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FAQ: Am I Required to Hire a Virginia Personal Injury Attorney?

April 16, 2012 Leave a comment

If you’ve been involved in a car accident or you suffered a personal injury in the state of Virginia, you are not required to hire an attorney.  You can represent yourself in the court of law, but whether or not you should do this is debatable.

If you are very familiar with Virginia accident injury laws and understand court procedures, then perhaps you do not need an attorney.  You may also want to consider the severity of the injury, the amount of investigation involved, and how much money is at stake when deciding whether or not to go at it alone.

It never hurts to speak with an attorney to find out if your problem is something that you can work out yourself or if it will help to have the support of an experienced attorney.  Most attorneys do offer a free consultation.  A knowledgeable Virginia personal injury attorney may know laws or have resources that you may not be aware of.

Still unsure whether or not to hire a lawyer?  Read our previous article,  “5 Reasons Why You May Want to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer.  You may also want to be aware of the mistakes people make when hiring a lawyer.

We also recommend ordering our free accident injury book before you speak with any lawyer or insurance adjuster.

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Virginia Car Accident FAQ: When Should I Seek Medical Treatment? | Richmond Personal Injury Lawyer

March 23, 2012 Leave a comment

If you’ve been involved in an auto accident in Richmond, it’s important to seek medical treatment immediately after an accident.  The longer you wait to see a doctor, the less likely you will receive fair compensation for your accident.  If you don’t get medical treatment, the insurance company will think that you were not seriously hurt.

Many people who are involved in auto accidents sometimes do not initially feel any pain or think they are not hurt, but sometimes pains – especially in the back area – may not show up for days or even weeks after the accident.  That’s why it is important to see a doctor if you’ve been rear-ended.  If you experience any type of neck pain, pain in the arms and shoulders, headaches, or dizziness, you could be suffering from whiplash.

Remember that your health comes first, so you should not let lack of money stop you from seeking medical treatment.  Even if you don’t have health insurance, there are some clinics or chiropractors who will accept payment for treatment after you have received your settlement check.  Just let them know that you were in an auto accident.  They will verify with your lawyer, and so when you do receive the settlement check, your lawyer will send payment to the physician or chiropractor.

Read more frequently asked questions about Virginia auto accidents on our website.

FAQ: Should I Contact My Car Insurance Company After an Accident? | Richmond Personal Injury Lawyer

If you’ve been involved in a car accident, some car insurance companies ask that you do report the accident to them regardless if you are at fault or not. Check your policy to see if you are required to contact your car insurance company because if you do not let them know about the accident, it could be grounds for them to drop your coverage.

One of the reasons why you may want to contact your insurance company is if the other driver’s insurance carrier is slow to take action and your car has to be fixed or you require medical care right away. If you have what is called collision insurance, you are covered for any damage to the vehicle caused by another driver hitting your car or if you hit an object such as a tree, pole, or road sign. It doesn’t matter who is at fault, collision insurance will take care of any damages.

If you do suspect that your insurance company may not provide coverage for whatever reason, it may be in your best interest to contact a Virginia personal injury lawyer. There are some companies who will try to blame you for the accident just to avoid paying out your claim even though you know for a fact that the other driver was clearly at fault.

Find out more about what car insurance companies don’t want you to know about your injury claim by requesting our free accident injury book.

FAQ: How Long Will My Accident Injury Case Take? | Virginia Personal Injury Lawyer

Each accident injury case is different and how long it takes to settle a case is different for each person. Mostly it will depend on how severe your injuries are and how long it takes for you to recuperate.

While you are being treated by your physician and/or chiropractor for your injuries, we begin building your case by collecting your medical records and other records related to the accident, such as eye-witness testimony.

We highly recommend keeping all appointments with your doctor and to get treatment as often as necessary so that your body can heal and recover properly. If cost is an issue, talk to your physician or chiropractor as sometimes they will allow you to pay their fees after you receive your settlement.

Once your medical treatment is finished, we begin the process of submitting your paperwork to the insurance company. Typically it takes 6-8 weeks for an insurance adjuster to go over your claim and respond with a settlement offer. This is when the back and forth negotiations begin.

Of course the insurance company will start with a very low offer, but we will work to ensure that the compensation your receive covers your medical treatments, lost wages, and any emotional pain and suffering endured.

The negotiation process can take another week or so, depending on how fast or slow the insurance company is, but once a settlement is agreed upon, it can take another week to receive a check. The whole process all together can take anywhere from 3-4 months after treatment is finished.

If you are working with a Virginia accident injury lawyer, make sure he/she communicates with on a regular basis to keep you updated on your claim.

FAQ: Car Accident in Virginia: Not at Fault, But I Have No Insurance

I was in a car accident in Virginia, but I do not have car insurance. I am not at fault, though. Can I still get money for my injury and damages to my car?  

Although you do not carry insurance, it is not considered a “fault” in the state of Virginia.  You can still file an injury or damage claim with the other party’s insurance company. At the time of the accident you should have collected the other driver’s personal information including their insurance information. You can contact the insurance company on your own or hire an experienced Virginia car accident lawyer.

If you go ahead and file the claim yourself, but the other driver’s car insurance company refuses to pay, do not give up. Car insurance companies will often do this. Dealing with them can be a hassle and very time-consuming. We recommend reading our free accident injury book to help you with your case, “Hidden Inside Secrets Big Insurance Companies Don’t Want You to Know About Your Injury Claim“.

We understand that due to financial reasons you may not be able to purchase liability insurance, but you are putting yourself at an even greater financial risk by not carrying insurance. If you are in an auto accident in Virginia and you were at fault, you would have to pay out of pocket for any injury or damages to other parties.   

FYI:  The state of Virginia requires the following minimum car insurance coverage:

  • Bodily injury/death of one person $25,000
  • Bodily injury/death of two or more persons $50,000
  • Property damage $20,000

Contributory Negligence vs Comparative Negligence | Richmond, VA Car Accident Lawyer

I was injured in a car accident. If I am at fault in any way, can I still file a personal injury claim?

This is a common question that people have about personal injury cases. Unfortunately, Virginia is one of the few states that still follows the Law of Contributory Negligence, which says that even if you are at fault 1%, you cannot recover any damages.

So if you were in a car accident and injured due to another person’s negligence, but the court discovers that you may have contributed even just a little to that accident, essentially you will get nothing.

There have been few cases where a jury will rule for the defendant based on contributory negligence, but it rarely happens. In theory, this 400-year-old Law of Contributory Negligence is still in effect, but most juries in Virginia usually disregard it and go with comparative negligence. Comparative negligence says that if, for example, the injured party (plaintiff) is at fault 10% and the party who is negligent is 90% at fault, then the plaintiff can recover 90% of the damages. The judge or jury will be the ones who determine the proportion of fault to be assigned to each party.

Have you been involved in a car accident in the Richmond, Virginia area? Even if you feel that you may be partially to blame, we highly recommend seeking the advice of an experienced Richmond, Virginia car accident lawyer who can help protect your legal rights. There is still a chance that you can be compensated for any injuries or damages.

You can change lawyers now! | Richmond accident injury lawyer

October 19, 2010 Leave a comment

I was just talking to someone today who did not realize that he could switch lawyers on his personal injury car accident case. So I just thought I would type a quick blog post to help people become aware of the fact that in Virginia you can switch lawyers at any time if you are not happy with your attorney.

It does not affect how much money you get for your accident case. The lawyers communicate with each other and work out their fees among themselves.

So remember, if you are tired of dealing with a big law firm that won’t return your calls and you never see a lawyer, then you have a choice to bring your case to O’Bryan Law and get the kind of personal service you deserve.

Call us at 643-4343 today for your FREE BOOK, written by Wayne O’Bryan called Hidden Inside Secrets Big Insurance Companies Don’t Want You to Know About Your Injury Claim.