CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY IN ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA
If you have been involved in a car accident, your daily life can be dramatically changed. You need the help of an experienced car accident lawyer to fight for the compensation you deserve. We believe in fighting the insurance companies for our clients, whether they have been injured in a car, truck, bicycle, motorcycle, bus, moped, or pedestrian accidents or collisions across the DMV - Virginia, Maryland, and DC.
In 2020, there were over 105,600 vehicular crashes in Virginia, down from 128,172 in 2019. But fatalities actually rose to 847, from 827. Now that life seems to be returning to normal after COVID, the crash figures are rising, again. More vehicles on the roadways means more chances for accidents to happen.
Our team of attorneys and staff, headed by Joseph Blaszkow, represents clients throughout Virginia, from Alexandria to Fairfax County, Arlington County, Vienna, Tysons Corner, Reston, Herndon, Woodbridge, Prince William County, Stafford County, Sterling, Chantilly, Springfield, Annandale, Manassas, and beyond, as well as Maryland and DC.
You need dedicated assistance if you've been injured in a car crash. The insurance companies have teams of adjusters and defense lawyers who will use every trick in the book to minimize your claim - they will try to get you to say or do something that they can use to pin fault on you, even if it’s just a small percentage (and in Virginia, a small percentage is all they need!) This can torpedo your claim, and we won't let that happen.
Get Justice with Joe by hiring Blaszkow Legal. Our success comes from the Blaszkow Legal Method: we work every case up like it's going to trial, from Day 1. The insurance companies know that, and they know we are ready, willing, and able to go all the way for all of our clients.
We work on a contingency-fee basis, so we don't get paid unless you collect money!
Auto Insurance Laws in the DMV
Virginia is a rare state that does not require all drivers to have auto insurance. Virginia car owners have the ability to "opt-out," and merely need to pay a $500 annual fee if you choose to drive uninsured. Of course, those drivers and owners are still on the hook if they cause an accident, which means they could face huge out-of-pocket expenses.
In Virginia, the minimum car insurance requirements are $30,000 per person, and $60,000 per accident (this increased in 2022; before that, the limits were only $25,000 / $ 50,000). And in 2025, these limits will increase again, to $50,000 per person, and $100,000 per accident.
Maryland and DC do not permit people to drive uninsured.
Liability in a Car Accident
Establishing fault in a Virginia, Maryland, and DC car crashes is often determined by who violated the rules of the road. For instance, a rear-end collision is generally assumed to be caused by the rear driver who was following too closely. Blame for a sideswipe is generally laid on the driver who crossed into the other driver’s lane. In order to establish who is responsible, we have to determine who was negligent, careless, or reckless.
Liability can be established in many ways: eyewitness testimony, video or photo records, or by a police investigation of the accident. Cell phone records can also reveal if the at-fault driver was texting or using the phone at the time of the crash. However, this data is not preserved forever, and it is vital to contact an attorney right away so that we can recover and/or preserve evidence which will help prove your case.
All three states - Virginia, DC, and Maryland - follow a legal doctrine known as "contributory negligence." Contributory negligence means that if the injured person is found to be in any way responsible for the happening of the accident, that injured person cannot recover - even if that portion of responsibility is as low as 1%!
Filing a Claim
You as the injured party have a right to file an insurance claim for your damages. This claim is usually done through the at-fault person's car insurance carrier. However, if that insurance company has not "accepted liability," then you may have to notify your own car insurance company to get your car fixed and get a rental lined up, for example.
If you file a claim with your own car insurance company (what we call "1st Party coverage"), then you will have to pay your deductible. Your own insurer will doubtlessly seek a subrogation claim against the other driver’s insurance, if you involve them, usually for property damage.
Subrogation is a process between insurance companies where they try to re-coup what was paid, such as property damage expenses - usually this is done through arbitration. For example, if the at-fault carrier has not accepted liability, and you have your car repaired by your own car insurance company, then this is the process where your insurance tries to get your deductible back to you.
You should always call an experienced team of car accident lawyers before you call any insurance companies - this includes your own insurance carrier.
Any claim that you file must be filed within the statute of limitations. Virginia places a two-year statute of limitations for filing a claim after the date of an accident. A claim in this sense includes a lawsuit. Notifying your insurance company does not eliminate the need to file a lawsuit within the time period set out by law.
The statute of limitations for DC car accidents and Maryland car accidents is three years.
Claims against Local, State, and Federal Government Vehicles
Car accident claims against government vehicles, any government vehicles, are very different than regular car accidents, from a legal standpoint. While your injuries are no different, nor is your road to recovery any easier, there are notice deadlines that have to strictly complied with, otherwise a claim may be barred, forever.
Local governments have different notice requirements from State Governments, while all claims against Federal vehicles (including military cars and trucks) are pursued according to the Federal Tort Claims Act.
This process can be very confusing, and you should contact a car accident lawyer immediately!
Wrongful Death Lawsuits
If you’ve lost a loved one in a car accident, a wrongful death action is one of two distinct claims that can be made: a wrongful death case, and a survival claim. Under Virginia law, it must be filed by the personal representative of the deceased’s estate. The personal representative is the person named in the deceased’s will or trust. If there is no will or trust, the court will sometimes appoint a personal representative, usually from the immediate family. The personal representative acts on behalf of the family, who will receive any court-awarded damages.
The circumstances of the death must be caused by the negligence, carelessness, and/or recklessness of another person or entity (such as a company). The statute of limitations for wrongful death actions is also two years in Virginia, but from the date of death, not necessarily of the date of the accident.
What Are My Damages After a Car Accident?
Damages is a legal term, and refers to the universe of individual items that you can claim after an accident. These items make up all personal injury claims, from car accidents to bus accidents to truck crashes. Damages fall into two separate categories: economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic Damages include:
Medical expenses and costs
Time lost from work (including sick leave and vacation leave used)
Future medical expenses (if any)
Future lost wages (if any)
Non-Economic Damages include
Pain and suffering
Permanency of injuries
Loss of enjoyment
Decrease in quality of life
The Importance of Legal Representation
You have to remember that insurance companies are for-profit entities. The way they maintain a solid profit margin is by minimizing or denying claims. To do this, they use employees known as claims adjusters, whose main function is to trap you into saying or doing something that they can use to claim you’re partially or wholly at fault.
Don’t deal with them. Let an attorney fight for you! Get Justice with Joe, and call Blaszkow Legal today - 703-879-5910
CAR ACCIDENTS ATTORNEY SERVING ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA
If you’ve been involved in an accident, contact our team at Blaszkow Legal, PLLC immediately. Our firm has four decades of experience in working with personal injury claims and in fending off insurance company tactics. We proudly serve clients in Alexandria and all of Northern Virginia, as well as Maryland and DC. Call now to schedule a free consultation: 703-879-5910