If you have been injured in a serious accident, your primary focus is likely on getting proper medical treatment, managing your bills, and re-learning how to navigate your life. This process can be incredibly daunting; attempting to navigate the legal system on top of everything else can be downright overwhelming. At Breit Drescher Imprevento, we understand that most people have never had to go through the process of filing a personal injury claim before. Because of this, most people have a lot of questions about how the process works, what to expect, and how much their claim is worth. You may even be wondering if you have a claim at all.
We’ve compiled a list of frequently asked personal injury questions in order to help you learn more and stay informed throughout the legal process. You can find answers to common personal injury questions here, but it is important to remember that every case is different. If you have questions about your specific situation, it’s best to speak to a personal injury attorney who can provide you with answers that are tailored to your unique circumstances.
To learn more, contact our personal injury lawyers in Virginia Beach at (757) 330-4099 for a free consultation. We serve clients throughout the Greater Hampton Roads Metropolitan Area.
+ - Who can file a personal injury claim?
If you were injured as a result of someone else’s negligent actions, you may file a personal injury claim. It is important to note that Virginia has what is known as a “contributory fault” law. If you are found to be even partially responsible for the accident, you will not be able to recover compensation. If you are involved in an accident, it is important that you do not admit fault. Instead, contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you determine if you have a case.
+ - How do I know if my accident was caused by negligence?
While some accidents are truly blameless, most accidents are the result of careless, reckless, or negligent behavior. Negligence can take many forms; determining if your accident was caused by someone else’s negligence will depend on the type of accident you suffered, as well as the various unique circumstances involved.
For example, if you are hit by a distracted driver, one who was texting and driving at the time of the accident, for example, you may be able to file a personal injury claim. If your loved one suffered catastrophic injuries as a result of a defective medical device, ultimately resulting in your loved one’s death, you may be able to file a type of personal injury claim known as a wrongful death claim. These are just a couple examples of how negligence can cause accidents that result in injuries and/or death. To learn if you have a case, contact our personal injury attorneys in Virginia Beach today.
+ - What should I do after an accident?
If you are involved in any type of accident, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. Even if you feel that you were not injured, it is important that you are checked by a doctor or medical professional. In the initial shock of an accident, you may not notice injuries right away. Injuries can also take hours or even days to develop.
If possible, get the names, phone numbers, and other relevant contact information of anyone else involved in the accident. If there were any witnesses, take down their contact information and statements as well. If you can, take pictures of the scene of the accident and any injuries you have sustained. Next, get in contact with a personal injury attorney who can help you determine if you have a case.
+ - What is medical malpractice?
Medical malpractice (also known as medical negligence) occurs when a doctor, nurse, hospital, or any other medical practitioner or facility fails to uphold the reasonable standard of care. The reasonable standard of care refers to the responsibility medical professionals and facilities have to do everything they can (within reason) to properly care for patients. There are many examples of medical malpractice, ranging from misdiagnosis to laboratory mistakes to failure to address a health condition to medication mistakes. Medical malpractice has devastating, life-altering consequences for both victims and their families. The Virginia Beach medical malpractice attorneys at Breit Drescher Imprevento can help you understand your legal rights and options.
+ - How much is my claim worth?
Because every case is different, it is impossible to say how much your claim may be worth without careful analysis and investigative work. Depending on the damages you have sustained, you may be able to recover compensation for current and future medical expenses, lost earning ability, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and more.
+ - What are “damages?”
Damages is a legal term used to refer to the losses a person sustains in an accident. Generally speaking, damages can either be economic or non-economic in nature. Examples of economic damages include medical bills, lost income/wages, and reduced earning capacity. Non-economic damages, meanwhile, include losses that are more difficult to quantify in terms of a dollar amount. Non-economic damages may include things like pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of companionship, and trauma. Additionally, punitive damages can be sought when negligence was particularly egregious. Punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant and ensure that similar accidents do not occur again in the future.
+ - What should I do if an at-fault insurance adjuster calls me after the accident?
If the at-fault party’s insurance company calls you or attempts to contact you after an accident, do not speak to them. Often, the at-fault insurance adjuster will try to get you to agree to a settlement amount that is much lower than the cost of damages. Remember, the at-fault insurance company does not want to help you; they want to minimize their costs as much as possible and will even go to great lengths to avoid paying out the full value of your claim. It is always in your best interest to speak to an attorney before communicating with an at-fault insurance adjuster.
+ - Will I have to go to court if I file a personal injury claim?
The short answer: no, not all personal injury claims become lawsuits. In many cases, plaintiffs are able to recover a settlement from the at-fault insurance company that covers most if not all of their damages. At Breit Drescher Imprevento, we are skilled at negotiating with insurance companies and we always work to recover fair settlements on behalf of our clients.
However, in many cases, it is not possible to secure a settlement that covers the full extent of your damages. This is because many insurance companies will do everything they can to devalue or deny your claim in order to save themselves money. Having an experienced trial attorney on your side can make all the difference in a successful lawsuit. Breit Drescher Imprevento has more than 30 years of litigation experience. Our Virginia Beach personal injury attorneys know how to fight—and win—complex cases in court. Contact us today to learn more.
+ - How much does it cost to hire an attorney?
Many people are understandably concerned about the cost of hiring an attorney. The misconception that lawyers are always expensive even stops many people from seeking one altogether. However, at Breit Drescher Imprevento, we provide all of our legal services on a contingency fee basis. This means that we do not charge any fees until we have successfully recovered compensation on your behalf. Once we have achieved a settlement or jury verdict, our attorneys’ fees are paid by a pre-determined percentage of the total recovery. There is absolutely no upfront cost for you.
+ - How long do I have to file a claim?
In most cases, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Virginia is two years. This means you have two years from the date of the accident or, in certain cases, the date that you became aware of or should have reasonably become aware of your injury. If you wish to file an injury claim against a government entity, however, you must send notice of your intent to file a claim within six months (claims against a city or town) or one year (claims against state government or transportation district) of the date the accident occurred.