Virginia operates under a tort system for car insurance purposes. When an accident occurs, one driver is determined to be legally responsible for the accident and he or she is responsible for paying for the damages caused. The occupants of the other vehicle can sue the at-fault driver to collect damages for medical expenses. The at-fault driver is also required to pay for repairs to the other driver’s vehicle and any public property damaged or destroyed in the accident. The driver found legally responsible for the accident must also assume the cost of repairs to public property damaged in the accident, including sign posts, sidewalks, buildings and mailboxes.
The minimum level of bodily injury liability protection required under VA law is $25,000 to compensate a single accident victim. At least $50,000 must be bought to compensate two or more people injured in a car accident. This part of the policy also pays out a funeral benefit if the accident causes one or more deaths.
At least $20,000 in property damage liability protection must be put in place as well. This is the part of the policy which pays for repairs to the other driver’s car and other property claims.
If the dollar amount of damages caused in an accident is higher than the at-fault driver’s available coverage, he or she is personally responsible for making up the difference. To guard against this type of situation, auto insurance buyers in VA should consider buying a policy with a higher limit from the outset.