We Seek Justice for Fairfax Car Accident Victims
The routes of Fairfax are lifelines to the historic and vibrant experience this city offers. As picturesque as our beautiful city is, we often have to travel on congested roads like Route 50 or stay aware while navigating fast-moving traffic on streets like Backlick Road. When those routes become sites of unexpected tragedy, the compassionate and experienced Fairfax car accident attorneys at Ashcraft & Gerel are prepared to help you seek justice and compensation.
Fairfax’s bustling intersections and the I-95/I-495 junction are the scenes of frequent car accidents, leaving victims grappling with more than just vehicle damage—they face a road to recovery often complicated by insurance battles and legal hurdles.
Ashcraft & Gerel stands as a beacon of support, offering expert, empathetic legal counsel to those who are affected by unforeseen accidents. For over 70 years, we’ve successfully advocated for the rights of car accident victims. Our firm is dedicated to helping you fight your legal battles and securing your deserved compensation and peace of mind. If you need a car accident lawyer in Fairfax who will give your case personalized, diligent attention, call us at (703) 496-4423 or schedule a free case review online.
What Should You Do Immediately After a Car Accident in Fairfax?
The moments after a car accident can be confusing and overwhelming, but your first priority should be to ensure your safety and the safety of others. Once the safety of everyone involved in the accident is assured, your next priority should be setting the foundation to secure your legal rights. Following a car wreck, take these essential steps promptly:
1st Prioritize Medical Attention:
This not only dispatches emergency services to assist with injuries but also will allow you to obtain a police report, which is a vital document for any future legal or insurance proceedings.
2nd Seek medical evaluation:
Even if you feel fine, internal injuries or shock can mask pain. Immediate medical assessment creates a record of any accident-related injuries, which is critical for health and any compensatory claims.
It’s also important to capture detailed photos of the scene showcasing the damages, road conditions, and any visible injuries if you’re able to.
3rd Exchange insurance information:
Calmly collect the other driver’s insurance details, along with their name and contact information. Remember, conversations about fault at this stage can be premature and potentially damaging to your case.
4th Document the accident scene:
Use your phone to take clear pictures of the cars, their positions, any visible damage, nearby traffic signs, and any environmental conditions that may have contributed to the accident.
5th Contact a Fairfax car accident lawyer:
Prior to any detailed discussions with insurance companies, obtain legal advice. Ashcraft & Gerel’s seasoned car accident attorneys can offer a comprehensive case review to ensure your claims are effectively managed and your rights upheld.
What if the At-Fault Party Doesn’t Have Car Insurance?
Discovering that the at-fault driver in your car accident has no insurance can be disheartening because you may be under the impression that there will be no way to pursue compensation. However, there are options for seeking justice.
A frequently used and effective option is to rely on your own insurance policy to provide coverage under uninsured motorist (UM insurance) protection, which is typically a standard part of your auto insurance in Fairfax unless you signed a document declining that coverage.
An Ashcraft & Gerel attorney can help you navigate this complex situation, ensuring that you explore all potential avenues for compensation and that your rights are vigorously defended throughout the process.
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Why Hire a Fairfax Car Accident Attorney?
Hiring a car accident lawyer in Fairfax, VA means having an ally with specific knowledge of local laws and ordinances that could significantly influence the outcome of your case. Local attorneys have established relationships within the Fairfax legal and judicial community, providing them with resources and contacts that can be invaluable in strengthening your claim.
An attorney will also be skilled in proving the other party was at fault, providing evidence of your injuries and damages, negotiating with insurance companies, adhering to all deadlines and statutes, and more.
Having an experienced attorney on your side, like the car accident attorneys of Ashcraft & Gerel, can greatly increase your chances of obtaining fair compensation.
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When Should You Contact a Fairfax Car Accident Lawyer?
As we mentioned above, there are several important steps you should take immediately after a car accident – one of those steps is contacting a car accident lawyer in Fairfax as soon as possible.
Quickly contacting a lawyer after a car wreck will ensure that you don’t compromise your case in any way, even if you do not plan on taking the issue to your insurance company or to court. A lawyer will be able to review your case and advise you on the best course of action to receive compensation.
Fairfax car accident lawyers can also protect you by ensuring that the liable party does not take advantage of you by falsely claiming that you were responsible for the accident.
What is the Statute of Limitations on a Fairfax Car Accident?
A statute of limitations is simply a deadline set by the state that limits how long you have to take legal action after a car accident. There are many factors and circumstances that can change this time period. It may be shorter than the standard timeframe in some cases or longer in others. We recommend that you consult a Fairfax car accident attorney to better understand the specific timeframe for your case.
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Who is Liable for Your Injuries in a Fairfax Car Accident?
Determining liability in a Fairfax car accident hinges on proving that the other party acted negligently, breaching a duty of care, which led to the accident and your injuries. Because of Virginia’s strict contributory negligence rule, your attorney will need to show that the other driver violated this duty of care by acting negligently. Without that proof, if you’re found to bear any fault, even 1%, your ability to claim compensation may be negatively impacted.
Normally, the at-fault driver’s insurance is responsible for covering damages, but this can get complex if they lack insurance, causing your own uninsured motorist coverage to come into play.
What Damages Can You Pursue After a Fairfax Car Accident?
After a car accident, you may be eligible to pursue various types of damages to compensate for the physical, emotional, and financial impacts of the incident. Some of the damages you can claim include:
- Medical Expenses: You can recover the cost of hospital bills, doctor visits, physical therapy, medications, and any ongoing medical treatments.
- Lost Wages: Compensation can be received for the income lost due to inability to work, either temporarily or permanently.
- Property Damage: This includes costs for repairing or replacing your vehicle and other personal items damaged in the accident.
- Pain and Suffering: The road to recovery after an accident can be long and grueling, even long after you’ve left medical care. For the physical and emotional trauma experienced, including chronic pain, anxiety, and other long-term effects, you can receive compensation.
- Loss of Consortium: This applies if a spouse or partner is severely injured or deceased due to the accident.
What is the Average Settlement for A Car Accident in Fairfax, VA?
Due to the unique nature of each case, determining an average settlement for car accidents in Fairfax, VA, is challenging. Settlement amounts can vary widely, influenced by factors such as the severity of injuries, the extent of property damage, and the specific circumstances of the accident.
While general statistics may provide a rough guideline, each car accident case has its own distinct elements that influence the final settlement amount. It’s essential to consult with a car accident lawyer in Fairfax, VA to understand the potential value of your case, which is generally based on the amount of damages you have incurred.
How Long Does it Take To Settle a Fairfax Car Accident Case?
Similar to how there is no true average settlement for a car accident case, determining the average timeframe for them is not a straightforward process. There are many factors that contribute to how long it will take to settle a car accident case, and those factors vary on a case by case basis.
Simple claims can be settled in as little as six months, while more complex ones could take several years. Some of the factors that could cause your case to take longer to settle include:
- Severe injuries
- Lengthy medical treatment
- Disputed liability
- A larger number of parties involved
- A lack of cooperation from other parties and insurance companies
Who Pays My Medical Bills After A Car Accident in Fairfax?
In Fairfax, if you’re involved in a car accident, initially, your own insurance policy may cover your medical expenses. This coverage could include personal health insurance or MedPay, a type of coverage specific to auto accidents. If the other driver is later found to be at fault, their insurance should reimburse these costs.
However, relying on the at-fault driver’s insurance for immediate bill payment can be risky, as they typically settle only once and in exchange for releasing them from future liability. It’s important to understand these nuances. For a clear picture of how this applies to your specific situation, we recommend consulting with a car accident attorney in Fairfax, VA.
What Happens if You Don’t Have Auto Insurance in a Car Accident?
In Virginia, driving without auto insurance or not paying the uninsured motorist fee can lead to significant legal and financial challenges if you’re involved in a car accident. Without insurance, you could be personally liable for damages and injuries caused in an accident, potentially facing high out-of-pocket costs.
Even if the accident wasn’t your fault, recovering damages may be more complex, especially if the other driver is also uninsured. To further complicate things, driving uninsured can result in penalties like the loss of your driver’s license, registration, and license plates for a substantial period.
What Causes Most Fairfax Car Accidents?
In 2022, Fairfax County had the most car crashes according to the Virginia Highway Safety Office. Unfortunately, there are a variety of factors contributing to car accidents in Fairfax. The nature of these accidents often reflects broader trends seen across Virginia and the United States. Key causes of car wrecks include:
- Speeding and Aggressive Driving: This is a common cause, as it significantly reduces a driver’s reaction time and increases the likelihood of severe accidents.
- Distracted Driving: Activities that divert a driver’s attention, such as using mobile devices, contribute heavily to accidents. This has become increasingly prevalent with the rise of technology.
- Driving Under the Influence: Impaired driving due to alcohol or drugs is a major factor, severely affecting a driver’s ability to operate a vehicle safely.
- Vehicle Malfunction: Mechanical failures can lead to unexpected accidents, highlighting the importance of regular vehicle maintenance.
- Poor Roadway Conditions: Issues like potholes or poorly maintained roads can be particularly hazardous, especially in high-traffic areas.
- Failure to Adhere to Traffic Laws: This includes behaviors like not following traffic signals, improper passing, and not maintaining a safe following distance.
How Do You Get A Temporary Rental Car After an Accident?
Trying to resume your daily life after a car accident that leaves you injured, out of work, or without a car can be difficult. When it comes to getting transportation if your car is undrivable after an accident, the at-fault driver’s insurance should cover the cost of a rental car until yours is repaired or replaced.
It’s important to know that you’re entitled to a rental car that’s comparable in size, model, and features to your own vehicle. For example, if you drive an SUV, you shouldn’t have to accept a compact car. If the insurance company tries to provide a vehicle that isn’t comparable, you have the right to request a more suitable one.
Dealing with insurance can sometimes be challenging, especially if your vehicle is a specialty or luxury car. In such situations, having an experienced car accident attorney can help smooth out the process and ensure you receive a fair and appropriate rental vehicle.
What if You’re in an Accident in a Rental Car?
If you’re involved in an accident while driving a rental car, the situation can be complex due to the various insurance policies that may come into play. Firstly, it’s crucial to document the accident thoroughly by calling 911, taking photos, and gathering information from all parties involved, including witnesses. Your responsibility for the rental car means that any damages must be accounted for, potentially leading to significant costs if the vehicle isn’t returned in its original condition.
Insurance coverage for rental car accidents may come from different sources: your personal auto insurance, the rental company’s insurance, or even through the credit card used for the rental. However, be aware that credit card insurance typically covers only property damage, not liability.
In such scenarios, consulting with a car accident lawyer is advisable, as they can review your insurance policies and credit card agreements, determine the liable party, and help navigate any complexities, especially in unique situations like long-term rentals or disputes with insurance claims.
What is UM/UIM Insurance?
UM/UIM insurance, short for Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage, safeguards you in accidents where the at-fault driver lacks sufficient insurance. If the negligent driver is uninsured, your UM coverage effectively replaces their absent coverage, addressing your injury-related costs.
In situations where the at-fault driver is underinsured, meaning they have some insurance but not enough to cover your damages, UIM coverage comes into play. As of a recent legal update, policyholders can “stack” their UM/UIM coverage with the at-fault driver’s liability policy, potentially allowing for a more comprehensive coverage of your claims, including medical bills and lost wages. This stacking option enhances your protection in accidents, though drivers can opt out of it for a slight premium reduction.
It’s worth noting that underinsured motorist coverage is mandated by Virginia law, underscoring its importance in ensuring adequate protection in various accident scenarios.
Our Fairfax Car Accident Attorneys are Ready to Serve Your Case
Ashcraft & Gerel in Fairfax, VA, is committed to ensuring that you get justice and just compensation following a car accident. Our award-winning legal team understands the critical nature of car accident lawsuits, especially when they are the sole means for injured individuals to afford medical care and recover.
We take every case seriously, providing personalized attention and tailored services for each client. Our experience and dedication are unmatched, and we are ready to assist with all aspects of your case, from dealing with medical and car repair bills to navigating the complexities of insurance claims.
Again, the sooner you contact an attorney, the better your chances of a comprehensive case evaluation, including witness testimonies and surveillance evidence. Trust in our expertise to guide you through these challenging times. Contact our offices today for a free consultation, and let us help you on the path to getting the justice you deserve.
Types of Car Accident Cases We Handle in Fairfax, VA
We’ve handled a lot of different car accident cases during our 70+ years serving the Fairfax area. Our specializations include:
- Car accidents that involve an injury
- Car accidents that don’t involve an injury
- Distracted driving
- Drowsy driving
- Drunk driving
- Elderly driver cases
- Fatal car accidents
- Head-on collisions
- High-speed crashes
- Hit and runs
- Minor/small car accidents
- Passenger injury cases
- Pedestrian accidents
- Rear-end collisions
- Rental car accidents
- Rideshare accidents
- Road rage
- Rollover accidents
- Teen drivers
- Unsafe lane changes
- Victim of DUI cases
- Wrong way driving