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Virginia Personal Injury Lawsuit Process Steps

Every day, the personal injury attorneys at Lichtenstein Law Group PLC meet with innocent people who have suffered life-altering injuries due to someone else’s recklessness. We see injured motorists who were slammed by drunk drivers, grieving parents weeping after a car seat malfunctioned, dependent spouses drowning in debt after the family breadwinner is killed in an accident – and we want justice. We’re here to help you with the personal injury lawsuit settlement process in Virginia.

With more than 100 years of combined litigation experience, the attorneys at Lichtenstein Law Group have secured multiple awards in excess of $1 million for our deserving clients. We know what it takes to see a case through to verdict, and we don’t back down from a fight for what’s right. Still, we understand that the thought of pursuing a personal injury lawsuit can be daunting.

Our team will sit down with you to discuss the personal injury lawsuit process in Virginia so you know exactly what to expect. We will answer all your questions and keep you updated every step of the way. Contact us today for a free consultation with one of our respected Virginia trial attorneys.

What Are the Steps in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Personal injury law in Virginia is complex. That’s especially true when it comes to proving fault for an accident. Failure to establish fault can mean the difference between a victim obtaining a court award or receiving nothing at all. That’s why you need an experienced trial attorney by your side.

Here’s a step-by-step guide for what to expect if you’ve been hurt in an accident and need to pursue a personal injury claim:

  1. You should get medical treatment immediately.

If you’ve been in an accident, seek medical care at once – even if you feel OK. Some injuries do not cause symptoms right away. That’s true whether it comes to soft-tissue damage or traumatic brain injuries. Getting immediate medical help will not only ensure you receive the treatment you need, but it will also initiate the documentation process that will be needed for your personal injury claim.

  1. You should contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.

Most of the people who ask for a consultation with a personal injury lawyer start with one basic question: “Do I have a case?” Before proceeding with any sort of legal action, an attorney needs to gather several pieces of information, including:

  • When the accident happened. Virginia has a two-year statute of limitations on personal injury cases. The clock starts on the date that the accident occurs. If you miss the deadline, you may not be able to file a complaint.
  • Proof of injuries. In any negligence action, a plaintiff will need to prove his or her injuries with evidence such as medical records, accident reports, and any bills for rehabilitation or therapy. An attorney will help you document this evidence from the start.
  • Who was at fault? This is absolutely key. Virginia uses a rule called “pure contributory negligence” to determine fault. If you are found to be even 1 percent responsible for the accident that caused your injuries, you may be barred from recovering any compensation. An insurance company will try to use this rule to its advantage.
  • Was the other party negligent? In Virginia, that means determining whether the other party’s actions fell outside of what a reasonable person would or would not do. Your lawyer will also need to show that this negligence directly contributed to your injury.

Generally, attorneys wait to file a personal injury claim until after the person has fully recovered orHave a brain injury? Contact our Roanoke Virginia Head Injury Lawyers today for legal advice. has reached maximum medical improvement – the point at which no further healing is expected to occur. In catastrophic accidents where treatment may take years, a lawyer may choose to proceed anyway to stay within the statute of limitations.

  1. Your attorney will thoroughly investigate the claim.

During the investigative period, your attorney will collect many documents including medical records, accident reports, photographs, and eyewitness reports, as well as solicit expert opinions to support your claim for compensation. This will help determine what he or she thinks is a reasonable demand from the insurance company. Your lawyer will handle communications with insurance adjusters at this point, leaving you time to focus on rebuilding your life.

  1. The next step is to make the initial demand.

It’s to everyone’s benefit to settle a personal injury claim out of court. But that doesn’t mean that opposing parties and insurance companies will roll over and give you what you ask on the first try. Expect counteroffers. Ultimately, it will be up to you to decide whether to accept a settlement or not.

  1. Can’t agree on a settlement? Your attorney will file a personal injury lawsuit.  

If negotiations prove futile, your attorney may advise you that it’s time to file a personal injury lawsuit in court. This doesn’t mean the settlement negotiations are over, but it does put pressure on the defendant and show them you are not backing down.

  1. The discovery process begins, and both sides exchange information.

Discovery is an intensive process where both sides gather documentation to argue their case. That can include depositions, interrogatories, requests for admissions, and any other relevant information from both sides. Be aware that the insurance company will likely request that you have a medical exam with a physician of their choice.

  1. Your attorney may continue settlement talks.

Once discovery is complete, settlement talks may continue as both sides now have a better picture of what to expect in a trial. Again, you never have to accept a settlement offer if you do not think it is fair.

  1. If no settlement is reached, your case will go to trial.

Statistically speaking, only about 5 percent of personal injury cases go to trial. The longer a case goes on, the more expensive it becomes. Unfortunately, no attorney can guarantee how long your personal injury lawsuit may take to get through the court system. Some may resolve within a matter of months. Others could take years. Oftentimes, it depends on how long it takes for insurance companies, doctors, employers, and other involved parties to provide the necessary information.

At the conclusion of the trial, you may be awarded compensation for medical bills, lost income (including lost future earnings), property damages, and pain and suffering, among other losses.

Our Roanoke and Charlottesville Personal Injury Attorneys Are Here for You

lawyer consultationThe period after a serious accident is often chaotic as you try to cope with injuries and mounting bills. It isn’t long before insurance companies start calling to bully you into accepting a quick settlement. A knowledgeable Virginia personal injury lawyer at Lichtenstein Law Group PLC can make this stressful situation more manageable and help you through the legal process from start to finish.

To learn whether you may be eligible for compensation, contact us today for a free consultation.