Virginia Personal Injury Lawyer Frequently Asked Questions
- Should I hire a personal injury lawyer?
- When should I contact a lawyer?
- How is an injury settlement calculated?
- What are the deadlines for an injury claim?
- Choosing the “Best Personal Injury Lawyer”
#1: Do I Need to Hire a Virginia Personal Injury Lawyer
A: The simple answer is no.
However, you need to be careful not to sign away your legal rights with the insurance company for a small settlement. If you agree to a personal injury settlement and sign the release papers, you cannot come back for more money later.
An experienced personal injury lawyer will make sure all medical bills are included in the settlement. This includes any permanent long-term care that you might need.
Lastly, there are strict time limitations involved in making personal injury claims.
#2: When Should I Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer?
We HIGHLY RECOMMEND you contact a Virginia personal injury lawyer if you are facing any of the following after an accident:
- Life-Altering Injuries: If you are permanently injured after a car accident, it is likely that you will be facing a lifelong battle of challenges. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help the insurance companies, and a jury, understand precisely how much your injury has affected how you will live the rest of your life. As well, catastrophic injuries often impact a person’s ability to earn a living.
- Your Injuries Are Severe: Even when not permanent, severe injuries can still be debilitating resulting in expensive medical bills. An experienced personal injury lawyer knows that their client should reach maximum medical improvement before beginning negotiations with the insurance companies. This will ensure that all of your medical bills relating to the accident are included in a settlement. In addition, they will make sure lost wages are also included.
- Liability Is Uncertain: It’s not always clear who is at fault in an accident and who should be held liable. When multiple parties are involved, the insurance companies will do all they can to shift liability to another insurer. 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. 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.
#3: How is a Virginia personal injury settlement calculated?
There are many factors that go into the valuation of your Virginia personal injury case. Some factors include whether or not there is insurance coverage and how much is available for your injuries.
Depending on the specifics of the accident, you may be entitled to one or more of the following types of compensation.
Types of 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 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. 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 personal injury 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.
#4: What are the Deadlines for a personal injury 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 (SOL). However, sometimes special circumstances apply that can alter that deadline. Once the SOL 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.
#5: Choosing the “Best Personal Injury Lawyer”
Choosing the best lawyer for your case can tremendously affect your settlement or verdict.
The Law Offices of Richard J. Serpe, PC has helped accident victims like you collect what they deserve for over 33 years.
Richard Serpe: Awards & Recognition
- Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Rating (highest given)
- Named a “Super Lawyer” – among the top 5 percent of lawyers in Virginia since 2006
- Lawyers.com 5/5 Star Rating
- Rated 10/10 – “Superb” by the online attorney rating service, Avvo.com
- Designated a Proctor by the Maritime Law Association of the United States (highest given)
- Recognized by Best Lawyers® since 2005
Our team has helped Virginia personal injury victims of car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, truck accidents, guardrail accidents, dog bites, dog attacks, birth injury, wrongful death, nursing home abuse and neglect, traumatic brain injury, and those injured in Jones Act & maritime related accidents.
In addition, our team has helped Virginia personal injury victims of accidents in Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Portsmouth, Newport News, Hampton, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Isle of Wight, Smithfield, Richmond, NOVA, and throughout the Commonwealth.