Automobile Accident Injuries in Harrisonburg According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), a motor vehicle crash occurs every three minutes. Statistically, one out of four persons is involved in a vehicle accident during their lifetime. David L. Parker, P.C. helps clients suffering from serious injuries as a result of Harrisonburg auto accidents.

Automobile accident injury in Harrisonburg—Types of injuries A Harrisonburg automobile accident injury may be relatively minor, such as whiplash, a sprain, mild concussion, or a broken bone. These may be painful and inconvenient injuries, but do not require extensive hospitalization or medical treatment over long periods of time. Those suffering these kinds of injuries should check with a lawyer to determine if having legal representation is advisable to receive fair compensation from insurance companies.

Other injuries are severe, very costly to treat, and may be long term. Serious injuries often result from crashes involving semi trucks, rear end collisions, and drunk driving. The most damaging injuries are called catastrophic injuries because incapacitation or permanent disability results. Victims of catastrophic injuries should always contact a personal injury attorney to help them present their strongest case.

Catastrophic Harrisonburg car accident injuries include:

  • Spinal cord injury
  • Loss of limb
  • Fractured neck
  • Permanent hearing loss
  • Fractured spine
  • Multiple fractures
  • Brain damage
  • Severe burns
  • Loss of eyesight
  • Internal organ damage

Time limits for filing claims The time limit (statute of limitations) for filing a Harrisonburg car accident claim is two years from the date of injury. After the two-year time period, you lose the opportunity to sue for damages.

If the car accident resulted from defective auto parts, products liability becomes a factor in your claim, which also has a two-year statute of limitations.

Do you need an attorney for your Harrisonburg auto accident injury? Anyone suffering from a serious Harrisonburg automobile accident injury should consult with an attorney right away. Such cases usually require strong advocacy because insurance companies stand to lose the most money through these types of claims. Consequently, they mount a strong defense to protect their interests, minimize the extent of injury if possible, delay payment, or pay inadequate recovery amounts.

You need legal skills, available resources, experience, and leverage to take on insurance companies.

David L. Parker, P.C. defends clients’ rights in Harrisonburg traffic violations cases. When charged with a Harrisonburg traffic violation ticket, you receive demerit points, fines, and in more serious cases, jail time.

In Virginia, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has a demerit point system that assigns points for traffic violations. The demerit system has six point, four point, and three point violations tied to the severity of traffic violations.

Examples of six point violations include:

  • Reckless driving—speeding in excess of 80 mph (miles per hour) or 20 mph over the posted speed limit, racing, passing a school bus, and more.
  • Driving under the influence (DUI)
  • Vehicular manslaughter
  • Driving on suspended license or while license is revoked
  • Driving commercial motor vehicles while disqualified, or under the influence of drugs or blood alcohol at .04 or higher

Examples of four point violations include:

  • Reckless driving—speeding 10 to 19 mph above the posted limit
  • Failure to stop or yield the right of way to a police or emergency vehicle or pedestrian with a white cane
  • Failure to keep to the right
  • Following too closely Improper signal use
  • Failure to obey railroad crossing lights or stop signs, or to slow when indicated
  • Failure to stop at the scene of a crash involving more than $500 in damage

Examples of three point violations include:

  • Speeding 1-9 mph above the posted speed limit
  • Impeding traffic with slow speed Improper passing
  • Failure to obey highway signs
  • Driving without lights or with excessive lights
  • Driving without a Virginia license or license plate—for in-state residents

Harrisonburg traffic violation penalties Within a three-year period, 18 or more demerit points result in 60-day license suspension and 24 or more points result in a 120-day suspension. Six point violations stay on your record for 11 years, four point violations for five years, and three point violations for three years. A Harrisonburg auto accident caused by a traffic violation can result in serious consequences. Some reckless driving charges are misdemeanors, and some are felonies with prison sentences. All violations carry processing fees and other fines.

Harrisonburg traffic lawyer David L. Parker, P.C. can help defend your rights against DUI charges. Having a strong advocate at your side helps you understand the possible consequences of DUI conviction and the best way to deal with such charges.

When arrested for a DUI, an automatic and immediate seven-day drivers license suspension goes into effect. Anyone driving with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) higher than .08 is subject to Virginia DUI laws.

A police officer with probable cause to suspect drunk driving may detain you and require you to take field sobriety tests and a breath or blood test for alcohol content. If you have a previous DUI conviction within the past ten years and refuse the BAC test, the consequences are dire.

You can lose your drivers license for three years and may face a six-month jail sentence if convicted a second time. A one-year jail sentence is possible if convicted of a third offense. An auto accident attorney in Harrisburg can best advise you about whether to take or refuse a BAC test. But this decision must be made immediately after you are stopped.

Three stages of DUI There are three types of DUI charges in Virginia, based on the offense:

First offense—the first time DUI arrest—Class one misdemeanor

  • Maximum criminal penalties: $2500 fines and one year in jail
  • Administrative penalties:
  • Mandatory Alcohol Safety Action Program (ASAP)
  • Driver’s license revocation/suspension for one year
  • Penalties for Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) tests registering .15 to .20 percent require five days mandatory jail time and ignition interlock device (IID) when license privileges are restored
  • For BAC tests registering .21 or higher, ten days mandatory jail and IID are required

Second offense—Misdemeanor

  • Minimum jail sentence within five years of a previous conviction:
  • One month for BAC .08 to .14 percent
  • One month plus additional 10 days for BAC .15 to 2.0 percent
  • One month plus additional 20 days for BAC of 2.1 and higher
  • Administrative penalties include mandatory ASAP attendance and drivers license suspension for three years, plus IID when license is restored

Third offense—Class 6 felony

  • Minimum of three months in jail if convicted within five to ten years of a prior offense
  • Minimum of six months in jail if convicted within ten years of a prior offense.
  • IID when license is restored

In addition, those convicted of DUI may receive much higher insurance premiums, fines, and surcharges.

Is it possible to get out of a DUI? Similar to fighting a speeding ticket in Harrisonburg, the same conditions can apply to DUI charges. Blood alcohol content (BAC) testing must follow strict guidelines. Experienced lawyers can challenge BAC testing and sobriety tests when appropriate, along with the entire arrest process.