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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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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.

Teen Deaths From Car Crashes Increase in Virginia | Richmond Personal Injury Lawyer

According to an article published over at the WSLS10 website, there has been a surge in the number of teenage deaths in Virginia due to car crashes. During the first three weeks of 2012, there were 11 teens who were killed, whereas only 3 died during the same period in 2011.

Reports from the incidents say that the majority of the crashes were caused by speeding, distractions, and going off the road. Because cell phone use is so high among teens, it would be interesting to find out if any of the teen drivers involved in these crashes were talking on the phone or texting while driving.

Safety organizations in Virginia have taken notice and are now on a mission to spread the word about safe driving among teens.

If you’re looking for helpful safety driving tips, read our article about keeping your teen safe on Virginia roadways. Another tip we would add is for parents to write up a teen driving contract that outlines safe driving practices and other car-related issues. This contract should be signed by the teen and the consequences of not abiding by the contract should be stated clearly. This lets your teen know how serious you are about their safety.

At O’Bryan Law we specialize in auto accidents in Virginia. Before talking with any insurance adjuster, it’s recommended to consult with an attorney to find out what rights you have as a victim of a car crash.

Fauquier County Woman Sues Housing Subdivision For Wrongful Death | Richmond Personal Injury Lawyer

A woman from Fauquier County is suing a housing subdivision because of a boating accident that killed her husband.

The accident occurred in July 2010 when Jason Goodman was struck by a pontoon boat that was being operated by Charles Schulle who says that he was an employee of the Lake of the Woods Association at the time of the accident. Schulle was doing tours of the lake when the boat hit Goodman.

Michele Goodman is suing the association for $6 million in addition to suing Schulle for $500,000 in punitive damages. She claims that Lake of the Woods operated the lake in an unsafe manner, however, the association says that Jason Goodman contributed to his death because of his own negligence.

The state of Virginia has specific laws surrounding wrongful death cases. Here are the details of the Virginia Wrongful Death Statute. You can also read more about wrongful death and fatal accidents including frequently asked questions and resources on our website.

If you believe that your loved one was killed due to the negligence of another, it’s important to contact an experienced Virginia wrongful death lawyer to see whether or not you have a claim. Your lawyer can tell what types of damages you are entitled to depending on the circumstances of the case.

Texting While Driving May Soon Be a Primary Offense in VA. | Richmond Personal Injury Lawyer

Texting while driving has been a big issue these past few years as more and more people have become glued to their cell phones and smart phones. In the state of Virginia, a cop can only ticket a person for texting while driving as a secondary offense, but that may all change soon. According to an article over at CBSDC, the Senate Courts of Justice Committee approved legislation that makes texting or e-mailing while driving a primary offense in Virginia.

A survey conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration revealed that 90 percent of drivers said that they feel very unsafe if a driver is texting or emailing when they are passengers. In fact, 71 percent of drivers support bans on handheld cell phone use while driving and 94 percent support bans on texting while driving. The NHTSA has now partnered with the Ad Council to launch a new campaign that urges people to “Stop the texts and stop the wrecks”.

It will be interesting to see whether or not this new law will decrease accidents in Virginia. Keep in mind that texting while driving can be a lethal combination because it involves three different distractions: visual, manual and cognitive.

If you’ve been involved in a car accident, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced Richmond car accident lawyer to help you with your case.

Snowstorms Lead to Dozens of Accidents in the Richmond Area | Virginia Personal Injury Lawyer

Snowstorms hit the Richmond area last month and Virginia police responded to dozens of car crashes over President’s Day weekend. According to this article published at the Washington Post, Virginia police had responded to over 700 crashes across the state.

Fortunately, the weather report for the next week or so looks pretty good with no snow being predicted. However, there will be some rain here and there, so be mindful of the road conditions and always stay alert.

It’s no surprise that there were many car accidents because of the snowy weather, but there are things that you can do as a driver to reduce the risk of getting into an accident. Here are a couple articles we’ve posted in the past that provide tips for driving during snowy or icy weather:

The best thing you can do when driving in snowy weather is to drive as slow as possible and to avoid driving on the highways.

If you are involved in an accident, and you don’t believe it was your fault, it’s important to consult with a Virginia personal injury attorney to see what your options are.

Dog Bite Victim Gets National Attention

Dogs are unpredictable creatures, and even though a dog has always been good-natured in the past, you just never know what is going to make them snap.

You may have heard about the Denver anchor woman who was bit by an 85-pound Argentine mastiff live on the air. Kyle Dyer of KUSA-TV was interviewing the dog’s owner, Michael Robinson, after the dog was rescued from an icy pond the day before. Kyle Dyer received 70 stitches while the dog went through a 10-day quarantine.

Michael Robinson told reporters that the dog may have been “spooked” by the lights. Perhaps the dog felt uncomfortable being in unfamiliar territory and having someone in its face. This story got national attention, and could serve as a reminder to not get too close to a dog that doesn’t know you regardless of how friendly it might appear.

At O’Bryan Law Firm we help victims of a dog bite accident receive compensation for any medical bills and physical or psychological scars that may occur. A dog owner has to be responsible for keeping their pet under control at all times.

Find out more about what you should do after an animal has bitten or attacked you.