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Ben Glass
Ben Glass
Attorney • (703) 584-7277

Help for Smaller Cases in Virginia

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The Virginia General Assembly has passed two measures designed to reduce the time and cost of pursuing smaller automobile accident cases..

In the past, you could file a smaller case (maximum recovery $15,000) in in the Virginia General District Court and use affidavits to prove your medical care and costs. The problem was that defendants, often seeking to make things too expensive, could either remove the case to the Circuit Court or appeal it if they lost. In either case, you lost the ability to prove medical care and expenses by affidavit, thus adding at least $5,000 to the cost of your case.

The two proposed bills would eliminate removal and make medical care and expenses provable upon appeal to the Circuit Court.

HB 2425–This bill, patroned by House Majority Leader Morgan Griffith, will eliminate the right to remove an action from the general district court to the circuit court. An appeal bond is required to be posted within 30 days of judgment except for an appeal of an unlawful detainer and there will be an effort by the patron to encourage the Governor to insert previous bill language stating that indigent persons do not have to post an appeal bond except in trespass, ejectment, unlawful detainer, or any action involving the recovering of rents.

HB 3182 – Patroned at VTLA’s request by Hanover Delegate Chris Peace, HB 3182 will now allow the admission of medical records through affidavit by the plaintiff in circuit court upon appeal by the defendant. Currently under 16.1-88.2 medical records are only allowed upon removal.

Comment from Virginia car accident attorney Ben Glass: the Governor should sign both of these bills. They make sense and are good for Virginia citizens. We suspect that the insurance companies will fight passage of the bills.