Car accidents are often over as quickly as they begin, but their fallout can impact your life for years. These accidents can cause lifelong injuries and even disrupt your ability to go to and from work on a daily basis. As a result, you and your family may find yourselves forced to contend with both financial and physical losses in the immediate aftermath of a car accident.
Instead of struggling with these losses alone, you can turn to the Norfolk car accident attorneys at Pendleton Law. Our lawyers have the experience to guide you through your immediate and long-term accident recovery. They’ll file a claim for compensation and represent your best interests in court.
A Norfolk Car Accident Attorney Will Assign Liability to the Correct Party
Liability determines who bears responsibility for a car accident and, in turn, who may owe you money in exchange for your losses. Breaking down liability can be complicated after a car accident, as it’s not always another driver who’s responsible for your losses. Instead, liability may lie with:
- A vehicle manufacturer
- A person’s mechanic
- Government representatives who’ve waylaid road repairs
- Electricians who failed to repair stop lights
Matters grow even more complicated when you have to consider private car accidents versus commercial car accidents. Fortunately, you don’t have to sort through the legal classification process alone. Instead, a car accident lawyer in Norfolk can guide you through the process and ensure that your claim targets the right party.
A Lawyer From Our Firm Will Handle Liability in Your Norfolk Car Accident Case
Virginia is an at-fault state. From an insurance perspective, this means that the party deemed liable for your car accident will be expected to pay for your losses. If the liable party is underinsured or their coverage isn’t substantial enough, then a Norfolk car accident lawyer can take your case to court.
That being said, Virginia also operates on a “contributory negligence” rule, as outlined by Code of Virginia §8.01-58. If a court or adjuster determines that you contributed to your accident – even a little – then the state of Virginia bars you from receiving any compensation for your losses. This rule applies to potential insurance claims and court cases.
The attorney assigned to your car accident case in Norfolk will do everything in their power to prevent the defendant’s counsel or insurers from shifting blame onto you. They’ll gather all the evidence they need to prove that the other driver is 100% responsible for the accident and your losses.
A Norfolk Lawyer Can Help You Decide if a Car Accident Lawsuit Is Necessary
Virginia’s contributory negligence rule can make it difficult for injured individuals to decide whether or not to take their car accident cases to court in Norfolk. Fortunately, this is where an attorney can step in. During an initial consultation with a legal representative, you can discuss to what degree, if any, you may have contributed to the accident in question.
Based on your conversation, your Norfolk car accident attorney can help you determine whether or not it’s reasonable for you to take your case to court. In some cases, especially those involving a larger company, it may be financially beneficial for you to pursue settlement talks outside of the courtroom. You can always pursue a lawsuit if these talks fall through.
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Car Accident Compensation: What to Expect in Norfolk
The compensation you can request after a car accident should reflect the damages you outline in your complaint. These damages can be economic and non-economic, but do note that your Norfolk attorney will have to provide evidence for each car accident loss you want to fight for.
The Average Settlement in a Car Accident Case
Economic damages include the cost of any procedures or medical aides needed to restore your mobility as well as property damage or maintenance. In contrast, non-economic damages include pain and suffering, mental distress, or in some cases, wrongful death.
There’s no average settlement to reference when taking a car accident case to court. Instead, work with a car accident attorney in Norfolk ahead of time to estimate the compensation you may benefit from. So long as you keep the personal details of your case in mind, you can go into the complaint process with an idea of what financial support you’re fighting for.
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A Car Accident Attorney Will Fight for Your Compensation
Most car accident attorneys will be able to settle a claim in Norfolk without ever going to trial. However, for some, this will not be the case. When an insurer or other at-fault party cannot or will not offer an adequate settlement, we aren’t afraid to face them in court.
To begin the civil process after a car accident, you have to file a legal complaint. Courts refer to these complaints to determine which of the area’s cases they want to bring before a judge and jury. When filing, you’ll want to be as clear as possible regarding the circumstances of your accident, the degree of your losses, and the identity of the party you wish to hold liable.
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The Deadline for Car Accident Claims in Norfolk, VA
If you choose to pursue a civil suit after a car accident, know that you’ll need to bring your paperwork together quickly. The state of Virginia gives you two years from the date of your injury to submit a formal complaint.
You can argue for an extension if you want to file solely for property damage, as, under Code of Virginia §8.01-243, Virginia offers a five-year statute of limitations on property damage cases. An experienced Norfolk car accident attorney will ensure that your claim is submitted on time.
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Steps to Take After a Car Accident That Will Help Your Lawyer Construct a Winning Claim
There are a few things you can do immediately after a car accident in Norfolk that will help your attorney get the most compensation possible for your injuries. If you need medical attention right away, you should forgo these steps, as your health is more important. However, if you are feeling well enough, we suggest taking the following actions before you see a doctor:
- Call the police. If you’ve gotten into a car accident, you’ll want to call local law enforcement in Norfolk. They’ll file an official accident report that can be used to strengthen your claim.
- Exchange information with the other driver. Your car accident attorney won’t know who should be held liable for your injuries and losses if they don’t have the driver’s information. Make sure to obtain the at-fault party’s name, phone number, and insurance information. Your lawyer will thank you later.
- Take photos. Use your cell phone camera to take photos of your injuries, the accident scene, and any damage to the vehicles involved in the crash. Your Norfolk attorney can use them to craft a compelling car accident compensation claim or lawsuit.
- Speak with witnesses. If there were any witnesses present at the time of your accident, talk to them and take their phone numbers down. Their testimonies may help you in the future.
- See a doctor. Even if you feel fine after an accident, you should still seek medical attention. Some injuries may be masked by shock or adrenaline from the collision, so it’s always best to play it safe and get checked out by a professional.
Our Attorneys Offer Contingency Fee Representation to Car Accident Victims in Norfolk
If you hire an attorney from Pendleton Law to work on your Norfolk car accident case, you won’t have to use your own savings to cover legal fees. That’s because our lawyers offer their services in exchange for a contingency fee.
A contingency fee is a portion of your insurance settlement or court-awarded compensation. It usually amounts to one-third of your overall winnings. If your claim is denied or if your lawsuit is unsuccessful, you won’t have to pay out-of-pocket.
Schedule a Case Consultation With a Norfolk Car Accident Lawyer
If you have questions or concerns about your rights after a car accident, know that you’re not alone. The team at Christina Pendleton & Associates has represented over 80,000 clients, and we know how to fight for you.
You can contact us through our online form or office phone number for more information regarding your potential case. Once you’ve reached out to us, we’ll schedule a free case consultation with one of our Norfolk car accident lawyers.
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