Should you hire a lawyer if you have a car accident injury case in Virginia? Usually the answer is yes. After you receive medical treatment for your injuries, call or e-mail at least one car accident lawyer to determine whether you have a viable claim and what you should do next to get monetary compensation for your physical, emotional, and property damage.
Your lawyer serves as your advocate through every step of the personal injury claim process and negotiates with the insurance company to get a fair settlement. Depending on the facts of your case, you may also qualify for workers compensation, Social Security Disability, or long term disability benefits.
You can represent yourself. You do not have to retain a lawyer to file a personal injury action and seek damages. Some accident victims, especially those with minor injuries that resolved quickly, choose to represent themselves. Sometimes this a good idea.
But those of you who suffered severe injuries and have permanent disability, extensive wage loss, and high medical bills should contact a lawyer with experience in personal injury claims. The same is true for those of you with cases where liability is disputed. It is in your best interest to have a personal injury lawyer fight for you.
Your Lawyer Can Help You Prove the Other Driver was At Fault
In Virginia you must prove the other driver was at fault to recover damages for injuries suffered in a car accident. If you were at fault, even a small amount, you may recover nothing. This is because Virginia follows the principle of contributory negligence.
If the other driver’s insurance company disputes liability and takes the positions that you were at fault, an attorney can mean the difference between recovering fully and walking away with nothing. The defendant driver’s insurance company will look for any way possible to dispute your claim and avoid paying you a fair settlement.
A car accident lawyer can help you demonstrate to the insurance company or the court, if necessary, that you weren’t responsible for the accident and your injuries. Proving your claim may require civil discovery and expert witness testimony from medical providers and accident reconstruction experts.
Your Lawyer Can Help You Get a Fair and Just Settlement
Proving the other driver’s negligence is just the first step. Even if the defendant driver’s insurance provider concedes that their insured was at fault, they may still make a low settlement offer. Remember, they are trying to close your case for as little money as possible.
Without a lawyer on your side, the insurance company’s lowball strategy may work. You do not know the appropriate compensation amount based on your accident, injuries, and the jurisdiction where you were injured. An attorney with experience handling personal injury claims will know the true value of your car and can help you get it.
If the insurance company tells you that they have offered all the money they can legally offer, then run, don’t walk, to an attorney. Your lawyer will review the settlement offers and negotiate on your behalf so that you walk away with a better agreement for your car accident injuries.
Worried that hiring an attorney is too costly? Don’t be. Working with an experienced lawyer can help you walk away with more money than would otherwise be possible – even after paying your attorney’s fee from the settlement proceeds.
Your Lawyer Will Make Your Life Easier after Your Car Accident
After a car accident you probably have one thing on your mind: your recovery. Hiring a lawyer allows you to focus on healing and getting better after your injury. While you work on getting better, your attorney will build your case, negotiate with the insurance company, and make sure you satisfy the procedural requirements such as the statute of limitations.
Contact an attorney right away. Though you have two years from the date of the car accident to file a civil action, the longer you wait the more difficult it may become to negotiate a fair settlement and develop the evidence needed to get a fair recovery. Though the goal is to obtain a favorable recovery without filing suit, sometimes a civil action and trial is the only way to get the money you deserve.