Is It Worth It To Hire A Virginia Car Accident Lawyer?
Life can change in the blink of an eye.
One minute, you can be cruising down the road without a care in the world. The next, you might find yourself in a deadly car accident.
While legal action can’t turn back the clock and prevent the car accident from occurring in the first place, damage awards can help ensure auto accident victims are compensated for their suffering and the medical care they deserve.
Unfortunately, insurance companies don’t always have the best interests of accident victims in mind. They’ll look for any reason to deny a claim. That’s why it’s so important to have an experienced car accident lawyer on your side.
These questions can help you determine whether you should hire a lawyer after your car crash:
1. How Serious Are Your Injuries?
A minor fender bender is handled far differently than a deadly head-on collision. It’s worth consulting with a lawyer after any crash, but when damages are below a few thousand dollars, it may not be worth the legal expenses.
Be careful not to accept compensation from the insurance company too quickly. Accept their first offer and you’ll be required to sign away the right to pursue any additional compensation. Even minor injuries from crashes can worsen over time, and if you accept cash too early, you may not be able to recoup the cash necessary to handle worsening medical issues.
In many cases, hiring a car accident attorney is an investment in your future. Since a lawyer can often recover a larger settlement for you, their services may ultimately pay for themselves.
2. Do You Have Time to Gather Evidence?
Gathering evidence after a crash can be more time intensive than you might expect. You’ll have to collect witness statements, police reports, photographs of the accident, medical records and medical bills. In severe cases, it may be beneficial to hire experts to reconstruct the crash or obtain crash data from a vehicle’s black box. It’s a lot of work even under normal circumstances. If you’re nursing an injury or require surgery, it may not be possible for you to collect the evidence necessary for a lawsuit.
A car accident attorney can help make this process easier. A car accident lawyer can help the car insurance companies, and a jury, understand just how much your injury has affected your life. By hiring an auto accident attorney, you unburden yourself from many of the responsibilities required to file a claim or lawsuit.
3. Can You Prove the Other Driver’s Negligence?
A big component of any car accident claim is fault. Determining fault can be incredibly complicated. Proving liability is complex – you’ve got to identify the driver’s duty of care, or their responsibility to follow traffic laws. You’ll also need to show that the other driver breached their duty of care by violating traffic laws in some way. Next, you’ll need to connect your injuries and damages back to this breach. Finally, you’ll need to tally up every penny of damage you’ve taken on because of the crash while also factoring in any anticipatory damages like future medical expenses.
The average accident victim will lack both the resources and time to demonstrate the other driver’s liability. It’s a huge job that should generally be left up to an experienced car accident lawyer.
4. Are You Willing to Negotiate with the Insurance Company?
Insurance adjusters will do anything to avoid paying out a claim. Even when they are willing to cut accident victims a check, they’re often hoping to lowball the offer. Some will even drag out negotiations to wear you down in the hopes that you’ll settle for less than you deserve. An experienced car accident attorney can advocate for your needs and get you the best possible compensation package.
5. Do You Know the Value of Your Claim?
Some car accident damages are obvious: your medical bills, auto repairs, and prescription medication costs are easy enough to tally up. Those are just the beginning of the damages, though. You’ll also want to factor in the hours you lost out on at work while recovering, the pain and suffering you’ve endured, and any lost opportunities you missed out on because of the crash. These kinds of damages are difficult to assign dollar amounts to, making it tough for the average accident victim to know the precise value of their claim.
Most car accident lawyers work on contingency. You won’t owe a dollar unless they recover compensation on your behalf. Contingency fees allow the client and attorney to share the financial burden of a case. This creates an incentive for car accident lawyers to work hard for the best possible results. It also shows the level of confidence the attorney has in the case: they wouldn’t take on the client if they didn’t believe they could win.
Should You Hire a Car Accident Lawyer?
After a serious car accident, a lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve. With a professional on your side, you’ll have the time and space you need to recover from the crash while also prioritizing your right to damages. While only you can decide whether to hire a car accident lawyer, it’s never a bad idea to explore your options.
Car Accident Attorney Richard Serpe
Richard Serpe is a highly skilled trial attorney with a reputation for meticulous trial preparation and presentation. He has a tremendous track record of success in obtaining substantial jury verdicts and settlements for his clients. A substantial portion of his career has been devoted to the representation of injured children.
- Named “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers for Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs, Norfolk, VA (2020)
- Rated 10/10 – “Superb” Avvo.com
- Best Lawyers (2005 – Present)
- AV rating from the Martindale-Hubbell law directory, which is the highest given
- “Super Lawyer” – among the top 5 percent of lawyers in Virginia (2006 – Present)