A serious injury can upend your life and drain your bank account. If the careless actions of another party have caused you physical, emotional, or financial harm, you have the right to collect compensation. But first, you’ll need to file a personal injury claim.
Filing a claim may sound simple, but it can actually be incredibly complex and time-consuming. To build a strong case for your compensation, you’ll need a personal injury attorney from Pendleton Law. Our personal injury attorneys in Newport News will prove that the at-fault party acted negligently and demand that their insurance company offer payment for your losses.
Proving Fault in a Newport News Personal Injury Case
In tort law, negligence refers to behavior that fails to meet a standard of care expected of a reasonable person. You’ll be eligible to receive compensation if a personal injury attorney in Newport News can prove that the at-fault party’s negligence was the sole cause of your injury and related losses.
In order to prove the at-fault party’s negligence caused your injury and financial loss, your lawyer will need to establish the following elements:
You Were Owed a Duty of Care
For starters, your attorney will have to establish that the other party owed you a duty of care when the accident occurred. In the case of a car wreck, the at-fault party would have owed you a duty of care if you were driving on the same road at the time of the crash. That’s because drivers are obligated to uphold a standard of care to protect those they share the road with.
Failure to Uphold the Duty of Care
To prove that the offending driver failed to uphold a reasonable duty of care, your lawyer will need concrete evidence that shows they were distracted, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, speeding, or disobeying another road safety rule when the crash occurred.
Your attorney can use evidence like the offending driver’s cell phone records, dashcam footage, or eyewitness testimony to prove that they were in the wrong. Any photos or video footage you took of the accident scene can also be useful at this stage.
Negligent Party’s Actions Caused Your Injury
Once your Newport News personal injury attorney has proved that the guilty party was acting negligently, there’s still a few more steps they’ll have to take to get you compensated. Your attorney will need to establish a connection between the at-fault driver’s negligence and your injury.
At this stage it’s important to rule out any other possible causes of your injury. This is a crucial step because if another car swerved into the at-fault driver’s lane, causing them to collide with your vehicle, you wouldn’t be able to say that the other driver’s actions directly caused you harm.
If your attorney can prove that the driver’s behavior was indeed the sole cause of your injury, you’ll be well on your way to receiving a settlement or court awarded payment. But there’s one last step that needs to be covered in order to seal the deal.
Your Injury Resulted in Losses
Finally, your personal injury attorney will need to prove that your injury caused you monetary and/or non-monetary losses. To do this, they’ll need copies of your medical bills, car repair invoices, and any other document that shows that your injury had a negative impact on you.
If your injury has taken a toll on your mental health, you might want to get a statement from your therapist or a copy of your counseling bill to show that you’ve suffered from mental distress. It can also be helpful to keep a personal diary documenting your emotional state in the days following your accident.
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Damages You Can Receive From a Personal Injury Claim in Newport News
If your Newport News personal injury lawyer proves that the at-fault party’s actions caused you to suffer losses, you could be eligible to receive a number of different damages, including:
- Present and future medical bills
- Wages lost while taking time off from work
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Reduced earning capacity
- Mental distress
- Diminished quality of life
If your spouse or loved one passed away in a personal injury accident, you may be entitled to wrongful death damages. Our attorneys will advocate on your behalf so you can take the time you need to mourn your loss. Wrongful death damages may include:
- Funeral expenses
- End of life medical care costs
- Loss of consortium
- Lost income
- Punitive damages
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What to Do After a Personal Injury Accident in Newport News
If you’ve been injured in a personal injury accident in Newport News, VA, seeking medical attention should be your first priority. Once you’ve received treatment for your injury, it’s important that you contact a lawyer as soon as you can. When it comes to personal injury cases, time is of the essence.
Evidence and eyewitness memories will deteriorate over time, but that’s not the only reason why you should talk to a lawyer ASAP. In Virginia, there’s a statute of limitations for tort claims. In other words, there’s a legal deadline that all Newport News personal injury claims must be filed before.
If you attempt to file your claim after the deadline, you could risk losing your case. However, if your deadline has passed, it could still be worthwhile to talk to a lawyer. They’ll know if your personal injury accident qualifies for an extended filing timeframe. For your reference, Virginia code § 8.01-243 says your claim must be filed within two years of the day you were injured.
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Contact a Personal Injury Attorney in Newport News for Quality Legal Services
If you or a loved one have been injured in an incident caused by another individual, you need the team at Pendleton Law. Our Newport News personal injury attorneys can offer high-quality legal counsel with no out-of-pocket fees. Our attorneys work on a contingency-fee basis, which means they’ll help you with your claim for a percentage of your settlement.
Contact a personal injury lawyer from our firm to get started on your case. We’ll start by offering you a free consultation to see if you have a viable claim. If we think you have a shot at receiving compensation, we’ll begin investigating your accident right away. Remember, you may have a limited amount of time to file, so contact us today!
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