Portsmouth Personal Injury Lawyer FAQs
- Do I need to hire a lawyer?
- How much is my Portsmouth personal injury case worth?
- Deadlines for Virginia personal injury claims
- Who is responsible for paying my medical bills?
- How much does a personal injury lawyer cost?
Do I need to hire a lawyer?
The honest answer is no. However, you need to be careful not to sign away your legal rights with the other insurance company for a small settlement. If you agree to a settlement and sign the release papers, you cannot change your mind or come back for another settlement at a later date. It is important to have an attorney review all of the paperwork before you sign them, and to assist you in obtaining the best possible car accident settlement.
How much is my Portsmouth accident case worth?
Insurance Policy Limits and Your Settlement
Settlement amounts are based on both the damage done and the severity of the injuries sustained. Another major factor? Policy limits. These caps set by the insurance company 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.
Types of Compensation
Depending on the specifics of your accident, you may be entitled to one or more of the following types of compensation:
- Medical treatment. When a negligent party has caused your injuries, you shouldn’t have to pay for the medical treatment you receive. By seeking compensation for all the care necessary for your healing process, you can recover costs including hospital bills, physical therapy and any future medical expenses associated with the injury.
- Lost wages. Serious accidents can put people out of work for days, weeks, months, or even permanently. Future loss of earnings due to your injuries can also be included in your settlement.
- Pain and suffering. The emotional and psychological pain of an accident can outlast even the most serious of physical injuries.
- Property damages. When an accident involves your property (cars, bicycles, motorcycles, etc.), property damage settlements can cover repairs or pay for a replacement.
- Punitive damages. Reckless, careless individuals are often punished for their negligence through punitive damages. In addition to compensation for your injuries, pain, and suffering, punitive damages serve as a deterrent from any future reckless behavior.
- Wrongful death. When a loved one was killed in an accident caused by someone else, 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. But compensating a loved one for the wrongful death of a family member is the fair thing to do.
Time Deadlines for Portsmouth Injury 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 (SOL). However, sometimes special circumstances apply that can alter that deadline. It is important to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible after the accident to protect your rights. After this deadline has passed, the law will not allow filing a claim for your injuries.
Who is responsible for paying my medical bills?
When you’re injured, you need help. There’s no time to waste worrying about who will pick up the tab for life-saving medical treatment. But as the wounds heal, the medical bills start to pour in. Treatment for life-threatening injuries is priceless, but they can be incredibly expensive. The anxiety will start setting in: who will pay for my medical bills?
When you’ve got medical bills piling up, it’s very tempting to accept the first settlement the insurance company offers you. However, if you accept that offer, you are signing away all of your rights. When accepting the check, you’ll have to sign a release agreeing that the payment is a “full and final settlement.” Once you’ve signed it you’ll never again be allowed to ask for more compensation if your injuries start causing you problems again.
An experienced personal injury accident lawyer will ensure that you’ve reached maximum medical improvement (when your condition cannot be improved any further), before negotiating with the insurance company. This will ensure that all of your medical bills are included in the settlement, as well as any permanent long-term care that you will need.
How much does a personal injury lawyer cost?
Our no-fee promise means that you don’t owe us any legal fees unless we settle or win your case. Our personal injury lawyers will work on your behalf to get a fair settlement, and only charge legal fees if you receive a settlement or verdict.
We understand the fees associated with a lawsuit can be a barrier to justice. Our Portsmouth personal injury attorneys believe that everyone should have a voice when it comes to asserting their rights. Corporations and insurance companies have tremendous resources, and our no-fee promise levels the playing field.
The Law Offices of Richard J. Serpe, PC has helped accident victims and their families for over 33 years. We represent victims injured in many different types of accidents including Portsmouth car accidents, maritime accidents, wrongful death, brain injuries, lead poisoning, tractor-trailer and truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, bicycle accidents, and any other type of accident caused by someone else’s negligence.