, email address, and insurance information. Getting contact information from witnesses is also important.
  2. Cooperate with police, but don’t admit fault—Stay at the accident scene until you leave in an ambulance or are told you’re free to leave by police. Cooperate with them while they’re at the scene, but never admit fault, as doing so could make you ineligible to pursue compensation.
  3. Take pictures of the crash scene—The position of your vehicle and other vehicles involved will change quickly after the crash as the scene is cleaned up. Taking pictures of their positions from a safe location, as well as damage, skid marks, and other markings can serve as valuable evidence.

At Lowell Stanley Injury Lawyers, our Virginia auto accident attorneys know that it can be difficult to keep a clear head after a crash. But the closer you stick to the steps outlined above, the more likely you may be to get the maximum compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Virginia Sees Decline In Serious Accidents, But Experts Look For Continued Improvement

by | October 22nd, 2012

October 22, 2012

While Virginia has seen a steady decline in the number of serious motor vehicle accidents in recent years, experts say the trend seems to be slowing down.

The Virginia-Pilot says the number of serious motor vehicle accidents in the state dropped from 5,803 crashes in 2010 to 5,662 in 2011. This was accredited to stricter licensing policies for new drivers and DUI laws, seatbelt use, and law enforcement’s educational campaigns. A spokeswoman for the Virginia Highway Safety Office, Mary Ann Rayment, lauded DUI checkpoints, along with the Click-It-Or-Ticket campaign for reducing drunk drivers on the road, which can be a major catalyst for serious accidents. Others say the increase in seatbelt usage, from 70 percent in the late 90’s to 82 percent last year, could be credited with the reduction in motor vehicle crashes.

Despite the decrease, more than 700 people die in motor vehicle accidents each year in Virginia and many cities have had a consistent number of serious accidents for decades. In fact, Norfolk Car Accident numbers have remained around 80 annually since the beginning of the decade. Officials plan to combat the problem by working to clear accident scenes faster. They believe this will help to prevent secondary crashes from occurring.

The Norfolk Personal Injury Lawyers with Lowell “The Hammer” Stanley are hopeful the new strategy will be successful in reducing the number of Virginia Car Accidents that occur each year.

Virginia Car Accident Victim Released From Hospital

by | October 1st, 2012

October 1, 2012

Almost two months after a tragic Norfolk car accident left a 45-year-old woman permanently injured, she was discharged from the hospital. According to the Tidewater News, the crash that left her and two others hurt occurred on August 11 on the Route 58 Bypass exit off of Armory Drive, near Courtland.

The woman was driving a PT Cruiser, with her husband, child, and cousin as passengers, when a 26-year-old alleged drunk driver from Gates, North Carolina, was traveling in the wrong direction in a 2006 GMC Envoy and collided head-on with the Cruiser. The woman’s 52-year-old cousin was killed in the accident. She and her husband, along with their child, were all rushed to a local hospital. The driver of the Envoy was arrested and charged with involuntary manslaughter.

The injured driver suffered a crushed left arm and leg, along with five broken ribs. Her husband was diagnosed with a broken neck and back, while their child developed internal bleeding. The female victim underwent two corrective surgeries and had rods inserted in her left arm, hip, and leg. Doctors believe the woman will never fully recover, but she may reach 75 percent of her previous mobility.

The Norfolk Personal Injury Lawyers with Lowell “The Hammer” Stanley understand the struggles that come with being injured in an accident and are here to help you get back on your feet if you have been hurt due to another person’s negligence.