Despite Virginia’s increased law enforcement presence, a significant number of automobile accidents continue to occur each year. Unfortunately, due to distractions like cell phones, this problem is only getting worse.
If you or a loved one were injured in a car accident in Virginia, seeking legal counsel from a Richmond car accident attorney is the best way to start your claim. At Pendleton Law, our personal injury lawyers in Richmond are highly experienced with getting generous settlements.
A Car Accident Attorney in Richmond Can Help You Recover Damages
If you’ve been injured by a distracted or negligent driver, you’re entitled to receive payment for the losses you’ve incurred. Due to the complex nature of filing and litigating a car accident claim, it’s important to have a skilled lawyer by your side throughout the process. They’ll ensure that you get the highest possible compensation for your injuries and related expenses.
Our car accident attorneys in Richmond have decades of experience working on reckless and negligent driving cases just like yours. They’ve seen every kind of case imaginable, so you can be confident that they’ll be able to secure a fair payment for all the losses you’ve endured, including:
- Medical bills
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Lost wages
- Future earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
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Protecting The Value Of A Car Accident Case
There are a number of investigative methods your car accident attorney will use to further your case. They’ll collect as much evidence as possible and work with experts to determine the value of your claim, and prove that the offending driver caused your injuries.
The documents and testimonies they collect will help them negotiate a fair settlement, or provide the jury with an accurate account of your accident if your case goes to trial. Here’s what your attorney will do to ensure your case is rock solid:
- Gather photo or video evidence: Your lawyer will start out by collecting any photos or videos of the accident scene. This type of evidence can significantly help your case if it goes to trial.
- Utilize police reports: If the police responded to your incident, they likely wrote up a report detailing what happened. Your lawyer will be able to get a copy of the report and use it to build your claim. If your case goes to court, a police statement can lend credibility to your side of the story.
- Interview eyewitnesses: If there were any witnesses to your accident, their testimony can help a great deal. Your attorney will interview them to gain more insight into what happened and call them to the witness stand if you end up taking the offending driver to court.
- Work with accident experts: Accident experts can help decode a crime scene by observing physical evidence like tire marks and property damage. Your lawyer can call on them to help prove that the driver’s actions caused the accident you were injured in.
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Negligence Is Key When Determining Liability
To win your case, we have to prove that the other driver was negligent. When drivers fail to fulfill their duty of care toward other drivers, accidents happen. The at-fault driver is then liable to pay damages.
Some common forms of negligent driving include:
- Drunk driving
- Reckless driving
- Drugged driving
- Fatigued driving
- Distracted driving
- Driving without insurance coverage
If you believe the at-fault driver was doing any of these things, speak with our Richmond car accident attorneys as soon as possible. You may have a strong case and could gain substantial compensation.
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Your Richmond Car Accident Attorney Will Fight the Insurance Companies
With car accident injury cases, it’s common for the offending driver’s insurer to attempt to ambush the victim with a low-ball settlement offer. They’ll often call soon after the accident, before you’ve had time to speak with a lawyer, and try to trick you into accepting a settlement that doesn’t even begin to cover the losses you’ve incurred.
Fortunately, a car accident attorney in Richmond can review any settlement offers you receive and determine if they account for all the expenses you’ve been saddled with. They’ll also be able to negotiate with the insurer to get a settlement that works for you. If a fair settlement isn’t reached, your attorney is fully prepared to file a lawsuit for you.
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Filing a Car Accident Injury Claim Is Worth Your While
If you’re worried that pursuing damages for your injury isn’t worth the cost of hiring a lawyer, we have some good news for you. Our car accident lawyers work on a contingency-fee basis, which means they take a portion of your settlement or jury-awarded compensation.
Contingency fee legal representation can be a great help to the economically disadvantaged or anyone who might have trouble affording skilled legal counsel. With contingency, you won’t have to pay a dime out of pocket for our legal services. Even if you lose your case, you won’t be charged a cent.
Statute of Limitations for Car Accidents in Virginia
Virginia, like all states, has laws known as “statutes of limitations,” which limit the time you have to file a lawsuit for injuries sustained in a car accident. Code of Virginia § 8.01-243 states that the statute of limitations to file an injury claim following an accident is two years from the date of the accident.
These limitations only apply to the deadline for filing a claim in court; the process and deadlines for filing a claim with an insurance company may very well differ. An experienced car accident attorney will ensure that your claim is filed within the relevant deadlines.
One other situation in which the two-year statute of limitations will not apply is if you get into a car accident with a government employee. In these situations, your chance for receiving compensation will be determined by the time limits set forth by the government, making it crucial to work with an auto accident attorney.
Wrongful Death Car Accidents
If you lost a loved one in a car accident, we offer our sincerest condolences. We understand how hard it is to say goodbye to someone you love, especially when they were taken by the irresponsible actions of another. That’s why our attorneys are prepared to fight for you to receive the following wrongful death damages:
- Emotional distress
- Loss of the deceased’s income
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of companionship
According to Code of Virginia § 8.01-244, you have two years from the date of the decedent’s passing to file a wrongful death claim. A Virginia car accident lawyer from our office will ensure all the necessary paperwork is filed on time so that you can focus on the grieving process.
What to Do After a Car Accident in Richmond
There are several actions you can take directly after a Richmond car accident that can help you when you’ll need to file a claim and recover damages for your injuries. If you’ve been hurt in a car accident, do your future self a favor by taking these measures:
If your injuries aren’t too debilitating, try to make a mental note of the makes and models of the cars involved, their positions, and any other details that might help during the investigation of the accident.
Don’t Discuss Who Is Responsible
It’s important that you limit your interactions with the other driver to what’s necessary, like exchanging insurance information. At no time should you discuss who’s responsible, or apologize for what happened. Speaking about those matters is not advised because what you say could actually be used to shift blame from the other driver onto you.
Seek Medical Attention
Your health is the most important aspect of a car accident. Some injuries don’t present themselves right away, so it’s important to seek medical attention even if you don’t feel pain right after the crash. Make sure to save any bills or receipts from your treatment as they can be used to prove the severity of your injuries and determine how much you are owed for damages.
Talk to the Police
Make sure to contact law enforcement and calmly describe how the accident transpired. Having a police report during the claim process can help immensely.
Notify the Other Driver’s Insurer
Even if the accident seems minor, contact their insurance company and brief them on the situation involving their policy holder. This will require you to obtain the driver’s policy number and the name of their agent, so remember to be thorough when exchanging insurance information.
Do Not Admit Any Amount of Fault
Virginia’s fault laws are unfair to many victims. The state uses a contributory negligence standard. This means that if the court thinks you’re even a tiny bit at fault for your accident, you cannot get damages in court.
The insurance companies know this and will try to find evidence to keep you out of court. You have far less negotiation power if this happens. Part of our job as Virginia accident lawyers is to fight against any claims that our clients shared fault in an accident.
Let your lawyer do the talking. You may not share fault after all, but if you tell an insurer that you blame yourself for an accident, you could end up losing most or even all your potential compensation.
Car Accident Statistics in Virginia
In 2013, Virginia passed a texting-while-driving law which increased the penalty for drivers who were pulled over for driving with a cell phone in hand to $125 (from $20). This, along with more vigilant police forces, has done a lot to reduce severe and fatal accidents.
Although statistical trends show a decrease in accidents, that doesn’t mean you’re immune from being injured on the road. You never know who is driving distractedly or under the influence, which is why it’s important to be prepared for anything. Protect yourself by knowing what to do after an accident, and by saving the number of a Richmond car accident lawyer.
Consult a Richmond Car Accident Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one have been injured in a motor vehicle accident in Virginia, contact Christina Pendleton & Associates. Our injury attorneys have years of experience in assisting our clients with their car accident claims and will work tirelessly to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
We focus on your accident claim from the onset so that you can focus on your recovery. Call us or fill out a contact form on our website to schedule a free consultation with a knowledgeable car accident lawyer in Richmond.
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