We Provide the Answers You Need to Your Most Common Injury Questions in Virginia

Often, injury victims have many questions and mounting worries after their accident. Sometimes, it is difficult to even know where to find the answers you need. Here, our attorneys share their answers to some of these common concerns. Learn more about if you can pursue a case, what options may be available, the kinds of compensation the law allows, what to expect from the process, and much more.

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  • Why should I retain an attorney in my personal injury case?

    How an Attorney Can Help Your Personal Injury ClaimAfter a personal injury accident, it is common to feel overwhelmed with coping with serious injuries, the inability to work, and the changes in your life. On top of this, you will not have your usual wages to count on to pay your living expenses and expensive medical bills while you are off work recovering. You know you should file a claim for compensation with the negligent party’s insurance company, but may be tempted to handle settling your claim yourself to save money. However, this would be a bad decision and may actually cost you money in the long run.

    Reasons Why You Need to Hire an Attorney to Negotiate Your Personal Injury Claim Settlement

    First of all, you should not be worried about the cost of hiring an experienced personal injury attorney. Most lawyers handle these cases on a contingency fee basis, which means that you only owe a fee if your attorney wins your case in a settlement or at trial. In addition, the attorney fees are taken out of the settlement, so you do not have to pay attorney fees up front. Even more importantly, retaining an attorney can strengthen your case and make it more likely that you will receive the compensation that you deserve. Here are some of the ways that an attorney can help:

    • Investigation. Your attorney will conduct a thorough investigation of your accident to prove how it happened and that the negligent party was at fault in causing your injuries. He may visit the scene of your accident, interview witnesses, collect pictures and videotapes, and obtain documents and other information from the negligent business or individual.
       
    • Knowledge of laws and procedures. If you retain an attorney who is experienced in handling your type of personal injury claim, he will understand the laws and procedures that govern your case. This includes knowing the time limit that you have to sue, the types of compensation you may receive, and the procedural rules you must follow when pursuing your civil case in court.
       
    • Value of your claim. An attorney who has a track record of success in settling and trying personal injury cases will have the experience and understanding to determine the true value of your claim. This is often substantially more than what the insurance adjuster for the negligent party claims.
       
    • Liable parties. In some personal injury cases, more than one party is found to be negligent and responsible for compensating the victim. Your attorney will be able to identify all the potentially liable parties in your case and attempt to negotiate settlements with them so that you are fully compensated for your injuries.
       
    • Settlement and litigation. An attorney will be skilled in negotiating settlements of claims like yours and will have strategies to defeat the insurance company’s tactics to reduce or deny your claim. If the insurance company refuses to be reasonable, he can file a lawsuit on your behalf.

    Do you need to file a claim for compensation for your injuries following a personal injury accident? Call our office today to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation to learn more about our experience handling these claims and how we can assist you.

     

  • What are common motions that may affect the outcome of your personal injury case?

    Pre-Trial Motions and Personal Injury CasesEven an experienced personal injury attorney cannot always settle personal injury claims without the need for litigation—at least for what the victim is entitled to. If you were hurt in a car, slip and fall, or other personal injury accident, you may have to file a lawsuit as part of your fight to obtain the compensation that you deserve. Pre-trial motions can play an important role in the resolution of your case.

    Pre-Trial Motions That May Be Filed in Your Personal Injury Case

    A pre-trial motion is a legal document filed in your civil lawsuit that asks the judge to make a certain decision in your case for a specific legal reason. There are two types of pre-trial motions in civil cases: dispositive and non-dispositive motions. Dispositive motions are ones that can resolve a case while non-dispositive motions resolve specific issues or problems in the case. Common motions that may be filed in your civil lawsuit include:

    • Motion to dismiss. A motion to dismiss asks the judge to dismiss your lawsuit against the negligent party and is often based on legal deficiencies. For example, if there is no legal basis for your claim, the opposing party may ask that your complaint be dismissed. If the statute of limitations to sue has expired, this may be another reason that this motion would be granted. Other reasons motions to dismiss are granted include the complaint being filed in the wrong court or the negligent party not being properly served with the complaint.
       
    • Motion for summary judgment. When the facts are not disputed, a party may file a motion for summary judgment arguing that they should win the case based on the law. For example, if there was compelling evidence of the other party’s negligence, your attorney may file a motion for summary judgment asking that the judge find the party was negligent. Then the only dispute would be about the amount of compensation that you should receive.
       
    • Motion to compel. There will be a long period in your case where the attorneys are engaging in discovery, where the parties send each other questions to answer, and requests for production of documents. When a party is uncooperative and fails to produce the requested documents, your attorney may need to file a motion to compel them to do so through an order issued by the judge.
       
    • Motion to exclude experts. In personal injury cases, experts can help prove or disprove the at-fault party’s negligence, your injuries, and the amount of compensation that you may be entitled to. Experts must be qualified based on their education, training, and work history. In some cases, your attorney or the lawyer for the negligent party may file a motion to exclude a specific expert, arguing that he is not qualified to issue an opinion in your case.
       
    • Motion in limine. A motion in limine asks the judge to exclude certain evidence from being used when filing a motion or at trial. The basis of the motion is often that the evidence is more prejudicial than worthwhile.
       
    • Motion for default judgment. If the negligent party fails to file an answer to the complaint by the time limit set by the court, your attorney may file a motion for a default judgment asking the judge to award you the compensation that you are requesting in the lawsuit.

    What Happens After a Pre-Trial Motion Is Filed?

    Once an attorney files a pre-trial motion, the court clerk will schedule a hearing with the judge. At the hearing, both the attorney who filed the motion and the other attorneys in the case will be present. You may or may not need to attend the motion hearing. The attorneys will present a short oral argument to the judge as to why the judge should rule in their favor. The judge will either make a decision at the hearing or will send out a written decision at a later date.

    Do you need to pursue a personal injury claim for injuries caused by a car wreck, slip and fall, or other accident? Our experienced personal injury attorneys can explain how these claims work and how we can assist you in fighting for the compensation that you deserve. Call our Fairfax office today to schedule your free consultation.

     

  • How long will it take to settle my personal injury case?

    Personal Injury Claims and When They SettleIf you are like most personal injury accident victims, one of the top questions that you have is about the length of time it will take to resolve your personal injury claim. There is a very practical reason for needing to know this. You want to get on with your life, and you need the settlement proceeds to pay for the expensive medical treatments and replace your wages while you were off work recovering from your injuries. Unfortunately, even an experienced personal injury attorney cannot tell you exactly how long it will take to settle your claim—but he can give you an idea by considering how certain factors impact your case.

    Factors That Will Affect How Long it Takes to Settle a Personal Injury Claim

    While it is impossible to predict a firm date for the resolution of your case, you can get a good sense of the time that will be needed to resolve your case. You do this by looking at the factors that influence the time period it takes to resolve a personal injury claim and how they play out in your case. Here are some factors that affect how quickly your claim may be settled:

    • Maximum medical recovery. You are entitled to compensation for your injuries. Therefore, the length of time it takes to recover from your injuries will affect how long it takes to resolve your claim. If you want to be fully compensated for your injuries, you have to know how much your medical bills will be and how long you will be unable to work. You will know this information until you reach your maximum medical recovery or your doctor gives you a final prognosis. Until you know this, you cannot realistically settle your claim.
       
    • Documentation of your claim. Your attorney will need to collect all the documents related to your medical care, your medical bills, your lost wages, and any other out-of-pocket expenses to determine the value of your claim. He may also include some of this information in a demand package to the insurance company that outlines your claim and what you would accept in settlement. It can take time to obtain these documents from medical providers and your employer, and some documents cannot be obtained until you reach your maximum medical recovery.
       
    • Disputes in your case. When there are disputes with the insurance company about liability or the seriousness of your injuries, it can delay the settlement of your claim. In some cases, an attorney can resolve these arguments relatively quickly by providing the adjuster with additional documentation to support your position. In other cases, the insurance company may not back down—your attorney may need to hire expert witnesses and file a lawsuit to get the insurance company to offer a reasonable settlement amount.
       
    • Negotiation process. Even in a claim where the negligent party’s liability for a victim’s injuries are clear-cut, the negotiation process can take time, and the insurance company may raise some initial arguments as to why it should not pay the full amount requested. Once your attorney sends the insurance company a demand package, you must wait for the insurance company to respond either in a letter or telephone call. There are usually a series of communications between your attorney and the insurance adjuster during negotiations.
       
    • Amount of your claim. If you suffered catastrophic injuries or there is a wrongful death claim, the value of your claim may be larger. When claims are worth more, insurance companies will investigate the claim more thoroughly and fight harder to deny or reduce a claim. This may result in your claim taking longer to settle, and it may require your attorney to litigate your case before it can be resolved.
       
    • Insurance company. Some insurance companies have a reputation for being harder to work with when settling personal injury claims—at least for what the claim is worth. This may be a major factor that causes your claim to take longer to settle.

    It is important to realize that you want to wait, if necessary, to settle your personal injury claim so that you receive the compensation that you deserve. Once you settle your claim, the settlement is final—you cannot go back to the insurance company later and demand more money.

    Were you injured in a personal injury accident caused by another person’s negligence? Call our Fairfax law office today to schedule a free consultation to learn how our experienced personal injury attorneys can help you file your claim and get the compensation that you deserve.

     

  • Is it better to settle a personal injury lawsuits rather than see it through trial?

    This is a good question that is rather complex to answer because, quite simply, it will depend on various factors, including you, your case and the settlement offer that is on the table. In general, however, some of the situations in which accepting a settlement offer may be a better option than seeing a case through trial include (but are not limited to) when:

    • A fair settlement offer has been made and prolonging the case may cost you more than it may be worth.
    • You are ready to put the case, the accident and your injuries behind you so you can move on with your life.
    • There may be some serious risks associated with winning a favorable verdict from a trial.

  • What kind of compensation can I expect from my personal injury case?

    Again, we can’t give you a specific answer about compensation for personal injury lawsuits without reviewing the particular details of a case. Some of the factors, however, that may contribute to greater compensation in personal injury lawsuits can include (but are not necessarily limited to):

    • More severe injuries having been sustained by the plaintiff
    • Irreversible impairments having been sustained by the plaintiff
    • More damage having been incurred to the plaintiff’s property
    • A pattern of negligence having been displayed by the defendant.

    For a better understanding of the potential compensation for your personal injury case, give us a call at (703) 352-0100 so we can discuss your specific situation. 

  • How long do I have to file a personal injury claim?

    This is a good and important question to ask when it comes to personal injury lawsuits. The length of time in which you have to file personal injury lawsuits is known as the statute of limitations for these cases, and this time frame varies from state to state.

    In the state of Virginia, there is a two-year statute of limitations for filing personal injury lawsuits. This means that, in order for injured people to seek compensation through personal injury lawsuits, these cases must be filed within two years of the date:

    • On which the accident or incident that caused the personal injuries occurred; or
    • On which the personal injuries were diagnosed or discovered.

    Because these time frames are very strict, it’s best for injured people to move forward with filing personal injury lawsuits as soon as they can to avoid running out the statute of limitations.

  • How quickly are personal injury lawsuits resolved?

    We can’t really answer this one without reviewing the details of a particular case. That being stated, however, some of the factors that may end up complicating personal injury lawsuits and, consequently, prolonging a resolution to these cases include (but are not necessarily limited to):

    • More severe injuries (that may need to be established through expert witness testimony)
    • More complicated claims of negligence (For instance, product liability and medical malpractice cases tend to be far more complicated than other types of personal injury lawsuits.)
    • Corporate or government defendants (who tend to have legal teams ready to fight negligence allegations).

    While you can easily get a more specific answer regarding your case by contacting Greenspun Shapiro, PC today, what you can take away from this is that you should generally expect personal injury lawsuits to take some time to resolve.

  • What if I may have played a role in causing the accident and/or injuries?

    When people have somehow contributed to the accident or incident that led to their injuries, it may still be possible to pursue personal injury lawsuits, depending (of course) on the details of the incident and case. In general, in fact, as long as another party was more negligent that you were in the incident, you may still be able to move forward with a case and seek compensation for your injuries and losses.

    That being said, however, whether or not it is worth it to you to move forward with a legal claim can depend on whether you may obtain sufficient compensation from this effort. To receive more specific info regarding this, contact a Fairfax personal injury attorney at Greenspun Shapiro, PC.

    For some more answers to common questions about personal injury lawsuits, be sure to check out the upcoming second and third parts of this blog series!

  • What are some common examples of negligence in personal injury lawsuits?

    First, it’s important to define the term negligence, as it’s the general basis of personal injury lawsuits. Simply put, negligence is the failure of one party to use reasonable care when performing some action and, consequently, causing damage, accidents and/or injuries. Here, “reasonable care” typically means the level of care that a reasonable person would have exerted in the same situation or under similar circumstances.

    Given this, some examples of negligence can include (but are not exclusively limited to):

    • Drunk driving, distracted driving and other types of driver error that cause motor vehicle accidents
    • Failure to keep premises safe and, in turn, causing slip and fall accidents
    • Failure to properly diagnose a medical condition and, in turn, causing health complications.

    There are countless other examples of negligence in these cases, so it’s best to consult with an experienced attorney to find out more regarding your accident and whether you may have a viable personal injury claim.