Note: The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.

Am I entitled to a rental car after an accident?

If your car is damaged in an accident caused by an at-fault driver, you are entitled to a rental car as part of your claim. The insurance carrier must pay for the rental car for a reasonable period of time, usually the amount of time necessary to repair your vehicle.

The rental car must be reasonably comparable to your damaged car. If you were driving a Toyota, you cannot expect the insurance company to provide a Mercedes. By the same token, if you had an SUV, you should demand more than a subcompact rental car. Contact us, Overbey, Hawkins, Wright & Vance, for help.

A drunk driver caused my accident, how is that handled?

You’re in an accident caused by a drunk driver. How is that case handled?

Well, in those cases, you may be entitled to a different set of damages than the ordinary case depending on the blood alcohol level of the person that caused the accident.

In the ordinary case, you are entitled to compensatory damages; damages for your pain and suffering, your medical bills, your time out of work, and those kinds of things. If there is a drunk driver involved, you may want to be entitled to punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended to punish the wrongdoer and are in addition to the compensatory damages in such cases. If you are involved in such an accident, you need to consult with an attorney who is experienced in such cases.


Am I entitled to lost wages?

When you are injured in a car accident due to another person’s negligent act, you may need to miss time from work while recovering from your injuries. Provided your doctor can confirm that the accident related injuries caused you to miss work, you are entitled to recover the resulting lost wages. 

You should, however, try to return to work at the earliest possible date your doctor will permit it. Give us a call to ensure you obtain full and fair compensation for your lost wages.


Am I required to give a statement to the insurance company?

You are not required to give a recorded statement to the insurance company of the driver who caused the accident. However, you may be required as a term of your insurance policy to give a recorded statement to your own insurance company.

In either case, it is important to speak with an attorney before you talk to an adjuster. An adjuster may try to trick you into saying something they will use against you later. Your attorney will probably want to be present for any statements you make about the accident to any insurance company employee. Overbey, Hawkins, Wright & Vance is available to protect your rights.


Am I required to have liability insurance in Virginia?

In Virginia, you must have at least $25,000.00 in liability automobile insurance or you must pay $500.00 to the Department of Motor Vehicles for the uninsured motorist fund.

Practically, we advise that you should maintain at least $250,000.00 in liability insurance policy limits and an equal amount for uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. That way, if you are ever hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver, you are better protected financially. However, if you suffer a catastrophic injury, even this will not protect you financially. You should discuss this with a Virginia attorney to determine how much insurance you should purchase.


Can I recover if I got a ticket after the accident?

Any person who is injured by the negligent act of another driver can recover compensation for their injuries, unless the injured person also caused the accident through his negligence.

 In Virginia, you cannot recover for your injuries if you are at fault in the accident and your fault proximately caused your injuries. This rule is an old common law rule called contributory negligence. It only exists in a handful of states, and most states have abolished or modified the rule. Virginia has not. If you were negligent in an accident, and your negligence caused your injuries, even slightly, then you cannot recover. If the other driver’s negligence caused your injuries, you should contact a Virginia lawyer to determine if you can recover for your harms and losses.

Can I sue for loss of consortium?

Car accidents affect many people, including the loved ones of those injured in a collision. Virginia does not recognize a spouse’s independent claim for loss of consortium.

In a personal injury case, only the injured person can recover for his or her bodily injuries, medical bills, lost income or earning capacity, pain and suffering, mental anguish, etc. But the injured person’s spouse does not get to sue for loss of consortium. The injured person’s spouse will need to testify, however, to the effect of the injury on the plaintiff, which would include the type of matters that could be covered by a loss of consortium claim.

Do I have to go to court to recover for my injuries?

Most Virginia accident cases settle at some point prior to trial. In many cases, your attorney will be able to reach a settlement with the insurance company through direct negotiation. However, if the insurance company is denying liability, claiming that you are not injured, or that you are not injured as seriously as you claim, then the only way to recover what you are entitled to is to go to court. 

You also have the option to try to reach a settlement through mediation, where a neutral party provides assistance in reaching an agreement. Some cases may be submitted to arbitration, where a third party decides the value of the claim. Any non-court resolution requires your agreement. However, your willingness to go to trial if necessary often results in the best chance for a complete and fair recovery. Overbey, Hawkins, Wright & Vance is ready and willing to fight for fair compensation.

Do I have to reimburse my health insurance company?

After your personal injury case is over and you have received compensation from the insurance company, you may have to reimburse your health insurance company if you are awarded damages in your Virginia car accident case. Every health plan is different, and before we can answer whether you will have to repay your health insurance company, we need to review your plan specifically.

The law governing Medicaid, Medicare, employer health plan, and individual plans varies greatly. If you are injured in an automobile collision, use your health insurance to get the treatment you need to get better. If your health insurance company refuses to pay, call us to help secure your necessary medical treatment. Your health and recovery is the most important thing for you and your personal injury case. Tell your lawyer that you have health insurance and bring your health insurance information to us to review. We will determine if you have to pay any of those ligation proceeds back, and we will advise you of what you should do.  


Do I need a lawyer for my personal injury case?

The short answer to your question is no. There is no law that requires you to hire an attorney for a personal injury case. 

Many accident victims try to go it alone with the other driver’s insurance adjuster. If you do, you may get bullied or pushed around by the adjuster. You have to remember, the adjuster’s goal is a quick settlement in order to save them money, often at your expense. You will want to consult an attorney early in the process before making any decisions because settling with the adjuster is final. We represent injured people all the time and we are not afraid to go toe to toe with the insurance company.

However, the real question should be; “Why should I hire a Virginia personal injury attorney to handle my Virginia personal injury case?” When you hire a good lawyer you get several benefits, such as:

  1. Years of legal training
  2. Readily available legal resources to assist in your case
  3. Experience practicing personal injury law in Virginia
  4. Experience dealing with insurance companies in Virginia
  5. An understanding of the local court system.

The bottom line is that a reputable Virginia personal injury attorney will not accept your case if the attorney thinks that you won’t be able to get more damages than what the insurance companies involved are already offering. Remember that insurance companies want to settle for as little as possible, which could possibly leave you with a settlement that doesn’t adequately address all of your accident-related expenses, such as ongoing medical costs and lost wages. You should at least consult a lawyer before settling with the insurance company. At Overbey, Hawkins, Wright & Vance, your personal injury consultation is free and there are no obligations.

How long does it take to finish my case?

Insurance carriers typically refuse to pay anything on a claim until you are ready to sign a complete and total release. Consequently, you will not want to settle until you have completely recovered. 

If the accident causes permanent injuries, you will not want to settle until your doctor is able to predict the long-term effects of those injuries. We call this point “maximum medical improvement.” From that point, receiving full and fair compensation takes anywhere between a few months and several years depending on the complexity of the case. Give Overbey, Hawkins, Wright & Vance a call to get ahead of the game and start the recovery process.


How much does a personal injury lawyer cost?

Most Virginia personal injury lawyers charge a contingency fee. That means you do not pay the lawyer a fee if you lose your case. The fee varies for each lawyer, but typically it is around one-third of the total recovery. Some firms charge upwards of 50% of your total recovery. At Overbey, Hawkins, Wright & Vance, the fee is one-third of whatever we recover for you. Contact us if you’ve been injured in a car accident, we can help.

How much money can I expect from my personal injury case?

Many accident victims want to know how much money they can expect to receive for their injuries. This is a difficult question and the answer depends on the extent of your injuries, along with many other factors.

You will not really know how much your injuries have cost until you go through your full course of treatment, reaching maximum medical improvement. In addition, there are other factors that must be considered; such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, and inconvenience.

 We are here to help you with these questions and more. Call us for an appointment today.


I was a passenger and injured in a car accident, who can I sue?

A passenger in a car wreck can recover damages for injuries caused by the driver of the vehicle in which they were riding, and the other driver, if either driver was negligent in causing the accident. If both drivers were negligent and their concurrent negligence caused your injuries, then both drivers could be legally responsible for your harms and losses.

However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, if you knowingly get into a car with a drunk driver, then you may assume the risk of getting injured by that drunk driver’s negligence. The moral of the story is: be careful who you get into the car with. If you were a passenger in a car and you were injured through no fault of your own, you should consult a Virginia injury lawyer to determine if you can recover for your harms and losses. At Overbey, Hawkins, Wright & Vance, we will sit down and talk to you free of charge, no obligations.

Should I consult a Virginia attorney?

The other party’s insurance will want to settle your case quickly. The problem is, they represent their insured, not you. And often, you will not be able to tell that they do not represent you because they will sound concerned about you and your injuries.

You need to consult an attorney at the beginning of your case before you deal with insurance adjusters. You need aggressive representation on your side that is watching out for you. Before you agree to anything, call us today.


Should I go to the doctor after a car accident?

After a car accident, you should go to the doctor as soon as you experience symptoms. The doctor will document your symptoms which becomes important later when he must determine whether the accident caused your injuries. If you wait to get treatment, the doctor may be unable to say for certain whether the accident is the cause of your injuries. Your ability to recover for your injuries will depend on the doctor’s ability to make the connection to the accident. Overbey, Hawkins, Wright & Vance can help you navigate the complex legal process.

What do I do if I am injured in a car accident?

You’re involved in an accident and you think you might be hurt. What should you do? 

  1. When the police officer arrives, don’t tell him that you are not hurt. If you say that you think that you might have some injuries, but you don’t want to go to the hospital, that’s okay. You don’t have to go to the hospital. But if you say you’re not hurt and you’re having aches and pains, the officer is going to write in his report that you are not injured and that may hurt you later if you find out that you’re having more problems than you thought you were going to have.
  2. If you are hurting, go to the hospital. If you don’t want to go to the hospital you can go to your family doctor or an urgent care office of some kind. It needs to be documentation as to the injuries that you have. You need to go immediately, or as soon as possible. You can go the next day, but you need to go quickly.
  3. Tell your doctor everything that is hurting you, not just those things that seem like they are hurting you the most. Sometimes, further down the road the things that may seem minor at the scene or the hospital. So, be sure to mention everything that is hurting you.
  4. Phone your own insurance company. Why do you phone your own insurance company if someone else caused the accident? Well, there might be problems with the insurance, but you need to let them know so they can investigate if they need to.

Lastly, call an attorney. At our office, the initial personal injury consultation is free.

What do I do if I’m in a car accident?

You’re involved in an accident, but the accident wasn’t your fault. What do you do?

  1. At the scene, the most important thing you do is call the police. You want to be sure that there is an accident report that is made so that later on, you have the officer as a witness as to what happened, and what the people said.
  2. Before the officer gets there, gather your thoughts. You want to gather your thoughts, be coherent and organized when the officer gets there. Then, if you need to reconstruct what happened such as where you were coming from, how the accident happened, and what landmarks might be there and available that you can point out to the officer.
  3. You, or someone on your behalf, should try to take photographs of the accident scene and the vehicles. When I say “scene,” I mean with the vehicles as they are before they are moved, if at all possible. Go up the road and take pictures, and go down the road and take pictures. 
  4. Get the names and phone numbers of any witnesses to the accident. The officer may get them, but he may not, too, and you need to make sure that you have those folks available later on if you have to.
What if a driver of a commercial vehicle caused my accident?

Automobile accidents involving commercial vehicles can get very complex. Often there will be multiple parties involved, so it can get confusing. 

You will need an attorney to help you determine if the other driver was on the job at the time of the accident and just how the employer fits into the equation. There may be significant insurance coverage maintained by the commercial employer in many circumstances. We are here to help you sort out who is responsible for your accident. Please call us today for your free consultation and we’ll get started.

What if a tractor-trailer hit me and caused injuries?

If a tractor trailer or a commercial vehicle has caused my accident, how is that different? Well, it is different. Your damages are likely to be greater. Those vehicles are large, heavy, and can cause a lot of damage to you and your motor vehicle.

 Next, the insurance coverage is going to be different. Commercial vehicles are required to carry much more than the average amount of insurance. In many cases, up to a million dollars. Commercial vehicles often have data recorders, that is “black boxes” that record what happened in your accident. They also may record how long the vehicle has been driving and under what conditions. Then, there are regulations that cover commercial vehicles. Regulations that say how long a commercial driver can be driving, how many hours, when he has to take breaks and when he has to get sleep. Some commercial vehicles have “on-board” cameras that may record what happened in your accident. It’s very important to consult an attorney early in a case where a commercial vehicle is involved. That way, you can be sure that all important data is collected and preserved.

What if the at fault driver doesn’t have insurance?

You can still sue an at-fault driver who has no insurance, although collecting a judgment can be difficult when there are no available insurance funds. Fortunately, car insurance policies in Virginia all contain an “uninsured motorist” provision to protect you from uninsured drivers.

If the at-fault driver is uninsured, your insurance company will provide coverage for your injuries up to the limits of coverage on your policy. The declaration page of your insurance policy lists the uninsured motorist cover policy limit. Our firm, Overbey, Hawkins, Wright & Vance, can help you understand the coverage you have and find all available sources of coverage.

What is a traumatic brain injury?

Well, if someone you know is having cognitive difficulties after an auto accident, they may have it. You need to have them seen by a doctor immediately. 

The brain floats in a fluid inside the head. In an accident, if the head hits something, the skull will stop but the brain will keep moving and hit inside the skull. Bruising and bleeding of the brain may be the result. You may see confusion, inability to perform certain tasks and even a change in personality. There may be a concussion, although that’s not always the case. The accident was the fault of someone else. You should consult with an attorney who is experienced in traumatic brain injuries.

What is a wrongful death?

Well, as you may expect, it is a death caused by a wrongful act caused by the negligence of someone, perhaps in a car wreck. A wrongful death case has to be filed by the official representative of the estate of the deceased, usually the administrator or the executor of the estate.

 Damages, in such cases, are based on income that was provided for family members. In addition, there are damages for solace; the personal loss by close family members of the companionship, comfort and guidance of the deceased. For more detail, give our firm a call. The initial consultation is free and there is no obligation.

What is med-pay?

What is Med-Pay Provision that I see in my own automobile policy and why should I have it? Well, it’s medical payments. You pay a separate premium to have that in your auto policy. It is very important that you have that because if you’re injured in an accident, and even if you have underlying health care, it will not pay for everything.

The additional medical payment from your auto policy will pay regardless of who’s at fault in the accident, and it will pay to all persons who are injured in your vehicle. You can collect that in addition to all other applicable insurance. It’s something very important to have and something an experienced attorney can help you collect in every case.


Who is going to pay for my medical bills and car damage?

We frequently hear people ask, who is going to pay for my car and my medical bills after a car wreck? The answer is simple: the person who caused your property damage and medical bills is liable for those expenses, among others, if she was negligent in causing such harms and losses.

Virginia law requires that drivers have automobile liability insurance to cover property damage and bodily injuries. But insurance companies will not pay for those items unless you settle in full and release them from future liability. In the alternative, you should submit your medical bills to your own health insurance company to make sure that you get all of the necessary treatment when you need it. Additionally, your insurance policy may have medical expense payments coverage. That means that your insurance company will cover your medical care. In short, there may be several sources of compensation for your personal injuries and property damage. You should contact an attorney to help determine who is liable for those expenses.