After a car accident it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and stressed out. Your injuries, the insurance companies, the at-fault party, and the legal system are a lot for anyone to face.
Insurance companies know most people are inexperienced with the personal injury claims process. If they see an opportunity to minimize or deny your claim, they’ll take it. Hiring a personal injury lawyer to advocate for needs levels the playing field. And if the insurance company won’t offer a fair settlement, a personal injury lawyer can file a lawsuit on your behalf.
The Law Offices of Richard J. Serpe, PC can help you seek justice and compensation for pain and suffering (physical pain and emotional anguish), medical bills, lost wages, and other financial losses you’ve suffered.
About Richard Serpe
Richard Serpe has dedicated his 35-year legal career to helping people get the justice and compensation they are rightfully owed. As a personal injury attorney, he advocates for those who have been injured due to the negligence of another person, dangerous product, or company. A substantial portion of his career has been devoted to the representation of injured children. Mr. Serpe is frequently associated with complex litigation, managing cases with difficult scientific and medical issues.
Virginia Car Accidents
We are here to answer your questions and show you how the legal system can help.
- When should I hire a car accident lawyer?
- Understanding car accident settlements
- How long does a car accident case take?
- Statute of Limitations (Critical Deadlines)
- How do personal injury attorney’s fees work?
When should I consider hiring a car accident lawyer?
Not all car accidents result in legal battles. However, there are some that would greatly benefit from an attorney’s knowledge and experience. Here are a few situations that may benefit from hiring a Virginia car accident lawyer:
- You’ve Never Handled a Claim or Lawsuit: Insurance adjusters are trained negotiators and know that most people are inexperienced with the claims process. If they see an opportunity to deny or minimize a claim, they’ll take it.
- Wrongful Death: Virginia allows certain family members to file a claim for losses they have suffered due to the wrongful death of a loved one. Wrongful death claims are often more complex and complicated than personal injury claims.
- Life-Altering Injuries: If you are permanently disabled after a car accident, you may face a lifelong battle of challenges. Sometimes injuries can affect a person’s ability to work and earn a living. An attorney can help you fight for your future loss of income.
- Severe Injuries: When injuries are severe, you are likely to have expensive medical bills and lost income.
- 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. A car accident attorney can conduct a thorough investigation into your accident and explore all avenues of compensation.
- Low-Ball Offers: Insurance companies will often make low-ball offers within a matter of weeks hoping to quickly settle a claim. Unfortunately, though, these offers come with an agreement that you will not seek additional compensation relating to your accident later. Having an experienced car accident attorney to negotiate for a fair settlement can often result in a larger outcome.
2. How are Virginia car accident settlements calculated?
There are many factors that go into the calculation of a Virginia car accident settlement. 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 potential settlement. Car insurance policy limits often represent the ceiling for settlement negotiations.
Depending on the specifics of your Virginia car accident, you may be entitled to one or more of the following types of compensation:
- Medical Bills: You may seek compensation for medical care related to the car accident. This often includes hospital bills, physical therapy, surgeries, and future medical bills if your injuries are life-altering.
- Lost Wages & Future Income: 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, these financial losses can be factored into the settlement as well.
- Pain and Suffering: The physical pain and mental anguish you suffered as a result of the accident can also be factored into your settlement.
- A Wrongful Death: When a loved one is killed in a car accident, they leave behind bills, 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 Virginia wrongful death cases can protect your family’s right to compensation.
Hiring a lawyer can help ensure you are being fairly and fully compensated for injuries caused by someone else’s negligence.
3. How long will a car accident case take?
There are many factors that go into determining how long it will take to settle a car accident case. Below are some of the most time consuming factors in a car accident case.
- 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 your settlement. Depending on your injuries, you may need surgery, physical therapy, and other medical treatment. But, when injuries are less severe, many people reach maximum medical improvement in a matter of months.
- 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. This process can be time consuming and may result in your attorney filing a lawsuit if the insurance company will not offer a fair settlement.
- Trial. Most of our cases are settled without going trial. But, if an agreement cannot be reached, we may need to file a lawsuit. Although filing a lawsuit kick starts a formal and strict legal process, negotiations may continue.
4. Statute of Limitations (Legal Deadlines)
In Virginia, there are strict deadlines for filing a personal injury lawsuit. In many cases, Virginia provides a two-year deadline also known as a Statute of Limitations. However, sometimes special circumstances may apply that can alter that deadline. Once the statute of limitations has passed, you will never again be allowed to ask for compensation related to your accident and injuries. Consider contacting a car accident lawyer as soon as possible after your accident to protect your right to compensation. Most personal injury lawyers offer a risk-free consultation.
While two years might seem like a long time, the investigation and negotiation processes can be lengthy. Protect your rights by speaking with a Virginia car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Once you have missed this deadline, you will no longer be able to file a claim.
5. How much does a Virginia 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. Ultimately, this means you don’t owe us any legal fees unless we settle or win your personal injury 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 for a free consultation to discuss your options.