Car Accident Compensation

What Are the Different Types of Car Accident Compensation?

You likely have many questions after getting hurt in a car crash in Virginia Beach. You wonder how you’ll afford your medical bills and what will happen if you can’t return to your job.

Virginia law allows a car accident victim to pursue compensation from the at-fault driver. However, the process isn’t always straightforward. Although liability might be clear, negotiating with the insurer for a fair settlement can be challenging.

What Are Virginia’s Car Accident Laws?

The fault car insurance system applies in Virginia. That means the motorist who causes a car wreck is financially responsible for the injured person’s losses. The accident victim can seek compensation by filing an insurance claim or lawsuit against the careless driver.

Car Insurance Requirements

Car insurance laws are stricter in other states. Virginia doesn’t make insurance coverage mandatory for registered vehicles. When you buy license plates or decals, you can pay an uninsured motor vehicle fee or certify that your vehicle is covered by the minimum requirements.

Paying the fee means you can drive an uninsured car at your own risk. The waiver granted by paying the fee expires at the same time as the vehicle registration and requires renewal by paying another fee.

Anyone with insurance must carry coverage with these minimum limits:

  • Bodily injury liability – $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident
  • Property damage liability – $20,000 per accident

Additional insurance coverage options include:

  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage – UM covers accidents with uninsured drivers. It pays for the injured person’s medical bills, lost wages, and other crash-related expenses. UIM pays the remaining costs the at-fault driver’s liability insurance doesn’t cover. Insurance carriers must offer UM/UIM coverage, but drivers can opt out of purchasing it.
  • Medical payments – Medical payments (MedPay) cover a person’s treatment regardless of who is at fault for the crash.
  • Collision – Collision insurance is optional. It covers the cost of repairing a vehicle damaged in an accident. 

Compensation Available in a Car Accident Case

The value of your case will depend on numerous factors, such as the cost of your medical care and the extent of your injuries. When you file a claim with the other driver’s liability insurer, you can recover compensation for your losses.

These losses are either economic or non-economic. Economic losses are actual costs incurred from the collision, such as:

  • Medical bills – The money you receive in an injury claim can cover your hospital stays, physical therapy appointments, prescriptions, and other medical expenses. It can also pay for treatment you might need in the future if your injury is permanent.
  • Lost wages – Lost wages are the income you can’t earn due to an injury. It can include base salary or hourly pay, commissions, tips, company perks, and bonuses.
  • Lost future earnings – If your injury leads to a disability or debilitating symptoms, you might be unable to work. You can pursue compensation for the money you can’t make in the future.
  • Out-of-pocket expenses – Your out-of-pocket costs are also recoverable in an injury claim. That might include hiring someone to clean your home or assist with other essential tasks if you can no longer do those independently.

Noneconomic losses don’t have a set monetary value. They include:

  • Pain and suffering – The consequences of an injury sometimes aren’t visible. They manifest as physical pain. Past and future pain and suffering are compensable in a car accident case.
  • Mental anguish – After a car accident, some people develop anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The money you receive can compensate for the mental or emotional effects of the car crash.

Get Help with Your Car Accident Case

At Deering Hedrick, we have over 34 years of combined legal experience. We understand how complex car accident claims and lawsuits can be and how to pursue the maximum possible compensation for our clients.

Call us at 757-383-6848 for an initial case evaluation in Virginia Beach, VA, if you sustained injuries in a car wreck someone else caused.

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