Suffolk, VA Car Accident Lawyer
Highways and major roads see a lot of high-speed traffic, and as a result, many serious accidents. If you or a loved one suffered injuries in an auto wreck, you likely have many questions and concerns. From dealing with insurance to receiving the necessary medical care, each decision you make can have a significant impact on your life and on any injury claim that you may pursue.
A Suffolk, Virginia car accident lawyer could provide legal guidance and advice following a serious wreck so that you know you are making the right choices for your claim. The sooner you contact our firm and talk to one of our dedicated injury attorneys, the sooner we can get to work fighting for the compensation you need.
What Steps Should I Take Following an Auto Wreck?
By following a few pieces of advice, those injured in a car wreck can give themselves a chance at recovering a fair compensatory award. The first step an individual should take following an auto accident is to contact the police. Notifying the police of a collision likely will result in the creation of a police report which will document certain important evidence that your attorney will need later on. If they are safely able to do so, injured parties also should take pictures or video of the scene.
Seeking medical care is also an extremely important step after a car crash. If a person is injured in a wreck, he or she should seek medical attention immediately. A doctor or health care provider can make sure that your injuries are properly diagnosed and treated so that they can heal as quickly as possible. Those who try to “tough it out” often have the insurance companies deny their claims due to “delayed” treatments.
In the days after the crash, it is important to be wary of the defendant’s insurance company as they are looking to avoid payment. The insurance company may ask an injured party to provide a written statement or talk with its representatives on a recorded phone call. In these situations, it is best to avoid communicating with the defendant’s insurance company until a lawyer is contacted.
Documentation Required for Car Accident Claims in Suffolk, VA
Documentation is key in car accident claims in Virginia. Whether used in negotiation or at trial, evidence regarding fault and injuries is an important part of obtaining financial recovery. A Suffolk car wreck attorney can help you collect the appropriate documentation for their claim.
The police accident report contains important information regarding the circumstances surrounding the traffic accident. For example, it might note a driver was acting recklessly or not following the rules of the road. It also may contain important information regarding bodily injuries. Any property damage that the investigating officer notes, or any photographs taken, may serve as an indication of the force of the impact.
In most serious crashes, an ambulance may have to take injured individuals to the hospital. However, even if this is not necessary, you should still seek medical attention as you may not realize the severity of your injuries.
Seeking medical care following an accident can help with early detection of any serious conditions caused by the car accident and allow you the opportunity to receive the appropriate treatment.
Medical records generally contain the history of the injury, the diagnosis, and any treatment required. The bills from the health care providers detail the cost of that treatment, which an attorney can use to establish injuries resulting from the auto accident and form the basis of a claim.
Demonstrating Fault in a Car Wreck Case
The law allocates blame based on the facts of a case. The defendant in your case could be a negligent driver, the manufacturer of a defective car or auto part, a trucking company, or a company employing the at-fault driver. To prevail in your car accident case, you must be able to prove someone else caused the crash.
One way to accomplish this is to show that the defendant violated a traffic law, and as a result, caused a crash. When another driver is at fault, the cause of the accident is usually one of the following:
- Abrupt lane changes
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs
- Failure to observe a traffic light or stop sign
- Failure to yield right of way
- Speeding and reckless driving
- Texting or using a cellphone while driving
- Weaving in and out of traffic
However, other cases are more nuanced. If a police officer does not issue a ticket, insurance companies may require the plaintiff to prove additional facts that a defendant’s carelessness or inattentiveness was the cause of the crash. A Suffolk, VA attorney could help build a car accident case that demonstrates fault on the part of the defendant driver.
Proving Liability in a Suffolk Car Crash
Proof another driver was at fault for your Suffolk wreck can come from many sources. Our firm thoroughly investigates the facts of your accident, interviews potential witnesses, and deposes potential defendants. We have extensive experience examining a variety of crash scenarios, including rear-end collisions, side impacts, head-on collisions, rollovers, and multi-vehicle pileups. Our attorneys and dedicated legal staff do not rest until we have assembled the evidence necessary to compel a fair settlement or take your case confidently to trial.
How Does Contributory Negligence Apply to Motor Vehicle Accident Cases?
When civil juries evaluate personal injury claims, they must examine the actions of all parties and assign blame accordingly. The concept of contributory negligence means that if the jury believes a plaintiff shares any percentage of the blame for a collision, the jury cannot award any compensation. A Suffolk, VA attorney could help to fight back against allegations of contributory negligence in a car crash case.
What Damages Can Someone Recover in Suffolk, VA?
There are several damages a person may be eligible to seek following a car accident, including compensation for medical bills, hospital stays, doctors’ visits, pain medication, rehabilitation, and physical therapy services. Additionally, lost wages from missed work and other economic losses may be included in a claim.
If someone loses their loved one in a wreck, they also may be able to recover compensation for funeral and end of life expenses as part of a wrongful death lawsuit.
Common Motor Vehicle Crash Injuries
Motor vehicle accident injuries vary due to the severity of the crash, but often include:
- Broken and crushed bones
- Burns and scars
- Internal organ injuries
- Loss of limbs
- Spinal injuries, including paralysis
- Torn ligaments
- Traumatic brain injury
- Whiplash injuries to the neck and back
- Wrongful death
Deadline to File a Claim
There is only a short time to demand compensation for one’s losses. Virginia Code § 8.01-243 provides the statute of limitations, which is the time limit that a plaintiff must meet if they want to seek payment following an injury in Suffolk, VA. According to this law, a plaintiff must file their case no more than two years after the date of the accident.
A failure to meet this time limit will not only bar a case from going to court but also will signal to an insurance company to not settle the claim. A Suffolk, VA lawyer could help someone pursue a car wreck claim that meets the statute of limitations.
Consult a Suffolk, VA Car Accident Attorney Today
If you or a loved one suffered losses in a motor vehicle crash, you may be overwhelmed by the insurance and legal claims process. To avoid making any mistakes that could jeopardize your claim, call a Suffolk, VA car accident lawyer for help. Our attorneys know the steps to take to help you get the compensation you need. Call us today for a free consultation.