FAQ: Should I use my health insurance to pay my medical bills when the accident is someone else's fault? Shouldn't their auto insurance company be responsible for those bills?

Charles Littlepage Allen, Richmond Personal Injury Attorney

Author: Charles Littlepage Allen, Richmond Personal Injury Attorney

Clients often ask if they should use their own health insurance to pay their medical bills after a collision. The answer is yes. If you've been injured in a crash, using your health insurance to cover your medical expenses will get them paid now.

Many medical providers and specialists require patients to have health insurance before the providers will provide treatment. Since accidents are never anticipated, having health insurance provides the means to obtain the proper care required for the injuries incurred, without depleting your finances until the case settles.

 

Under Virginia law, health insurance companies…

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Items Hanging From Rearview Mirrors Are Illegal in Virginia

Melinda H. South, Richmond, VA Personal Injury Attorney

Author: Melinda H. South, Richmond, VA Personal Injury Attorney

What do you have dangling from your rearview mirror? In Virginia, anything hanging in your line of sight could be a reason for a police officer to pull you over.

Remember when fuzzy dice were popular items hanging from the rearview mirror? If you are too young to remember that, what about graduation tassels, crucifixes, or air fresheners? Whatever is hanging from the rearview mirror in your car should be removed in order to prevent a citation.

According to Va. Code 46.2-1054, “It shall be unlawful for any person to drive a motor vehicle on the highway in the Commonwealth with any object or objects, other than a rear…

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More Than Medical Bills: Losses Covered In Virginia Personal Injury Claims

Author: Charles L. Allen, Personal Injury Attorney, Richmond VA

Motor vehicle accidents impact injured people’s lives dramatically. After a serious collision on the road people are often physically injured, left without a vehicle, unable to work for a significant period of time and are required to travel to and from countless medical appointments. Over time, many accident victims become depressed, overwhelmed emotionally or overcome with stress when they get back behind the wheel of a car. For a person injured through no fault of their own, the inconveniences of recovery can be substantial. In the aftermath of a collision, it is important that you understand what damages are financially compensable in…

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New Law Affecting Cyclists in Virginia: Effective July 1

Author: James Mick "Jamie" Kessel, Short Pump VA, Personal Injury Attorney

As biking grows in popularity in cities across Virginia, so does the number of accidents involving cyclists. Bike accidents are often very one-sided, resulting in irreparable damage to the bicycle and serious injury to the cyclist. And, though some people are quick to blame the cyclists in these situations, it is all of our responsibility to be aware of our surroundings, share the roads, and help make Virginia a safer place for bicyclists and motorists alike. The Virginia Legislature has recognized the risks that cyclists face on the roads, and has passed a new law aimed at reducing these risks and keeping cyclists safe.

Effective…

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Statutes of Limitations

Author: P. Christopher Guedri, Richmond Personal Injury Attorney

You have suffered a personal injury that was not your fault, but you decide that you just don't have the time or energy to contact a lawyer. But don't wait too long, or your claim could be subject to something known as a "statute of imitations."

Statutes of limitations are laws passed by the Virginia Legislature that set strict time limits on how long you have to file a "civil" lawsuit, like a personal injury claim [1]. There are two rules to keep in mind regarding statutes of limitations[2]:

1. The time period starts running down on the date your claim arises or "accrues" (the date of your personal injury); and

2.…

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Disclosing Insurance Policy Limits in Liability Claims – 5 years later

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Author: Melinda H. South

It has been 5 years since the Virginia statute was enacted to require the disclosure of the motor vehicle insurance company policy limits of the tortfeasor (person who caused the harm) prior to filing a lawsuit. [1] This statute is very helpful to any one who has been involved in an automobile accident through no fault of their own. Only a handful of states have similar statutes. [2] The Virginia statute has specific requirements that must be met in order to obtain this information:

The request must conform to these requirements and include the following:1. Request must be in writing and must ask the insurer for policies that may…

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Passing and Overtaking on Two Lane Roads: Safe Driving

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Author: Scott D. Fitzgerald - Richmond, Virginia Personal Injury Attorney

Although less than 20% of the U.S. population lives in rural areas, about 55% of traffic fatalities in the United States occurred there in 2010.  Many of these rural motor vehicle fatalities were on two-lane roads.[1]

An older study based on 2003 data revealed that two-lane primary roads in Virginia accounted for almost half of all traffic fatalities in the Commonwealth.  However, only approximately 1/3 of the estimated miles driven on Virginia roadways in 2003 were on two-lane primary roads.[2]

Serious accidents on two-lane roads occur for a variety of reasons, including driver inattention, excessive speed…

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Motor Vehicle Safety: Dangers of Texting While Driving & The Legal Responsibility for Distracted Driving

Author: Tammy Stafford Ruble, Esq.

We learn more every day about the dangers of texting while driving. A recent decision in New Jersey may signal a new era of expanding legal responsibility, not merely for the driver, but for those outside the car sending the texts.

According to the New Jersey decision, in September 2009, teenager Kyle Best was driving down a country road in New Jersey while texting back and forth with a female friend, Shannon Colonna. His pickup truck drifted across the highway and struck David and Linda Kubert in the oncoming lane of traffic. The Kuberts, riding on a motorcycle, suffered devastating injuries, each losing a leg in the collision. David Kubert saw it coming. "What…

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New penalties for DUI first offenders in Virginia - Virginia Motor Vehicle Laws

By: Kathleen Smith - Fredericksburg Personal Injury Attorney

According to the organization Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), one person in the U.S. dies in an alcohol related collision every 52 minutes.[1] To combat the tragic consequences of driving while under the influence of alcohol (DUI), Virginia joined 15 other states adopting harsher penalties for first time offenders. Other states that have adopted the new, harsher DUI laws have seen a decrease by as much as 52% in alcohol related deaths, and a reduction in repeat drinking and driving offenses by an average of 67%.[2]

The primary change in Virginia law concerning first time offenders was that, as of July 1, 2012, a conviction requires…

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Asleep at the Wheel: The Facts About Fatigued Driving

Author: Christopher J. Toepp - Fredericksburg Personal Injury Lawyer

We live in a fast-paced world. Whether it’s working overtime, staying up late to finish a project or socializing with friends, studies suggest that long days and restless nights are common for most of us. The National Sleep Foundation (“NSF”) estimates that millions of Americans suffer from “self-imposed sleep deprivation.”[1] Everyone knows that sleep-deprived drivers create serious and potentially deadly car accidents on America’s roadways. A lesser known fact is that fatigued driving has reached almost epidemic proportions in today’s society.

The NSF survey reveals that 36 percent of Americans drive drowsy or fall asleep behind…

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