Newport News Car Accident Lawyer
Motor vehicle accidents can result in some of the most devastating injuries and losses. If you or a loved one suffered injuries or damages in a car crash as a passenger or driver, you have legal rights. This is because all drivers have a legal obligation to use care while behind the wheel to avoid harming others on the road. Any failure to perform this duty that results in an injury could be the basis for a lawsuit or insurance claim.
Our Newport News car accident lawyers fight for those who sustained injuries in crashes. If you suffered injuries in a car wreck, our personal injury attorneys could examine the facts that led to your injuries and prepare a comprehensive claim for the compensation you need.
What is Negligence in a Car Accident Case?
All drivers in Newport News have an obligation to be careful and follow the rules of the road. Any failure to uphold this duty that results in a bodily injury could lead to a viable car wreck claim. In legal terms, this is known as negligence. A driver is negligent when they fail to act responsibly and they injure another person.
For example, motorists must not drive while distracted. If a driver is checking their phone or looking at someone in the backseat, they are driving while distracted. Especially on major roads such as Interstate 64, being distracted for a split second can cause a devastating collision. A Newport News lawyer could help you determine the factual and legal basis for your car accident claim and gather the evidence necessary to prove a negligence case in court.
What is Contributory Negligence?
Juries must evaluate the actions of all parties and assign blame for the incident accordingly. Contributory negligence is a defense that defendants may raise at trial. This defense allows them to introduce evidence that a plaintiff shares at least some of the blame for an accident. If a jury believes a plaintiff is at all to blame for the collision, this plaintiff may no longer be eligible to recover compensation. A Newport News attorney could help demonstrate that a defendant was the only party responsible for a car crash.
Common Injuries and Recoverable Damages in Auto Wrecks
Even the smallest vehicles weigh more than 2,000 pounds and SUVs are often 5,000 lbs. As a result, any collision can result in devastating injuries such as:
- Spinal cord damage
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Broken bones and fractures
- Herniated neck or back discs
- Internal organ damage
When a car accident caused by another’s negligence results in losses, an injured party may be eligible to demand compensation for all their medical treatment that was caused by the accident. This may include the ambulance trip, surgery, and any rehabilitation sessions.
However, a comprehensive car accident claim also takes into account other losses that do not relate to medical treatment. These may include economic damages such as lost wages from time missed from work as well as noneconomic losses, including emotional trauma, pain and suffering, and post-traumatic stress. A Newport News car accident attorney could help properly value your claims and demand appropriate compensation following an auto accident.
How Much Compensation May I Be Able to Receive?
The purpose of an auto wreck claim is to collect the compensation necessary to make an injured person whole again. As a result, it is first necessary to properly measure an individual’s losses. These losses may constitute any medical costs associated with a claimant’s recovery as well as any lost income. Additionally, an individual may be able to recover compensation for any emotional or mental losses, such as pain and suffering. In general, how much a person is entitled to recover depends on the severity of their losses and how many types of damages they are able to claim.
An attorney in Newport News could help parties to properly measure your losses after a motor vehicle collision. Ideally, a case will not only cover an individual’s monetary losses, but also provide comfort for any lost quality of life.
Common Causes and Locations of Auto Accidents in Newport News
Newport News, Virginia is a large city on the Peninsula in the Hampton Roads area with a population of 186,000. Newport News is home to one of the largest shipyards in the world, and has a rich military history, housing the Virginia War Museum, The Mariners’ Museum, and the U.S. Army Transportation Museum. Christopher Newport University gives Newport News a strong position in the world of higher education. The highways and thoroughfares of Newport News make it a major transportation city. Folks from the Southside of Hampton Roads and Richmond often work in and travel to or through Newport News, Virginia. The bridges and tunnels connecting the Peninsula to the rest of Tidewater, Virginia are key like, Interstate 64 East (I-64 E) passing through Hampton to the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel. If traffic is especially bad on Interstate 64, or depending on where you are going, you also can get to the other side of the water via the Monitor Merrimac Bridge Tunnel. With all the driving access in Newport News, unfortunately there are regular motor vehicle accidents. Some of the common traffic accident locations include:
- Interstate 64
- Jefferson Avenue
- Mercury Boulevard
- Clyde Morris Boulevard
- Oyster Point Road
- Tech Center Parkway
- Denbigh Boulevard
- Warwick Boulevard
- City Center Boulevard
- S. Route 17
- Habersham Drive
- Bland Boulevard
- Traverse Road
- Monitor Merrimac Bridge Tunnel (I-664)
- James River Drawbridge
As local car crash attorneys, we have handled many cases in Newport News and are familiar with its intersections and frequent problem roads. If you or someone you know has unfortunately been in an accident on one of these roadways or anywhere in Newport News, then please contact an attorney at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers for legal advice.
Car Accidents Involving Violations of Traffic Laws
Car crashes typically occur when at least one motorist is not following the rules of the road. Traffic laws such as speed limits, the need to use lights at night, and maximum vehicle weights are put in place to ensure the safety of others. As a result, a violation of these laws may lead to serious consequences.
When someone is to blame for a wreck because of a traffic violation, this could have an impact on a civil claim for damages. Courts may accept proof of a conviction in traffic court as evidence of negligence per se against a defendant. An attorney in Newport News could determine if the outcome of a traffic court case could lead to a successful car accident claim.
How Does Distracted Driving Cause Accidents in Newport News?
Just because a defendant driver does not receive a ticket from a police officer does not mean that they are not at fault. Distracted driving is just as valid a cause for a damage claim as a violation of the law. A driver who is looking at a cell phone, playing with their radio, or eating behind the wheel is no less of a hazard as speeders or those who refuse to use turn signals.
Types of Vehicular Collisions
Car accidents are not all the same. Understanding the nature of common car accidents could be beneficial prior to pursuing a case for compensation from the other driver.
A rear-end or back-end collision happens when the front of a car strikes the rear of another. This is the most common type of accident. Despite its commonality, these types of crashes can have devastating consequences.
A side-impact crash can happen in different ways. One scenario involves the front of a vehicle striking the side of a car. This often happens in intersections. Another possibility is the sides of two cars colliding while driving, also referred to as a sideswipe collision.
A head-on collision is one of the most dangerous types of motor vehicle accidents. These collisions involve two vehicles striking each other head-on, often while traveling at high speed. This type of accident is most common when drivers traveling in opposite directions collide.
What Should You Do if You’ve Been Hurt in a Newport News Car Accident?
For vehicle accidents in Newport News, you should contact law enforcement promptly after removing yourself from immediate danger. If you are on a city roadway, then a police officer of the Newport News Police Department will likely report to the scene. If you are on a stretch of interstate highway, like I-64, in Newport News, the Virginia State Police will likely handle the scene of the collision.
Once at the scene, a law enforcement officer will ask if you require emergency medical attention if you or someone else was badly injured. The officer or trooper will likely begin an investigation by interviewing the involved drivers and any witnesses who stayed at the scene of the accident. This investigation can be very important to your case, as the evidence collected here will be provided to the insurers for the personal injury claims process. Some of the evidence collected during this police investigation of the crash may include names of witnesses, insurance information exchange, and potentially photographs. All of these may be used to prove your case to an insurance company.
While the officers are experienced at getting this information and normally do excellent work, they are busy and must work fast. Officers are usually moving as quickly as possible to clear the roadway and tend to their next call. As a result, it is possible that they do not record every piece of information at the scene of the collision. This is why, if you have suffered injuries in an accident through no fault of your own, you should quickly contact an experienced personal injury lawyer. A Newport News personal injury lawyer can complete an independent investigation and ensure all available information is saved to be part of your case.
A thorough and timely investigation is critical to a successful personal injury case, even if the fault of the other driver seems obvious. An immediate investigation will not only help prove fault, but it also preserves evidence relevant to the severity and extent of your injuries and the accident. Following an automobile accident in Newport News, Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers stands ready to leap to action to conduct a thorough investigation, including:
We know how to promptly get a copy.
Interview the Police Officer
While your accident is an event you will never forget, your average officer will investigate many similar accidents. In some cases, it is critical to talk to the officer promptly before information is forgotten or notes are lost.
Va. Code §2.2-3700 et seq.
The Virginia Freedom of Information Act applies to Newport News accidents. A FOIA request can be made to either the Newport News Police Department or the Virginia State Police. These requests provide powerful information, like the 911 call audio or transcript, that can help you win your personal injury case. Police officers may wear their body cameras, which can capture interviews with at-fault drivers and prevent them from changing their story at a later date.
Visit the Accident Scene
Important information may be at the accident scene if your lawyer can investigate it promptly. Some of this evidence may include scattered debris, car parts still in the roadway, or skid marks. Given all the road construction in Newport News, the scene may change soon after the crash. Because we are specialized local lawyers, we can get this information collected efficiently. These early efforts on your case by Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers can help prove what happened in your personal injury case in Newport News.
Witnesses to the accident should be interviewed as soon as possible after the event. The witnesses’ memories of what happened will still be fresh and that is when they can provide the most valuable information. It is imperative that you secure good contact information from the witnesses, as the personal injury case process can be long, and you may need to be able to get in touch with them.
Black Box or ECM Data
In some cases, like those involving commercial trucks, there may be electronic data from a vehicle, including speed and braking. We can send preservation of evidence letters immediately to secure such information including all phone data. While all of these investigative measures may not be required in every case, an experienced personal injury firm, like ours, will be able to conduct the timely, extensive investigation needed. This work will preserve necessary evidence to put you in the best position to win your case and be compensated fully for your injuries, lost wages, and other damages.
Should You Handle an Injury Case Yourself Directly with the Car Insurance Company?
It is advisable to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney before talking to the at-fault driver’s insurance company. The insurer wants to get you to give them a recorded statement to use against you. Do not give it to them! Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers offers free consultations with no obligation. We are happy to discuss with you if your case would benefit from the help of an experienced Newport News personal injury law firm. There are certainly accidents, where injuries are minor, which a person can likely handle on their own. If that is the case, we will tell you. If your injuries are serious, however, it is important to hire an experienced lawyer to assist as soon as possible.
Insurance companies want to pay you as little as possible and get their release. They also apply pressure tactics and try to get you to settle the case quickly. This is especially dangerous if you do not truly understand the extent of your injuries in the days following an accident. You may hope that you will quickly recover, but sometimes your injuries may be chronic or permanent. Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers deals with car insurance companies and their lawyers daily and we know the tactics and dirty tricks they try to use to minimize your claim.
Before you do anything with an insurance company, you should contact an experienced injury law firm. The attorneys at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers will gladly discuss your accident with you. We will also meet new clients at home, in the hospital, or elsewhere. These days, we can also get started right away by using electronic sign-up like Docusign.
The Deadline to File a Car Accident Lawsuit
A person injured in a car accident does not have an unlimited amount of time to move forward with a civil case. Instead, they must comply with something known as the statute of limitations. This is a legal deadline firmly enforced by the courts. A person is generally given two years from the date of their accident to move forward with a lawsuit.
When an injured party waits until after the statute expires to file their case, they could miss out on any hope of recovering compensation for their injuries. Claims filed after the statute expires are barred, which means the injured person can never recover damages for that accident even if the facts are in their favor.
One of the benefits of reaching out to legal counsel as soon as possible is that they can help navigate the statute of limitations. By ensuring that the lawsuit is filed on time, an attorney in Newport News could protect a car accident victim’s right to pursue compensation.
Let a Newport News Car Accident Attorney Fight for You
Car accident cases can be complex. Additionally, proving fault can be difficult without legal representation. Insurance companies may attempt to shift blame off their insureds. This makes it crucial to work with a legal professional early on in your case to avoid making any mistakes that could jeopardize your compensation. A Newport News car accident lawyer can help. Call us today to schedule a free consultation to learn more.