Suffolk Personal Injury Lawyer FAQs
- Do I need to hire a lawyer?
- How is a settlement calculated?
- How long will my case take?
- What are the deadlines to file a claim?
- How much does a lawyer cost?
Do I need to hire a personal injury lawyer?
Answer: The honest answer is no.
However, you could sign away your legal rights for a small settlement. If you agree to a settlement and sign the release papers, you cannot ask for more money related to your injuries later.
We highly recommend that you contact a Virginia personal injury lawyer if you have experienced any of the following:
- Your Injuries Are Permanent: If you are permanently injured after an accident, it is likely that you will face life-long challenges including medical care.
- Your Injuries Are Severe: Even when not permanent, severe injuries can result in expensive medical bills.
- Low-Ball Offers from the Insurance Company: Insurance companies will often make low-ball offers within a matter of just a few weeks hoping to quickly settle a claim. If you’re comfortable accepting their offer, it may only take a few weeks to see your settlement check. Unfortunately, though, these offers come with an agreement that you will not seek additional compensation for damages relating to the accident.
How is a personal injury settlement calculated?
How Insurance Policy Limits Can Affect 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 details of your personal injury, you may be entitled to one or more of the following types of compensation:
- Medical Bills: Whether you need an ambulance ride to a hospital, a life-saving surgery, or years of physical therapy– medical bills can add up quickly. A personal injury lawyer can help you seek compensation for those bills, as well as any future medical expenses associated with your injury.
- Lost Paychecks: If you’re hospitalized after your accident, there’s a good chance you’ll miss work while you recuperate. Seek the paychecks you missed out on. Accidents can put people out of work for months or permanently, so the loss of earnings should also be included in your settlement.
- Pain and Suffering: Long after the physical wounds heal, the emotional pain of an accident can linger. Pain and suffering may be included in your settlement.
- Punitive damages: Negligent parties often need more than an accident to deter them from acting recklessly again. Punitive damages are sometimes awarded to motivate them to act more responsibly in the future.
- Wrongful death: If your loved one was killed, you’re probably grief-stricken and wondering how you’ll shoulder medical bills, funeral costs – not to mention the loss of future income for your family. Of course, the emotional loss cannot be understated either. The Virginia wrongful death statute allows certain family members to bring a claim for the losses they have suffered from the death of their loved one.
How Long Will It Take To Settle My Personal Injury Case?
There are many factors that go into determining how long it will take to settle a Suffolk personal injury case. Here are the most important:
Reaching Maximum Medical Improvement
Maximum medical improvement (MMI) is the point at which your medical condition is as good as it’s going to get.
Reaching MMI before starting negotiations with the insurance companies will ensure that all of your medical bills, past and future, are included in a settlement.
Next comes negotiation. Your Suffolk personal injury lawyer, seeking the maximum compensation possible, will work with the insurance company to reach a settlement that satisfies both parties.
Although most of our cases are settled without having to go to court, 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.
Statute of Limitations (Injury Claim Deadlines)
Under Virginia law, it is necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit within strict deadlines imposed by law. In many cases, Virginia provides for a two-year deadline also known as a Statute of Limitations. However, every case is different and this deadline could vary depending on the circumstances of the situation.
Don’t wait until the last minute
While two years might seem like a long time, the investigation and negotiation processes can be lengthy. To protect your rights, you should speak with a Virginia personal injury 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 personal injury lawyer cost?
No Legal Fees Unless We Settle or Win
We understand the fees associated with a lawsuit can be a barrier to justice. Corporations and insurance companies have tremendous resources, and our no-fee promise levels the playing field.
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.
Contact Us For A Free Consultation
After a personal injury accident, you need an ally who will work tirelessly to ensure your rights are protected. Allow the Serpe Firm team to be your advocate in your time of need. Our Suffolk personal injury lawyers will fight for the best possible outcome on your behalf.
Types of Personal Injury Cases We Handle
If you’ve been injured, or your loved one has been killed, we will protect your legal rights and fight for the maximum compensation you deserve.
- Jones Act & Maritime Lawyer: tugboats, barges, fishing boats, cruise ships, cargo ships, maintenance and cure
- Auto Accidents: involving cars, trucks, bicycles, pedestrians, motorcycles, uninsured/underinsured motorists
- Dog Bites & Attacks: for children, adults, mail carriers, delivery truck drivers, pedestrians, joggers, etc.
- Guardrail Accidents: defective, outdated, and improperly installed guardrails causing injury and death
- Nursing Home Neglect: falls, bed and pressure sores, medication errors, wrongful death
- Wrongful Death: wrongful death of a loved one due to someone else’s negligence
- Birth Injury: Inadequate training, defective drugs, and ineffective policies can all lead to medical mistakes.
- Child Lead Poisoning: lead poisoning can cause long-term permanent cognitive injuries in children
- Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: faulty equipment/appliances, improper repairs, improper venting, and faulty detectors