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Declaration of Judicial Emergency Extended by Virginia Supreme Court

The Newest Order from the Virginia Supreme Court extending Declaration of Judicial Emergency through August 30, 2020 can be found here. Jury Trials remain suspended. Each Circuit Court is to send its individual plan to the Virginia Supreme Court for approval by a three Judge Panel from the Virginia Supreme Court. The Period of Judicial Emergency has been extended  to August 30, 2020. Please note, tolling provisions for statutes of limitations and case related deadlines ended July 20, 2020 (see Seventh Order Extending Declaration of Judicial Emergency in Response to COVID-19...

Failed Bill in Virginia Legislature Would Have Increased Minimum Motor Vehicle Liability Limits

Written by Randall C. Lenhart, Jr. Edited by Bill Pfund  Virginia does not require motor vehicle liability coverage for its motorists.  Instead, Virginia motorists are free to choose whether or not to purchase liability insurance for their vehicles.  But if they decide not to insure their vehicles they must pay a $500 “uninsured motorist fee” at the time of registration of the uninsured vehicle. Virginia does require though that all certified motor vehicle liability policies issued or delivered in the Commonwealth provide minimum insurance coverage to the insured in the amount of $25,000 because of bodily injury to or death of one person in any one accident and in the amount of $50,000 because of bodily injury to or death of two or more persons in any one accident.  Virginia also requires minimum coverage of $20,000 for property damage.  These minimum limits are codified in Virginia Code § 46.2-472 and have been set in the current amounts for over 30 years. Earlier this year, SB 664 was introduced which would have increased the minimum motor vehicle liability insurance coverage limits from $25,000 to $100,000 in cases of bodily injury to or death of one person, from $50,000 to $200,000 in cases of bodily injury to or death of more than one person in any one accident, and from $20,000 to $40,000 for property damage coverage.  The Senate Transportation Committee amended the Bill to reduce the increases from $25,000 to $35,000 in cases of bodily injury to or death of one person and from $50,000 to $70,000 in cases of bodily injury to or death of more than one person...

New Work Comp Law: Carriers and TPAs Should Alert their Insured Employers

Written by Claire Cafritz Carr, Esq. Edited by Rachel A. Riordan, Esq. A new workers’ compensation law recently passed in Virginia will go into effect on July 1st  and will impact employers and carriers at the outset of a work related accident. The new law is §65.2-601.2 and  it provides that once an employee files a claim for benefits under §65.2-601 (addressing the time limit for filing a claim) the Commission shall issue an order to the employer to advise the employee within 30 days whether the claim will be accepted or denied and the reasons for any denial. If a decision can’t be made due to a lack of information, the specific information required to make a decision must be provided.   The notice to the employee can be sent to the employee by email if he or she consents. Here is the link to the statute:  https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?201+ful+CHAP1086+pdf § 65.2-601.2. Notice to employee of employer’s intent. A. Whenever an employee makes a claim pursuant to § 65.2-601, the Commission shall order the employer to advise the employee, within 30 days following the date of such order, whether the employer (i) intends to accept the claim, (ii) intends to deny the claim, or (iii) is unable to determine whether it intends to accept or deny the claim because the employer lacks sufficient information from the employee or a third party to make such determination. If the employer responds that it intends to deny the claim, the response shall provide reasons therefor. If the employer responds that it is unable to determine whether it intends to accept or deny the claim...