Northern Virginia Tailgating Attorneys
Virginia Code § 46.2-816 is the state law for following too closely, which establishes that a driver cannot follow another vehicle “more closely than is reasonable and prudent.” Following too closely is more commonly referred to as tailgating, and all drivers are at increased risk of collisions when they are traveling too close to the rear ends of the motor vehicles in front of them.
Most people are generally recommended to provide at least two seconds of following distance, meaning that you should be able to count to two before your front bumper passes the same area of a roadway that the rear bumper of the vehicle in front of you just passed. When drivers are following too closely, they do not have the ability to stop suddenly should the vehicle in front of them brakes and the result is often a devastating crash.
If you suffered serious injuries or your loved one was killed in a tailgating accident in Northern Virginia, you will want to take quick action to retain legal counsel. Make sure that you call CHASENBOSCOLO as soon as possible.
Our firm has been committed to taking care of our clients ever since our founding and we will fight to make sure that you are able to recover every last dollar of compensation you are entitled to. Call (703) 538-1138 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.
Do I Need A Tailgating Lawyer?
Many tailgating crashes are rear-end accidents, and fault in many accidents is usually assumed to be that of the driver who strikes the other motor vehicle. You should never assume that another driver’s insurance company is automatically going to treat you as though you are the victim though.
Some insurers will be very quick to try and offer victims lump-sum settlements, but you need to know that whatever you are being offered is well short of what you are actually entitled to. People who accept these settlements usually learn rather quickly that the amounts will not be enough to cover many future costs, which victims then have to pay out of pocket.
Other insurance companies could be more aggressive in attempting to argue that you were somehow at fault. Allegations about improperly maintained brake lights are especially common defenses in these cases, and you will want to make sure you have an attorney if you are subject to any such accusations.
When you have been injured or your loved one was killed because of another driver’s tailgating, a lawyer is going to be able to conduct their own independent investigation of your crash to gather the evidence needed to prove another party’s negligence. An attorney is going to give you the best chance of recovering as much compensation as possible.
Why Choose CHASENBOSCOLO To Handle My Case?
CHASENBOSCOLO has a record of success that includes over $750 million recovered for our clients since our founding in 1986. We have taken more than 500 cases to jury trials in just the past five years.
Barry M. Chasen has more than three decades of legal experience and is a member of the American Association for Justice, District of Columbia Bar, and Prince George’s County Bar Association. He has also received an AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell, a peer rating denoting the highest level of professional excellence.
Benjamin T. Boscolo also received an AV-Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell. He also served as a Workers Compensation Panelist for both the National Football Players Association and Major League Soccer Players Association.
CHASENBOSCOLO also provides the No Fee Guarantee®, which means there are no legal fees unless you get a monetary award. Our firm will be committed to achieving a just settlement to your case, but we can always file a lawsuit when it is necessary to obtain full and fair compensation.
Injuries Caused by Tailgating Drivers
Tailgating is most likely to result in a rear-end collision. In virtually all cases, the driver who runs into the rear end of the other vehicle is at fault. The one thing that can vary in tailgating crash cases is the severity of the injuries. People could suffer such injuries as:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal cord injuries -including paralysis
- Internal organ injuries
- Neck injuries
- Broken bones
- Cuts and lacerations
Drivers who are being tailgated should avoid performing any so-called “brake checks,” which are the tapping of brakes while being tailgated. While this can seem like a harmless way to try and get a driver to back off, there are certain cases in which tailgating drivers can claim that another driver stopped for no verifiable reason and intentionally tried to cause a crash.
What is the best way of dealing with tailgaters?
When another driver is aggressively trailing you and not leaving a safe distance between their vehicle and yours, you need to stay calm and keep in mind the dangers of any sudden braking. When it is possible, try to pull over and let the other driver pass you. If you are not able to pull over, then you should continue to proceed at a safe speed. Do not risk a possible speeding violation in an attempt to satisfy a tailgater.
How long do I have to file a tailgating accident lawsuit?
Virginia Code § 8.01-243 establishes that a personal injury action relating to a tailgating accidents must be brought within two years of the date of the cause of action (the motor vehicle accident). Certain exceptions exist to the statute of limitations, however. For example, any person who cannot file a lawsuit because of a disability, such as being a minor or incapacitated, can have their limitations period tolled (delayed) until they become able to commence legal action. A minor thus has two years to file once they turn 18 years of age. The statute of limitations period can also be tolled for fraud committed by a defendant, such as when they leave the state or commit other actions to avoid liability.
What kinds of damages could I be entitled to for a tailgating accident?
Many tailgating crashes are cases of clear fault and it is usually a matter of time before an insurance company ultimately provides a fair and full settlement. Insurers are reluctant to take any motor vehicle accident case to trial, but a tailgating crash that does go to court could result in a person being awarded various kinds of compensatory damages that are intended to restore them to full health or as close as possible thereto. Compensatory damages often include economic damages that account for actual expenses such as:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Damage to your vehicle
- Other expenses you’ve incurred or will incur
Compensatory damages could also include noneconomic damages, which are awards for far more subjective types of harm like:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Emotional distress / Post-traumatic stress
It is also possible, albeit extremely rare for punitive damages to be awarded in certain cases. Punitive damages cannot exceed $350,000 in Virginia, and these are awards that are designed more to punish defendants for certain kinds of wrongdoing rather than compensate victims. Drunk driving is one of the areas of personal injury claims that can result in punitive damages.
Tailgating: By the Numbers
According to the 2018 Virginia Traffic Crash Facts from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), following too closely was the driver action identified in 32,407, or 13.3 percent, of all motor vehicle crashes in Virginia in 2018. Following too closely was identified as the driver action in six fatal crashes, or 1.1 percent.
Following too closely was the driver action identified in 469 alcohol-related crashes, or 6.7 percent. When it came to speed-related accidents, following too closely was the driver action in 6,889 crashes, or 25.0 percent.
Following too closely was the driver action identified in 31,206 passenger vehicle-related crashes, or 13.7 percent. Following too closely was also the commercial motor vehicle driver action identified in 449, or 8.4 percent, of commercial motor vehicle-related crashes.
Following too closely was the driver action identified in 247 large truck crashes, or 9.0 percent. When it came to motorcycle accidents, following too closely was the motorcycle driver action in 148 crashes, or 8.0 percent.
Following too closely was the driver action identified in 32 bus crashes, or 5.5 percent. As it related to bicycle accidents, following too closely was the bicycle driver action in seven crashes, or 1.1 percent.
Following too closely was also the driver action identified in 17 moped crashes, or 4.7 percent. As it related to school bus accidents, following too closely was the school bus driver action in 36 crashes, or 5.4 percent.
Contact a Tailgating Accident Attorney in Northern Virginia
Did you sustain catastrophic injuries or was your loved one killed in a tailgating accident in Northern Virginia? Do not wait another moment to contact CHASENBOSCOLO to get the qualified help you need. We can assess all of your legal options when you call (703) 538-1138 or contact us online to receive a free consultation.