Roanoke, VA Car Accident Lawyers
In Virginia, the laws governing how car accident victims can recover damages are extremely strict. So for those who have suffered life-altering catastrophic injuries in an automobile accident, or loss of a loved one, fighting to get the compensation your deserve can be challenging. With almost 100 years of combined litigation experience, the Roanoke auto accident trial attorneys at Lichtenstein Law Group, PLC have extensive knowledge of what it takes to argue serious car accident cases like these in court. Contact our auto accident attorney in Roanoke today.
Lawyer for Car Accident Injuries
While each case is different, our collision attorneys have secured multiple results in excess of $1 million on behalf of our clients. Our Roanoke car accident attorney know that insurance companies and other at-fault parties will do anything they can to avoid taking responsibility, but we believe it is our duty to hold them accountable in a court of law. Contact our Roanoke auto injury attorney today.
If you are coping with serious injuries or the death of a loved one in the tragic aftermath of a collision, contact the skilled trial lawyers at Lichtenstein Law Group PLC today. Our firm is widely recognized for our attorneys’ ability to craft often complex trial strategies and argue auto cases before judges and juries throughout Virginia and across the United States. We have the experience, the skills, and the resources necessary to commit to your case. Contact our injury legal representation in Roanoke, VA today!
Types Of Accident Claims We Handle In Roanoke
Common Questions About Car Wrecks
It is natural to have many questions after a serious accident that causes personal injuries and property damage. Below, we have provided general answers to some of the most common questions we hear from collision victims. We hope this car accident information helps to address some of your concerns.
Do you want specific answers to your individual questions? Tell us about your situation now. Contact our injury legal representation at Lichtenstein Law Group PLC today to schedule a consultation.
What Should I Do If I Am Involved In a Collision?
Protecting your health and safety should be your first concern after a wreck. However, there are also steps you can take to protect your legal rights:
Call 911 for emergency medical assistance. Now is not the time to act tough. Be sure to tell medical personnel about all of your symptoms and pain. Even if you do not believe you need to go to the emergency room by ambulance, be certain to get a full medical examination as soon as possible after the accident. Some serious injuries do not immediately show symptoms, and the shock of an accident may mask some symptoms.
Get names and contact information for the driver and any witnesses. You do not need to discuss the wreck with anyone, but you should gather the appropriate contact information so your attorney can follow up later.
If possible, take photos at the scene. Photos of the vehicles, road conditions, skid marks, traffic signals, the people involved, and any injuries can all be valuable evidence. They can also help your attorney piece together exactly what happened in your collision.
Follow your doctor’s treatment plan. This means attending all follow-up appointments and abiding by all orders. Not only will adhering to the treatment plan keep your recovery on track, it will also show that you are taking your injuries seriously.
Keep copies of everything. Start a file with any paperwork you receive related to the wreck. This includes medical bills, vehicle repair receipts, insurance letters, the crash scene accident report, etc. Your legal representation will want to review everything you have related to the accident.
Do not speak to the insurance company or sign anything without talking to one of our dedicated personal injury lawyers. The insurance company will likely try to get you to talk about your accident or injuries. The insurer may even offer you a fast settlement. You should refer any communication with the insurance company to your lawyer.
Call a lawyer as soon as possible. Our experienced injury law firm will need to start investigating your claim immediately. We will also take over all communication regarding the accident to protect you from aggressive insurance adjusters.
Should I Take Pictures With My Cellphone?
Yes, if you are able to use your cellphone’s camera to take pictures at the scene, it is a very good idea to do so. If you are unable to take pictures yourself, ask someone else at the scene to do it for you. Be sure to get photographs of:
- Any visible injuries
- Damage to vehicles
- Positioning of vehicles involved
- The roadway and skid marks
- Road signs and traffic signals that may have been factors
- Any conditions that may have contributed such as road debris or wet or icy roads
- Anything else that may be relevant
When taking photographs, remember that you are documenting evidence. Do not destroy or lose the evidence once you’ve obtained it. As soon as possible, get the images to your attorney so they can be preserved.
When Should I Contact a Law Firm For Help?
The sooner you contact an attorney, the better. That’s because your attorney needs to conduct an independent investigation of the accident in many cases. Evidence tends to disappear with time, and witnesses may become harder to locate or their memories may fade. You can also expect communications from the insurance companies that cover the vehicles in the collision. The sooner you get help from an attorney, the sooner you can hand off the responsibility for dealing with the insurers and other parties.
How Long Do I Have To File a Crash Claim In Virginia?
In virtually all cases, you have two years from the date of your injury to file a personal injury lawsuit in Virginia. This is because Virginia has a two-year statute of limitations on personal injury claims related to wrecks and other types of collisions. Some narrow exceptions to the statute of limitations may apply, so you should still discuss your case with an injury attorney even if you think the deadline may have passed.
Never rely on the fact that you have two years. You should not delay because a lot can happen to make your case more complicated. And if you’ve waited until the last minute, it can be difficult for an attorney to perform a comprehensive investigation. It takes a lot of time to gather medical records, consult with experts, and prepare a strong case for litigation. The sooner you hire legal representation, the better off you’ll be.
How Is Fault Determined In a Collision Case?
The civil courts make the ultimate determination about who was at fault for an accident in Virginia. In other words, a judge or jury has the final say about who should be held responsible for causing a collision – and who should pay for the losses. However, most accident claims are resolved long before a trial through negotiations between your attorney and the insurance company.
The lawyer’s role involves building a strong case, backed by evidence, to show why the other driver or another party was at fault for the crash. In a civil case, you must prove that the driver’s negligence led to the collision and your injuries. Negligence requires you to prove your case by preponderance of the evidence.
It is important to keep in mind that the police do not determine civil liability for a wreck. Empty courtroom with justice scale on the side.Their job is to issue traffic citations for any infractions they believe happened in the course of the accident. Responsibility for paying damages in a collision remains a separate issue.
You should also know that the standards are different for criminal and civil cases. For instance, a police officer may arrest the other driver for a DUI, but the person may get the charges dropped or even receive a not guilty verdict at the criminal trial. This does not automatically mean that the person is absolved of civil liability. It simply means the state could not prove the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.
What Type Of Information Should I Gather About The Crash?
In addition to taking pictures at the scene of the crash, it is important to gather other information at the scene. Again, if you are unable to do this yourself, ask someone at the scene to do it for you.
- Be certain to get contact and insurance information from the other drivers involved in the crash. You can use your cellphone camera to take pictures of their driver’s licenses, insurance cards, license plates and other relevant documents.
- Also take down the names and contact information for anyone who saw the wreck or was a passenger in any of the vehicles involved.
- Obtain a copy of the police report.
- Keep all receipts for medical services and any prescriptions or other medical items you purchase for the treatment of your injuries.
- Consider keeping a diary about how your injuries have affected your daily life. Make specific notes about how you feel and what limitations the injuries have placed on your activities.
Keep in mind that your attorney may be coming into the case days or even weeks later than you. He or she will rely on the information you were able to obtain right away. Your attorney cannot go back and take pictures of your black and blue elbow or the cuts on your head if they’ve gone away. He or she can document things that remain at the scene (like skid marks), but the longer you wait, the harder it becomes to gather evidence. The more evidence you can preserve, the better.
What If The Other Party Involved In The Accident Does Not Have Auto Insurance?
Some irresponsible motorists in Virginia fail to carry liability insurance. If the driver responsible for your wreck was uninsured, you may be entitled to compensation under your insurance policy’s uninsured motorist (UM) coverage. This type of coverage may also apply if you were hurt in a hit-and-run accident and the responsible driver is never identified. If the at-fault driver had insurance but the limits are too low to pay for all your losses, you may be able to recover additional benefits under your policy’s underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage. Keep in mind that even though you are pursuing a claim with “your” insurance, the insurance company still wants to limit the amount it pays out. Get help from a qualified legal representation who has your best interests at heart.
How Can I Afford Legal Representation For My Case?
At Lichtenstein Law Group PLC, we do not charge any upfront legal fees in cases. We handle personal injury claims from car wrecks on a contingency fee basis. That means we get paid only if and when we are successful at recovering compensation on your behalf. Our fee is then deducted from your settlement based on an agreed-upon percentage. You never have to pay us out of pocket for our legal services.
Likewise, our firm will advance all of the expenses involved in fighting for your compensation. This may mean the cost of hiring private investigators and medical experts, the cost of obtaining medical records, or court filing fees, process servers, court reporters, and more. These costs will be recovered in the end, but only if we succeed in obtaining compensation for you. Otherwise, our clients owe us nothing.
How Long Does The Accident Claim Process Take?
Every case is different, so there is no simple way to determine how long your case will take. It is critical to wait until we know the full extent of your injuries before attempting to negotiate a fair settlement. Insurance adjusters sometimes try to rush a claim into settlement in hopes that they can make your case go away quickly and cheaply. Such hasty settlement offers are almost always for far less than the true value of a claim. At Lichtenstein Law Group PLC, we conduct a thorough investigation into the cause of the wreck and work with medical, vocational, financial and other experts to calculate the full extent of a victim’s losses. We use that information to negotiate an appropriate out-of-court settlement if possible. If the insurance company or other responsible party refuses to make a fair settlement offer, we are prepared to pursue a claim in court.
Is Virginia a No-Fault State?
No. Virginia follows a fault-based model of insurance claims. Many people hear the term “no-fault” insurance and believe that if they are in an accident, fault does not matter. Nothing could be further from the truth. Fault always matters. However, some states do have a system of handling wreck claims that requires people to first file a claim against their own insurance before they can proceed with a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
States like New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania follow this type of system. In Virginia, however, you can immediately pursue your claim against the person (or people) responsible for your injuries. Many drivers choose to carry additional “no-fault” insurance (also known as medical payments coverage), but it is not compulsory.
Contact us now by calling us or filling out our online form to schedule a consultation. Let us get started preparing your case for trial today, contact our car accident lawyers serving Roanoke.