Many people who are injured in car accidents may suffer from lost wages and medical costs above and beyond what their insurance will cover. If the insurance company is refusing your coverage, you may want to file a claim to get the full amount of payment you deserve.
Understanding the Essential Elements of a Virginia Car Accident Claim
If you are considering filing a personal injury claim after a car accident, you should know that there are many different court procedures that will have to be followed to the letter before you can win compensation. All cases will be different depending on the circumstances, but the essential steps of each case include:
- Statute of limitations. Under Virginia law, a plaintiff has two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury case. Our firm’s practice is to allow our clients to finish treating before we file a complaint; however, extreme injuries can require longer than two years to heal. If this is the case, we will file the complaint before treatment is complete in order to meet the statute of limitations and start the process of the lawsuit. We will continue to adjust the cost to our client for their medical costs and lost wages as our client continues throughout their treatment.
- Discovery. Once the complaint is filed, the lawsuit will enter into the discovery phase of the case. This means that the legal representatives on each side will gather information about the case, such as police reports, photos and medical records. Some of these documents are requested from the respective facilities and others are requested from our clients. Both parties legal counsel will review all information to decide what evidence they can and intend to use in court. Reviewing the information will also assist in determining negligence.
- Negligence. Negligence is the failure to use reasonable care, resulting in damage or injury to another. Virginia laws are strict in that any plaintiff (injured party) who is found negligent for any portion of the accident can be barred from receiving any amount in a personal injury or wrongful death case. This is called contributory negligence, and it is for this reason that we review the case facts and evidence during the discovery phase.
- Damages. Damages are the monetary effects that injuries have on your life from medical expenses, lost wages, potential wages and pain and suffering endured. The court will examine the effect that your injuries have had on your life when determining the amount of money, or damages, that you will receive. This amount should be in proportion to the suffering you have endured. In many cases, doctors will be asked to give their expert opinions on the prognosis of your injury and how it will affect you financially.
- Settlement or award. Your case may be successful in one of two ways: you can choose to settle out of court, or you can go to trial. If the insurance company thinks you have a good case, it may offer you a settlement in order to avoid risking a jury’s high award in a trial. We will consult closely with you on offers from the insurance to see which option is more favorable to you.
At The Daniel Law Firm, P.C., we have extensive experience in personal injury trial law. This means that we go toe-to-toe with the insurance companies to get you a settlement that will pay for your medical expenses and out-of-pocket costs—and if the offer we get is not fair, we do not hesitate to go to trial.
We offer FREE and Private Consultations. Call us toll free at 540-204-4316 today and let us explain your rights.