Automobile accidents are common in Hampton, VA, and nationwide. Traffic accidents take a significant toll on millions of American lives, resulting in hundreds of billions of dollars in damages each year. In 2022 alone, over 122,000 automobile crashes in Virginia injured 59,000 individuals.
If you sustained injuries in an auto accident case, it could upend your life. Pursuing compensation for your injuries without help could leave a significant amount of money on the table. To avoid accepting a lowball offer that will not cover your expenses, contact the legal team at The Law Firm of Carlton F. Bennett, PLLC.
We offer free, no-risk consultations and will provide an honest assessment of your case. If we take your case, our team will aggressively pursue all compensation you are entitled to. This allows you to focus on the most important thing—your recovery.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
Like most cities, a car wreck in Hampton can occur for many reasons. Despite advances in vehicle driving technology and improved infrastructure on roadways, accidents still happen. Most injuries and deaths from car accidents are preventable.
Human error causes the overwhelming majority of car accidents. With increased awareness of the common causes of car accidents, drivers may know what to watch for and become more cautious when driving. The most common reasons for accidents include the following:
- Distracted driving,
- Drunk driving,
- Reckless driving,
- Aggressive driving,
- Running red lights and stop signs, and
In addition to human causes, other factors such as weather conditions, road conditions, and vehicle defects can also significantly impact the number of car accidents that occur. Accidents can range from minor fender benders to serious crashes that injure or kill victims.
Common Injuries Resulting from a Car Accident
Whether your injury from a car crash is minor or severe, accidents can have a major impact on your life. Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for people ages 1-75 and the leading cause of death for those ages 5-24. Common injuries include the following:
- Head and neck injuries,
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI),
- Back and spine injuries,
- Broken bones,
- Psychological trauma, and
- Soft tissue injuries.
Symptoms depend on the severity of the injury. Some types of injuries will resolve over time. But, in more severe cases, the injury and accompanying disability may be permanent and life-changing. Serious, long-term, or permanent injuries can result in a high award for damages in a personal injury case.
Damages That May Be Available for a Car Accident
All drivers in Virginia have a legal duty to drive with a reasonable degree of care. When another driver breaches the duty of care, and you suffer resultant damages, you can sue the other driver for negligence.
Virginia allows plaintiffs to claim economic damages and noneconomic damages. Economic damages are out-of-pocket expenses. Economic damages include the following:
- Medical expenses,
- Lost wages, and
- Property damage.
Noneconomic damages do not represent actual monetary loss. Instead, these losses are less tangible and address the emotional and psychological hardships you face as a result of the crash. These damages are much more difficult to prove, as there are no receipts or invoices to add up to calculate emotional distress, etc. An experienced Hampton, VA, accident attorney can provide experienced counsel to ensure you are best positioned to prove noneconomic damages. These noneconomic damages can include the following:
- Pain and suffering,
- Emotional distress, and
- Loss of affection and companionship.
As stated, noneconomic damages are not easily quantifiable. Nevertheless, they are real losses and potentially recoverable.
Another type of award could be for punitive damages. These damages are available if a plaintiff can prove that the defendant acted with actual malice. This can be difficult to prove, so punitive damages are rare in car accident cases. Further, Virginia law caps punitive damages. A skilled car accident attorney can explain your legal options for recovery.
What Should You Do After a Car Accident in Hampton, VA?
- Death, or
- Property damage.
This must occur as soon as reasonably possible. Due to injuries, the report must sometimes occur following immediate medical treatment. Additionally, it is critical to take these steps following the accident:
- Exchange insurance information with the other driver;
- Collect contact information for the other driver;
- Identify witnesses and get their names and contact information;
- Take photos of the accident scene, your injuries, and property damages;
- Notify your insurer of the accident; and
- Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer.
It is important not to discuss the case with the other driver’s insurance company before contacting a personal injury attorney because they have tactics designed to lower the amount of money they pay you. Without legal assistance, you might fall prey to these tactics and settle for a low amount that leaves you with mounting bills you cannot pay. It’s also critical to avoid signing any settlement documents or discussing details of the accident with the other driver without legal counsel.
When Should You Contact a Car Accident Attorney?
Not every case requires you to contact an attorney. But in cases with injury or disputed liability, you should contact a lawyer for the auto accident in Hampton.
The statute of limitations is a law that limits the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit. In Virginia, the statute of limitations for injuries due to a motor vehicle accident is two years from the date of the accident.
While two years may seem like a long time, it’s best to seek the assistance of an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible. The hours and days after an accident represent a crucial time for the preservation of evidence. Memories fade, and evidence disappears over time. Seeking legal counsel will best position you to secure the total compensation you deserve.
Contact a Hampton Car Accident Attorney
The Law Firm of Carlton F. Bennett, PLLC, is prepared to go to battle for you if you’re a car accident victim. With more than 47 years of experience helping injured victims, our principal attorney, Carlton Bennett, has the skill and resources to assist you. Our legal team has extensive experience working with insurance companies to recover the compensation our clients deserve. We are familiar with insurance company tactics and are prepared to advocate for you. Our results speak for themselves.
Our legal team will review the facts of your accident and discuss your legal rights. We provide free, no-obligation consultations and receive no fees unless you are compensated. Give us a call or complete our online form today.