A woman from Fauquier County is suing a housing subdivision because of a boating accident that killed her husband.
The accident occurred in July 2010 when Jason Goodman was struck by a pontoon boat that was being operated by Charles Schulle who says that he was an employee of the Lake of the Woods Association at the time of the accident. Schulle was doing tours of the lake when the boat hit Goodman.
Michele Goodman is suing the association for $6 million in addition to suing Schulle for $500,000 in punitive damages. She claims that Lake of the Woods operated the lake in an unsafe manner, however, the association says that Jason Goodman contributed to his death because of his own negligence.
The state of Virginia has specific laws surrounding wrongful death cases. Here are the details of the Virginia Wrongful Death Statute. You can also read more about wrongful death and fatal accidents including frequently asked questions and resources on our website.
If you believe that your loved one was killed due to the negligence of another, it’s important to contact an experienced Virginia wrongful death lawyer to see whether or not you have a claim. Your lawyer can tell what types of damages you are entitled to depending on the circumstances of the case.
Texting while driving has been a big issue these past few years as more and more people have become glued to their cell phones and smart phones. In the state of Virginia, a cop can only ticket a person for texting while driving as a secondary offense, but that may all change soon. According to an article over at CBSDC, the Senate Courts of Justice Committee approved legislation that makes texting or e-mailing while driving a primary offense in Virginia.
A survey conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration revealed that 90 percent of drivers said that they feel very unsafe if a driver is texting or emailing when they are passengers. In fact, 71 percent of drivers support bans on handheld cell phone use while driving and 94 percent support bans on texting while driving. The NHTSA has now partnered with the Ad Council to launch a new campaign that urges people to “Stop the texts and stop the wrecks”.
It will be interesting to see whether or not this new law will decrease accidents in Virginia. Keep in mind that texting while driving can be a lethal combination because it involves three different distractions: visual, manual and cognitive.
If you’ve been involved in a car accident, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced Richmond car accident lawyer to help you with your case.
The majority of states in the U.S. require that drivers carry car insurance, but Virginia is one of the few states that allow drivers to forego coverage if they pay a $500 fee to the Department of Motor Vehicles. Also, it is not a crime if a driver fails to carry their insurance card on them to show to police officers if they are pulled over.
Despite this law, however, there have been reports that drivers are being fined for failing to provide proof of insurance. Apparently, police officers and members of the courts have been misinterpreting Virginia code § 46.2-707. In actuality, in order to be charged under this law, a driver must admit that the car is uninsured and that the $500 DMV fee had not been paid. The consequences include a Class 3 misdemeanor, license suspension, plus a $500 fine.
Before making any statements to any insurance adjuster, we recommend reading our free accident injury book that will provide some insider information regarding car accident claims. If you have further questions about car accidents with uninsured drivers in Virginia, don’t hesitate to contact us.
I was in a car accident in Virginia, but I do not have car insurance. I am not at fault, though. Can I still get money for my injury and damages to my car?
Although you do not carry insurance, it is not considered a “fault” in the state of Virginia. You can still file an injury or damage claim with the other party’s insurance company. At the time of the accident you should have collected the other driver’s personal information including their insurance information. You can contact the insurance company on your own or hire an experienced Virginia car accident lawyer.
If you go ahead and file the claim yourself, but the other driver’s car insurance company refuses to pay, do not give up. Car insurance companies will often do this. Dealing with them can be a hassle and very time-consuming. We recommend reading our free accident injury book to help you with your case, “Hidden Inside Secrets Big Insurance Companies Don’t Want You to Know About Your Injury Claim“.
We understand that due to financial reasons you may not be able to purchase liability insurance, but you are putting yourself at an even greater financial risk by not carrying insurance. If you are in an auto accident in Virginia and you were at fault, you would have to pay out of pocket for any injury or damages to other parties.
FYI: The state of Virginia requires the following minimum car insurance coverage:
- Bodily injury/death of one person $25,000
- Bodily injury/death of two or more persons $50,000
- Property damage $20,000
I was injured in a car accident. If I am at fault in any way, can I still file a personal injury claim?
This is a common question that people have about personal injury cases. Unfortunately, Virginia is one of the few states that still follows the Law of Contributory Negligence, which says that even if you are at fault 1%, you cannot recover any damages.
So if you were in a car accident and injured due to another person’s negligence, but the court discovers that you may have contributed even just a little to that accident, essentially you will get nothing.
There have been few cases where a jury will rule for the defendant based on contributory negligence, but it rarely happens. In theory, this 400-year-old Law of Contributory Negligence is still in effect, but most juries in Virginia usually disregard it and go with comparative negligence. Comparative negligence says that if, for example, the injured party (plaintiff) is at fault 10% and the party who is negligent is 90% at fault, then the plaintiff can recover 90% of the damages. The judge or jury will be the ones who determine the proportion of fault to be assigned to each party.
Have you been involved in a car accident in the Richmond, Virginia area? Even if you feel that you may be partially to blame, we highly recommend seeking the advice of an experienced Richmond, Virginia car accident lawyer who can help protect your legal rights. There is still a chance that you can be compensated for any injuries or damages.