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Virginia Car Accident Lawyer, Top-Rated

Norfolk personal injury lawyerVirginia car accident lawyer Richard Serpe has 34+ years experience and has been recognized by Best Lawyers for his accomplishments in personal injury litigation for the last 15 years. Our goal is to seek justice and win the best possible settlement for your case. We are here to answer your questions and show you how the legal system can help.

  1. When should I hire a car accident lawyer?
  2. How do you calculate a settlement?
  3. How long will it take to settle my case?
  4. What is the Statute of Limitations?
  5. How much does a lawyer cost?

When should I hire 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 Car Accident Injury Claim: 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. You’ll want to make sure you hire an experienced wrongful death lawyer for these types of cases.
  • Life-Altering Injuries: If you are permanently disabled after a car accident, you may 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: 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.
  • Low-Ball Offers From The Adjuster: Insurance companies will often make low-ball offers within a matter of just a few weeks hoping to quickly settle a claim. Unfortunately, though, these offers come with an agreement that you will not seek additional compensation relating to the accident later.

How do you calculate a car accident settlement?

There are many factors that go into the calculation of your 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 and Your Settlement

Policy Limits are caps set by the insurance company that limit the size. Car insurance policy limits often represent the ceiling for settlement negotiations. But, even if your car accident claim is less than the policy limit, insurance companies make low-ball settlement offers at first. A Virginia car accident lawyer can help you negotiate a fair settlement.

Types of Compensation Available

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

  • Medical Bills: You may seek compensation for any 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 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. This can be considered as part of your settlement.
  • Punitive Damages: Reckless drivers are often punished for their negligence. 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, 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 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 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 your settlement. Depending on your injuries, you may need several surgeries, physical therapy, and other treatments. But, in most cases, 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 car insurance company.


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.


Most of our cases are settled without a trial. But, 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. This doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily go to court.

Statute of Limitations for Virginia Car Accident Claims

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 may apply that can alter this deadline. Once the Statute of Limitations has passed, you cannot seek compensation for your injuries. So, that is why it is important to contact an experienced auto accident lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your situation.

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.

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. 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.


    Should I talk to the other driver's insurance company?

    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 may be used against you, 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.

    What if I was a passenger in a car accident? Can I make a claim?

    Yes. If your injury was not your fault, you can make a car accident injury claim.  Damages are usually covered by the insurance company.

    What are compensatory and punitive damages (compensation)?
    • 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/her 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 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.
    Can I sue the driver that killed my family member?

    This is called a wrongful death claim and can be brought by the personal representative of the estate. This is usually a family member.  A claim can be made against the driver and owner of the car.  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.  This is usually shared by members of the family. The amount is agreed upon by family members or decided by a judge.

    Kelli S., Portsmouth, VA
    He listened carefully to our concerns and gave us honest legal advice
    My husband and I worked with Richard for the past year and had a wonderful experience. At our first meeting, he did not push us to sign anything or make
    - Kelli S., Portsmouth, VA
    Shaniqua J., Winchester, VA
    Richard Serpe, and his staff did a thorough investigation into the dog owner
    My 7-year-old daughter was outside playing with friends in front of our home when she was viciously attacked by our neighbor’s Rottweiler. The Rottweiler dug a hole under the fence,
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    Angela Woodson, Richmond, VA
    Richard Serpe was able to get an excellent recovery for my daughter
    When my daughter suffered an injury from lead poisoning, I did not know where to turn. There did not seem to be many lawyers who could help. The landlord responsible
    - Angela Woodson, Richmond, VA
    Elizabeth C., Virginia Beach, VA
    Thank you Richard Serpe and your firm
    This firm has been beside us through the whole process from when we first found out that our home had been built with Chinese drywall until justice was served. They
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    Mikhal Taylor, Richmond Virginia
    The people who work for him were always great to work with
    Richard Serpe handled the case for my daughter for injuries she received over 10 years ago. The people who work for him were always great to work with! They responded
    - Mikhal Taylor, Richmond Virginia
    Allena A., Eastern Shore of VA
    Such a wonderful group of people to have by your side
    Such a wonderful group of people to have by your side! Genuinely cares and wants to help you and your family 🙂
    - Allena A., Eastern Shore of VA
    Melissa Baumann, Norfolk, VA
    Richard acted as my advocate, my friend, my partner and my champion
    Within seconds of meeting with Richard Serpe, he identified a number of potential mistakes I was making – many of which could have been quite costly. Throughout the entire process,
    - Melissa Baumann, Norfolk, VA
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    I endorse this lawyer
    I endorse this lawyer. Richard is an extremely intelligent person and a very kind man. Not only is Richard a top-notch attorney, but he also is very compassionate one. You
    - Art Serratelli, Virginia Beach Immigration Lawyer
    Eddie Stodghill, Richmond, VA
    I would recommend Richard Serpe
    After a major maritime accident on the water, I was scared and didn’t know where to turn. The Law Offices of Richard Serpe and his great staff treated me with
    - Eddie Stodghill, Richmond, VA
    Hallie, Williamsburg, VA
    I highly recommend this Personal Injury Law Firm
    I highly recommend this Personal Injury Law Firm. They kept me in the loop with everything going on and gave honest advice. I am very satisfied!
    - Hallie, Williamsburg, VA
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