Virginia Car Accident Lawyer

Top 5 Virginia Car Accident FAQs

You are probably here because; your child, your spouse, a loved one, you, or even just a friend was injured in a car accident. If you are like many of our clients, you have never been through the car accident claims process.

Our Virginia car accident lawyers have been helping personal injury victims like you for over 32 years. We are here to answer your questions and teach you how the legal system can help.

  1. Should I Hire A Car Accident Lawyer?
  2. How Much Is My Case Worth?
  3. How Long Will It Take To Settle?
  4. What Is The Statute Of Limitations?
  5. How Much Does A  Lawyer Cost?

What is the average settlement for a car accident claim?Should I Hire A Car Accident Lawyer Or Go It Alone?

Not all car accidents result in legal battles, but there are some that would greatly benefit from an attorney’s knowledge and experience. Here are a few situations that may benefit from a Virginia car accident lawyer:

  • Life-Altering Injuries: If you are permanently disabled after a car accident, it is possible that you will face a lifelong battle of challenges. Especially if your injuries will affect your ability to work and earn a living. Experienced Virginia car accident lawyers can help the car insurance companies, and a jury, understand just how much your injury will affect your life.
  • Severe Injuries: Even if your injuries are not permanent, when severe, you are likely to have expensive medical bills and lost income. Insurance companies will likely offer you an unfair low-ball settlement offer. An experienced attorney will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.
  • Liability is Uncertain: It isn’t always clear who should be held liable for a car accident. If there are numerous injuries, there may be less settlement money to go around. Sometimes it isn’t clear whether the at-fault driver has any insurance at all. An experienced Virginia car accident lawyer will make sure all avenues of compensation are explored.

 

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How Much Is My Car Accident Case Worth?

There are many factors that go into the valuation of your Virginia car accident case. The most important being whether or not there is insurance coverage and how much is available for your injuries.

Policy Limits are caps set by the insurance company that limit the size of the settlement they are willing to pay. Agreed to in the insurance policy purchased by the insured, policy limits often represent the ceiling for settlement negotiations. Even if your claim is less than the policy limit, insurance companies make low-ball settlement offers at first. A lawyer can help you negotiate a fair settlement.

Depending on the specifics of the crash, you may be entitled to one or more of the following types of compensation:

Types of Car Accident Compensation Available

  • Medical Bills: You may seek compensation for any medical care related to the accident. This often includes hospital bills, physical therapy, surgeries, and future medical bills if your injuries are life-altering.
  • Lost Wages & Future Earnings: Some car accidents result in injuries that leave victims out of work for weeks, months, or even permanently. You may seek compensation to recover those lost wages. If you are no longer able to work due to your injuries, this can be factored into the settlement as well.
  • Pain and Suffering: Long after the physical wounds heal, the emotional pain of an accident can linger. You may ask that pain and suffering be considered as part of your settlement.
  • Punitive Damages: Reckless, careless drivers are often punished for their negligence through punitive damages. In addition to compensation for your injuries, punitive damages serve as a deterrent for the driver and a warning to the public.
  • Wrongful Death: When a loved one is killed in a car accident, they leave behind bills and funeral costs – and the loss of future income for their family. Of course, their loss is felt emotionally as well. This loss of companionship and affection is priceless. A personal injury lawyer experienced with the Wrongful Death act will fight on behalf of your family.

How Long Will It Take To Settle My Car Accident Case?

There are many factors that go into determining how long it will take to settle a car accident case. Here are the most important:

Reaching Maximum Medical Improvement

If you are seriously injured, it may take years to reach maximum medical improvement– the point at which your medical condition is as good as it’s going to get. Reaching MMI before starting negotiations will ensure that all of your medical bills, past and future, are included in a settlement. Depending on your injuries, you may need several surgeries, physical therapy, and other treatments. In most cases, though, people reach maximum medical improvement in a matter of months. At that point, an attorney can assemble all of your medical records, bills from providers, employment records and other related documentation to submit to the insurance company.

Negotiations

Next comes negotiation. Your Virginia car accident lawyer, seeking the maximum compensation possible, will work with the insurance company to land on a number that satisfies both parties.

Trial

Although most of our cases are settled without having to go to trial, if an agreement cannot be reached, we may need to file a lawsuit. Although filing a lawsuit kick starts the process of preparing for a trial, negotiations will still continue. Just because litigation is initiated doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily go to court.

The final answer—it depends.


What are the time deadlines for filing an injury claim?What Is The Statute Of Limitations For A Car Accident Claim?

In Virginia, there are strict deadlines for filing a lawsuit. In many cases, Virginia provides a two-year deadline also known as a Statute of Limitations. However, sometimes special circumstances apply that can alter that deadline. Once the Statute of Limitations has passed, you will no longer be allowed to seek compensation for injuries relating to that accident. That is why it is important to contact an experienced auto accident lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your situation.

 


How Much Does A Car Accident Lawyer Cost?

Insurance companies have deep pockets and tremendous resources. Our law firm understands that the costs associated with a lawsuit can be a barrier to justice.

This is why we offer a no fee promise. This means you don’t owe us any legal fees unless we settle or win your case. If we accept your case, we will work on your behalf to get a fair settlement, and only charge legal fees if you receive a settlement or verdict. Call our Virginia car accident lawyers today.

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Other Virginia Car Accident FAQs
  1. What if the driver doesn’t have auto insurance?
  2. What if I was a passenger in a car accident? Can I make a claim?
    • A: Yes. If you suffered a serious injury that was not your fault, in Virginia you are entitled to make a car accident injury claim.  Remember, your damages are covered by their insurance company.
  3. Should I talk to the other driver’s insurance company?
    • A: The simple answer is no.It’s a good rule of thumb not to speak with the other driver’s insurance company by yourself. Insurance companies are businesses first and foremost, and they’re looking to pay the lowest amount for claims in order to make the greatest profit. Anything you say to the adjuster could potentially be used against you, and so it’s wisest to direct them to your attorney.Adjusters will try to question you about the nature of your injuries, how much time or money you have lost, contact information for your doctor(s) and any witnesses to the accident, and any insurance information that family members may have; you do not need to answer any of these questions, and should politely redirect them to your attorney.
  4. How much is your personal injury case worth?
    • Compensatory Damages – the most common type – are an attempt to make up for the pain and suffering a plaintiff experienced. Attorneys must try to put a dollar figure on the cost of that pain and suffering, which can be difficult. In some cases, compensatory damages can be straightforward; if a pedestrian is hit by a car and breaks his leg, the attorney might seek payment for the victim’s medical bills. Other times, however, determining compensatory damages isn’t as clear. The same victim with the broken leg might have been a competitive cyclist who can no longer compete, let alone cycle, due to his injury. Figuring out a monetary value for this loss of enjoyment is anything but simple. Types of compensatory damages include: Medical bills, Lost income, Pain and suffering, Wrongful death.
    • Punitive Damages are less common than compensatory damages. They occur when a defendant has acted outrageously careless. Punitive damages serve as a deterrent for both the defendant and the community at large. It sends a message, loud and clear, warning people not to act so careless with the lives of others. These damages can sometimes reach millions of dollars, but most states have set a cap on these rewards in personal injury cases.
  5. Can I sue the driver that killed my family member?
    • A: This is called a wrongful death claim and can be brought by the personal representative of the estate, usually a family member.  The claim can be made against the driver and owner of the car that caused the accident.  If the at fault driver did not have insurance, an Uninsured Motorist Claim can be filed if this coverage exists.Family members of the decedent can sue for the loss of companionship, loss of services, loss of income, and other losses on their behalf.  Typically, the settlement is shared by members of the family and the amount of each share is either agreed upon by the family members or decided by the judge.Experienced Wrongful Death Lawyers

      Virginia has a strict legal system and requirements for bringing wrongful death cases. These cases must be brought by a properly qualified personal representative of the estate. Inexperienced lawyers, who fail to understand these requirements, can permanently destroy your rights.

      Virginia also strictly construes the individuals who can recover for a wrongful death, otherwise known as the “statutory beneficiaries.” Inexperienced lawyers, who do not understand wrongful death law and procedures, frequently fail to gather all recoverable evidence of damage. Or worse, they fail to compensate the true beneficiary under Virginia law. The Virginia wrongful death lawyers at our firm combine experience with hard investigative research to help win your case.

  6. How do I find the best lawyer for my injury case?
    • A: The best way to find the right lawyer is to know what questions to ask before you hire the lawyer for your case.
      • How long has the lawyer practiced law?
      • What percentage of your practice is devoted to handling injury cases?
      • Have you ever spoken to groups of other lawyers and professionals about auto accident cases and auto insurance laws?
      • Do you have any board certifications or advanced degrees in the practice of law?
      • Have you served in any leadership roles in local bar associations?
      • What kinds of settlements have you received for your clients?
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