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Penalties for Driving Without Insurance in Virginia

If you are driving without insurance in Virginia (VA), you are playing Russian roulette. That is because driving without insurance in VA can lead to significant consequences. If you have been in a car accident and were without insurance, there are additional risks and considerations. The best way to address a driving without insurance case is for you to hire experienced Virginia attorneys with a long record of success. Virginia Motor Vehicle Law Regarding Insurance The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (VA DMV) mandates that to purchase license plates or decals (the first step to legalizing your motor vehicle), you must certify that you have at least minimum insurance coverage for the vehicle. Virginia requires the following minimum coverage: Bodily injury/death of one person $25,000, Bodily injury/death of two or more persons $50,000, and Property damage $20,000. The State of Virginia must also have authorized your insurance carrier to conduct business in this state. Is There Any Way to Legally Drive Without Insurance In Virginia? If you do not have insurance, you must pay a required uninsured motor vehicle fee. Paying the DMV this uninsured motor vehicle fee is the only option to legally operate a vehicle without insurance. Therefore, if you drive without insurance in VA and have not paid the uninsured motor vehicle fee, you are driving illegally. This is ill advised, as doing so puts you at great legal risk. What Is the Fine for Driving Without Insurance? Virginia Criminal Code and the VA DMV address consequences for the act of driving without insurance and not in compliance with the uninsured motorist rule. The potential outcome for violating the insurance laws include a fine of $500 or more and a Class 3 misdemeanor conviction. You may also face suspension of: Your driver license,  Vehicle registration certificates, and  Vehicle license plates. Driving without insurance after falsely certifying that you have insurance adds additional financial penalties. These fees often include: A $600 non-compliance fee, and A $145 reinstatement fee. You may also thereafter be required to file proof of insurance and financial responsibility for three years. What Happens If You Are Caught Driving Without Insurance and Get in an Accident? You may face the most significant cost for driving without insurance if you are in an accident. As an uninsured motorist, you may be personally liable for any costs to you or the other driver. This is true even if you have paid the uninsured motorist fee, as that fee does not provide you with any insurance coverage. Without question, you will need legal help from car accident attorneys to manage the complexities that can come from criminal sanctions and lawsuits you may face.  What If I Didn’t Know My Insurance Expired? It is not relevant whether you knew that your once-valid insurance expired. If you are operating a vehicle without insurance and have not paid the uninsured motorist fee, you violate the law. How Can an Attorney Help Me? Accomplished attorneys who handle traffic and accident cases understand that people make mistakes. They are available to help people address those mistakes by protecting their rights during hearings regarding driving without a license.  A fallacy is that you do not need a lawyer if you are going to admit to guilt. You will need lawyers to represent you during that process to ensure that the judicial system hears your voice and that you are treated fairly during the process. A firm specializing in traffic offenses will also help you understand any obligations you may face for violation of the law. Along with offering the above, our attorneys in Lantz and Robins, P.C., are equally committed to fighting charges on behalf of our clients. If you have been stopped by law enforcement and charged with driving without insurance, we will begin by investigating the actions of the police. There are rules they must follow to stop someone, and we will hear from you to evaluate whether they followed those rules. Finally, you need a lawyer who can work with the DMV and prosecutors regarding fighting your charges if there is evidence to do so. Being charged with driving without insurance does not mean that the charge is always valid. Attorneys know the law and will be prepared to ensure parties in our judicial system are not acting beyond their powers in their attempts to charge, prosecute, and sentence you. All too often, people feel that they know how to handle their traffic and insurance cases. However, the knowledge, experience, and successful case history of Lantz & Robins, PC, cannot be overstated. It is well worth your time to seek a free consultation with one of our lawyers. Lantz and Robins, P.C.: Your Richmond, VA-Based Car Accident Lawyers Our firm focuses on car and traffic accident cases. We have extensive experience handling cases involving vehicle insurance issues. We are a compassionate team of lawyers, and we never stop working toward delivering the best results for our clients. Lantz and Robins, P.C., is grateful to have clients happy with our services time and again provide strong testimonials on our behalf. Lantz and Robins, P.C., is a firm you can trust to handle your case correctly and provide you with personalized service.  With Lantz and Robins, P.C., you are more than a number, and skilled, dedicated attorneys handle your case. We are based in Richmond, Virginia, and our team of experienced trial attorneys is ready to help. For more information or to schedule your free consultation, please call 804-938-6393 or reach us via our website.

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Who Can File a Wrongful Death Suit in Virginia?

The unexpected and sudden loss of a family member is never easy to accept. The loss is especially traumatic when your loved one’s death was due to someone else’s negligence. In this situation, certain family members may have the right to claim damages against the at-fault party. To find out who can file a lawsuit under the Virginia wrongful death statute, you need to speak with an experienced Virginia personal injury lawyer. At Lantz & Robins, P.C., we have decades of experience assisting Virginia clients with all their personal injury needs, including wrongful death lawsuits. Like other states, Virginia has its own laws on who can file a wrongful death lawsuit. These can be complicated claims to pursue, which is why you want an experienced lawyer who can help. Statutory Beneficiaries Can File Under the Wrongful Death Statute in Virginia Virginia allows those who are defined as statutory beneficiaries to bring a wrongful death lawsuit. There is a specific order of priority regarding who can bring a claim. And the lawsuit itself can be filed only by the personal representative for the estate. Individual family members cannot file. Although the estate representative is the one filing, any financial recovery will go to the appropriate beneficiaries.  Surviving spouses and children are the family members who have the first right to bring a wrongful death lawsuit in Virginia. If a child is deceased, the surviving grandchildren may bring a claim. If the deceased had no surviving spouse and no children or grandchildren, then the decedent’s surviving parents, siblings, and any other family member in the decedent’s household who was financially dependent can bring a wrongful death claim. If the decedent has no children or grandchildren but has a surviving spouse and both parents, then the surviving spouse and parents could bring the wrongful death action. In the rare event there is no surviving spouse, children, grandchildren, parents, siblings, or any other family who primarily depended on the decedent, then Virginia’s estate laws will apply to identify the person’s next of kin. It’s important to point out that Virginia law recognizes relatives as someone related to the deceased by blood, marriage, or adoption. This can even include stepchildren. However, some parents are prohibited from filing a claim on behalf of their deceased child. If a parent had their rights terminated or had their child placed with a foster home, they are not entitled to bring a wrongful death claim or benefit financially.  How Long Do You Have to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit? As with other types of personal injury claims, Virginia law requires that you file a wrongful death lawsuit within the statute of limitations. In most cases, this is two years from the date of the person’s death, not the incident or accident date. If you fail to file within two years, the court will likely dismiss your entire case. Contact a Virginia Wrongful Death Attorney Determining the right party to bring a wrongful death claim can be challenging in some cases. If you believe you have a valid wrongful death claim, it’s best to speak with an experienced attorney first who can help guide you through the process. Contact Lantz & Robins, P.C., today to schedule an initial consultation. We know this is a terrible time for your family. Let us navigate the claims process for you and help you hold the responsible party accountable for your loved one’s death.

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What Is the Statute of Limitations on Personal Injury in Virginia?

If you or someone you love was injured due to someone else’s actions, you might have a valid personal injury claim. Personal injury claims can arise from many incidents, from car accidents and slip and falls to defective products and medical malpractice. It’s important to know what your rights and obligations are regarding the statute of limitations in Virginia for personal injury. If you miss the filing deadline, the court could bar your case. That is why you want to retain an experienced Richmond personal injury lawyer. At Lantz & Robins, P.C., our team of personal injury lawyers has over 40 years of combined experience helping Virginia clients. When you meet with us, we will evaluate your case and let you know the personal injury statute of limitations that applies to your particular claim. How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim? In most Virginia personal injury claims, you have two years from the date of injury to file a lawsuit. Examples include: Car accidents, Truck accidents, Bicycle accidents, Motorcycle accidents, Slip and fall accidents, Negligent security, False imprisonment, Defective products, Medical malpractice, Wrongful death, and Assault and battery. If you present a claim for defamation, such as libel or slander, the statute of limitations is only one year. If you want to bring a lawsuit against a former lawyer for alleged malpractice, you could have three or five years, depending on whether there’s a written retainer agreement. Trespass claims also have a five-year statute of limitations. Getting the statute of limitations right is crucial. You can legally file a claim or lawsuit on your own without legal representation, but we don’t recommend it. There are too many variables that can affect the statute of limitations. It is not worth risking your entire case if you inadvertently miss the deadline to file. How Is the Statute of Limitations Calculated? The statute of limitations usually starts counting down from the date of the accident or injury. However, some situations can complicate determining the statute of limitations. For example, consider someone who is diagnosed with an occupational disease years after exposure or someone who discovers a foreign object left inside their body three years after surgery. These victims can’t meet the two-year deadline for reasons beyond their control. Occupational Diseases or Medical Malpractice Consider someone who is diagnosed with an occupational disease years after exposure or someone who discovers a foreign object left inside their body three years after surgery. These victims can’t meet the two-year deadline for reasons beyond their control. If your personal injury claim does indeed involve occupational diseases or medical malpractice, it’s even more important you contact our skilled Richmond personal injury attorneys. If the victim is a minor, the rules are different regarding the statute of limitations. For most personal injury matters, a minor has two years after they turn 18 to file a claim. That means the deadline to file would fall on the child’s 20th birthday. This is because someone under 18 cannot enter into a contract—they don’t have legal capacity. However, the statute of limitations is very different if the case involves a minor and medical malpractice. For children under eight years old at the time of the malpractice, Virginia law says they have until their 10th birthday. But children ten years of age and older have only two years to file a lawsuit. That means the parents have to file a medical malpractice suit on behalf of their children. If the parents don’t do so, a child won’t be able to pursue a claim once they become an adult. If these examples aren’t convoluted enough, you could have multiple statutes of limitations to deal with in your case. Work Injuries Some injuries result in multiple claims, and those claims may not have the same cut-off period. For example, if you are injured in a work-related car accident, you may have two or more types of claims. You might have a workers’ compensation claim for your injuries since you were on the job. You may also be able to present a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance if they caused the accident. Car Accidents For auto accidents, there are also two separate time limits. For your physical injuries, your claim falls under the two-year statute of limitations. But if you are pursuing a claim for only property damage, the deadline is five years. Your attorney will let you know if you have multiple avenues of recovery in a personal injury claim and what the statute of limitations or claims deadlines are for each. Is There Any Recourse If You Miss the Deadline to File a Personal Injury Claim? In most cases, the court will throw out your case if you missed the filing deadline. Your main hope is that the defense won’t raise the issue when they file the answer. The defendant needs to assert an affirmative defense that you filed beyond the statute of limitations. If they fail to do so, they may waive their right to argue that you didn’t file in time. What Falls Under Personal Injury? Personal injury is any legal dispute that results from damage or harm caused by another party. That harm can be due to negligence, recklessness, or even an intentional act.  Negligence There are two main issues in most personal injury cases resulting from negligence: liability and damages. When someone harms you, they have a legal responsibility to you for your damages. However, you cannot bring a successful personal injury claim without proving liability and damages. To prove liability, you must first show that the other party owed you some type of duty. The most straightforward example is a car accident. Drivers owe a duty to others to exercise reasonable care when behind the wheel of a car. They must follow all laws and rules of the road. Failure to do so is a breach of duty and can result in an accident. If a driver runs a red light, for example, that’s a […]

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