Gate City, Virginia Car Accident Lawyer
Approximately 40,000 people lose their lives and 4.5 million are seriously injured in car accidents each year. In Virginia alone, over 130,000 accidents were reported in 2018, 374 of which occurred in Scott County. If you or a loved one were involved in an automobile accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you have a right to seek compensation.
At the Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, we represent clients injured from many different types of vehicle-related accidents, including those involving:
- Passenger trucks
- Commercial trucks
- Delivery vehicles
- Uber and Lyft vehicles
- Recreational Vehicles
- ATVs/UTVs (including four-wheeler and side-by-side utility vehicles)
As an experienced Gate City, VA car accident lawyer, Mark Hurt can help you and your family seek justice and recover the full compensation to which you are rightfully entitled.
Where Car Accidents Happen Most
Many people avoid traveling during holiday seasons or school breaks because of the alarming rates of road fatalities. What they may not realize is that the majority of accidents occur within 10 miles of home. Thus, while it is always helpful to be concerned about safe travel, the fact is that for Gate City residents, it is more probable to be injured along US-23, than somewhere outside of town.
There are many causes of motor vehicle accidents, and most of them are preventable. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the following are some of the most prevalent causes:
- Driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs
- Failure to yield
- Careless or reckless driving
- Drowsiness, sleepiness, or fatigue
- Visual obstructions (rain, snow, glare, lights, trees, etc.)
- Failure to obey traffic signs or signals
- Unbelted deaths
- Cell phone use
- Other types of negligence
While some accident causes (such as bad weather) may not be preventable, most of the cases of car accidents are due to the deliberate or careless actions of other drivers.
Proving Car Accident Fault
In Virginia, as an injury victim, you can file a claim or a lawsuit (when necessary) against a negligent party and their insurance company to seek compensation for your injuries. To prove negligence, you must prove that:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care prior to the injury;
- The defendant’s actions violated this duty; and
- The violation of the duty of care caused your injury.
As an example, Virginia drivers owe a duty of care to others by following the law when driving, and not to engage in actions such as speeding or running a red light (which would violate this duty of care). They also owe the duty to drive carefully, such as not taking their eyes off the road to text while driving. If they fail to exercise the proper degree of care expected by a reasonable person in the situation, they can be liable.
Identifying All Those Legally Responsible for Your Accident
Often, multiple parties are partly responsible for a single car accident. In these situations, most states follow a formula known as “comparative negligence” in determining damages and liability, whereby each person at fault in a car crash will be accountable to the victim for the percentage of damages attributable to their conduct or negligence (such percentage is determined by a jury).
As an example, if another driver is found to be 90% at fault for an accident, the injured person is found to be 10% at fault, and the total damages are $100,000, the other driver would owe the injured person $90,000 (90% x $100,000). The injured person would then be responsible for $10,000 of their damages (10% x $100,000), since the jury determined that they were 10% at fault.
Virginia, however, is one of only a handful of states that follows what is known as “pure contributory negligence.” Under the pure contributory negligence rule, a person must be totally without fault in order to recover, meaning that even being even 1% responsible can bar a person from receiving compensation. In the above example, the injury victim would not be able to recover any money from the other driver, even though a jury determined that the other driver was 90% at fault.
Because of Virginia’s strict contributory negligence rule, compiling evidence and putting together a strong claim or case that shows the other party was 100% at fault can be critical. If a car crash case goes to trial, the defendants will almost certainly try to blame the injured person for some portion of fault in an effort to escape all liability. With more than 30 years of representing injury victims and families, attorney Mark Hurt can assess the details of your case and analyze whether the negligent driver and their insurance company may be able to raise a contributory negligence defense.
Get the Experienced Car Accident Representation You Deserve to Combat Insurance Companies and Their Lawyers
Most insurance companies are for-profit businesses that are interested in making as much money as possible. The less money that have to pay in claims and damages, the more money they make.
Further, the insurance company for the driver who hit you does not have any obligation to you – their only obligation is to the driver that they insured. This is the case even if you happen to use the same insurance company as the other driver. Because insurance companies are only looking out for their interests and the interests of their insured, aggressive action needs to be taken to protect your rights.
For over three decades, Mark Hurt has been helping auto accident victims and their families collect compensation. He has successfully secured millions of dollars for clients to help with damages including medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. Mark knows how to stand up to insurance companies and seek the compensation that you deserve.
Legal Fees for Injury Representation
In many cases, law firms charge astronomical hourly legal fees. Many injury victims are hesitant to reach out to an attorney out of fear that representation may be unaffordable, or that they may be required to pay thousands of dollars in costs to advance their cases.
At the Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, you needn’t be concerned with how you are going to pay for representation because we only collect a fee if you recover compensation. Further, while your case is ongoing, we advance all litigation costs so that you won’t need to come out of pocket for these expenses (typically, litigation expenses are deducted from a settlement or jury award). Your role is to focus on recovery while we handle all aspects of seeking full and fair compensation on your behalf.
Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit for a Car Crash Case
Virginia Code section 8.01-50 defines a wrongful death as a death “caused by the wrongful act, neglect, or default of any person or corporation.” Under this statute, family members can seek a legal remedy for the loss of their loved one if the circumstances surrounding the death would have given rise to a personal injury action, had the individual lived.
If you have lost a loved one in a car, truck, or other automobile accident, we offer our sincerest condolences. We understand the emotional, physical, and financially effects that can arise after the loss of a loved one in a tragic car accident. While nothing that can make up for the loss of a family member, seeking damages may help lessen some of the financial burden.
Under Virginia law, damages in a wrongful death lawsuit may include:
- Sorrow, grief, and mental anguish
- Loss of the deceased’s companionship, care, comfort, guidance, and advice
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Punitive damages
- The value of lost wages and benefits (including the wages and benefits the deceased might have earned, if he or she had lived)
- Pain and suffering
- Medical expenses related to the final illness or injury of the deceased
Under Virginia Code section 8.01-52, a wrongful death claim can only be filed by certain “statutory beneficiaries.” Statutory beneficiaries in Virginia consist of family members or dependents who, by law, are entitled to recover in a wrongful death claim, and consist of:
- The surviving spouse and children or grandchildren of the deceased;
- The surviving parents and siblings of the deceased, or any relative who shares the deceased person’s home and is a dependent; and
- Surviving family members who are entitled to inherit the deceased’s estate.
Surviving spouses, children, and grandchildren have the initial right to file a claim; however, if none of these parties survive the deceased, parents, siblings, and dependents may file.
When there are multiple family members involved in a wrongful death case, it can be difficult to determine who has priority rights. As a Gate City wrongful death car accident lawyer, Mark Hurt can help you determine if you have the legal right to move forward with a claim.
Schedule a Free Consultation and Learn About How We Can Help
If you were injured in a vehicle crash or lost a loved one due to the reckless or negligent actions of another person, it is important that the liable party be held responsible and that you recover the compensation you rightfully deserve. Because there are strict time limits in Virginia about when a legal claim can be brought for car accidents and other injury claims, you should contact a law as soon as possible in order to preserve and protect your legal rights.
Mark Hurt has helped thousands of car accident victims in Virginia recover compensation for their injuries and other losses. When you become a client, Mark will act promptly to investigate your case and gather critical evidence that proves fault and supports a claim for compensation. As a tenacious accident attorney, Mark Hurt can assess the full extent of your losses and he will demand the maximum allowable compensation from those liable.
Call us today to schedule a free case evaluation with Mark to learn about your legal options and the damages to which you may be entitled.
 Vehicle Deaths Estimated at 40,000 for Third Straight Year, National Safety Council, https://www.nsc.org/road-safety/safety-topics/fatality-estimates.
 Virginia Driving Trends, Commonwealth of Virginia, https://www.dmv.virginia.gov/safety/crash_data/crash_facts/crash_facts_18.pdf.
 Barbara Haas, et. al., Close to home: An Analysis of the relationship between location of residence and location of injury, NCBI, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4375775/.