If you drive in Virginia, or you are coming to the state soon, there are some important rules you need to know in the event that you are involved in an accident. And because you never know when one will happen, you need to read these now
1) Contributory Negligence
Virginia is one of the three states in the US that applies Contributory Negligence. Contributory Negligence is a law that bars you from recovery if you contributed to your accident in any way. That means if the defendant was 99% at fault, and you were 1% at fault, you lose. Because of Contributory Negligence, if you are ever involved in an accident in Virginia, you need to talk to an attorney before you sign a form or talk to an adjuster.
2) Uninsured Drivers
In Virginia, it is perfectly legal to drive without car insurance. All you have to do is pay a $500 annual fee. It is estimated that 11% of Virginia drivers are without car insurance. What that means for you is that it’s very possible that someone can hurt you through their negligence and have NO insurance to compensate you for your injuries. Therefore, it’s imperative for you to purchase uninsured/underinsured (UIM) motorist coverage as part of your automobile insurance policy. UIM insurance protects you if you are hurt by an uninsured (or underinsured) driver. Because you cannot predict other people’s negligence, you must protect yourself. So the more UIM you can afford, the better. You would be surprised how cheap a $1 million dollar policy is to purchase.
3) Driving 20 Over is a Felony
This is an absolute surprise to most out of state drivers, but here in the Commonwealth, reckless driving is the same class of offense as a DWI, possession of marijuana, and various other crimes. What is reckless driving in Virginia? Any time you exceed 80 miles per hour or exceed the speed limit by 20 mph. Besides being a crime, reckless driving can lead to additional consequences including jail time, a loss of your driving privileges for six months, a hefty fine, and DMV demerit points.
If you have been involved in a car accident in Virginia, download our FREE Accident Book. If you have any questions, or would simply like to talk to someone about an accident in Virginia, our team is ready to help you. Simply call 703-584-7277 to speak with us absolutely free, no strings attached.