I have been working in the area of personal injury law nearly all the time for 18 years. During that time, I have learned lots of specific rules that are hidden in the statutes and case law pertaining to automobile wreck and other injury cases. Now, after having done injury work for so long, I feel that I know probably 97% of the rules applicable to handling personal injury cases and trying them in Virginia (VA) courts. The beauty of this knowledge of the personal injury law related to car wreck cases is that I can immediately bring this information to bear to get my personal injury clients a better result and without having to check the law books each time to reinvent the wheel.
A few examples will help you to get a sense for the kinds of specific personal injury law and automobile accident law that I am talking about. For example, an experienced bodily injury lawyer in Virginia (VA) knows that: (1) in Virginia (VA), you are required to have your headlights on any time the weather requires you to have your windshield wipers on even during daylight hours; (2) if you give a recorded statement to the insurance company before you hire a personal injury lawyer, that cannot be used against you in court in Virginia (VA) (unlike some other states); (3) in Virginia (VA), if you are making a turn on a road with a speed limit of 35 mph or higher, you are required to show your turn signal for at least 100 feet, Virginia (VA) Code Section 46.2-848; (4) in analyzing the amount of medical payments coverage you have on your own automobile insurance policy, you take the amount of those limits and multiple it times the number of cars on the policy to determine how much money is available from the insurer for medical payments (thus you “stack” and take coverage of $1,000.00 on two vehicles to come up with an available amount of $2,000.00); (5) in a failure to yield right of way situation where one car is making the left turn in front of another car coming the opposite direction, the right of way is forfeited by statute if the vehicle coming the opposite way is speeding; (6) if a drunk driver has blood alcohol content of .15 or higher, then the person with an injury claim against that driver for an automobile wreck is almost automatically entitled to some punitive damages; (7) the failure to use a seat belt is never admissible in a Virginia (VA) personal injury trial against the person injured to prove negligence; (8) we are never allowed to get a recovery from a jury greater than the amount sued for in Virginia (VA) in a personal injury case.
These are but a few examples of the kinds of rules that affect car wreck and other injury cases in Virginia (VA) that experienced personal injury lawyers should know. However, the typical attorney who may only dabble in personal injury law or has not done it that long, may not have encountered and learned each of these rules. This experience and knowledge of the specific law applicable to injury and wrongful death cases in Virginia (VA) is why it is so critical that you contact a competent, experienced lawyer when you are hurt in a car crash. I find opportunities to use my knowledge of such rules to the advantage of my clients who have been hurt in automobile accidents. A lot of times the young insurance adjustors who I deal with in resolving cases are not familiar with all of the rules and have to be educated about them. The knowledge of the rules is a powerful tool in the hands of your personal injury lawyer to make sure that you get maximum compensation for your injuries.