Clients often ask our personal injury attorneys at the Richmond law firm of Renfro & Renfro whether they really need an attorney to get compensation for an injury caused by someone else. In fact, there is no requirement for legal representation after an injury, and sometimes a lawyer isn’t necessary. Other times, retaining an attorney is the only way that you will get the full compensation you deserve under Virginia law. Making the determination whether you need an injury lawyer involves considering the nature of your injuries and evaluating your situation following the accident.
If your accident causes only minor injuries and minimal property damage, chances are that you do not need a lawyer. If the following statements characterize your accident and injuries, you probably do not need to retain an attorney:
In contrast, if your injuries are severe and require long-term term treatment and recovery, hiring an experienced injury lawyer provides substantial benefits. Presence of any of the following factors weighs in favor of talking to an injury lawyer:
When your injuries are serious, Virginia law entitles you to recover compensation from a person whose negligent conduct caused the accident and injuries. However, to get the full compensation you deserve, it is essential to retain a personal injury attorney. Even if it’s clear that someone else is at fault, the at-fault party’s liability insurance company will not voluntarily pay you the full amount that you deserve. The company’s goal is to pay you as little as possible. You need an attorney to advocate vigorously for you, so that you receive fair and adequate compensation for your injuries.
To recover compensation from another person who caused the accident, you need to prove legal liability. In most personal injury cases, that means demonstrating that the person was negligent, and that their negligence caused your injuries.
The legal term negligence generally means a failure to act with the care of an ordinary person under the circumstances. The legal standard in a specific case depends on the circumstances of the injury and the type of personal injury case (such as a vehicle accident, premises liability, or product liability).
In addition, you need to provide evidence of the value of the harm you suffered, which means that you need to calculate and prove the compensation you should receive. Demonstrating negligence and the value of your claim requires assistance from a knowledgeable injury lawyer.
Your lawyer’s responsibility includes collecting a considerable amount of documentation, conducting a legal and factual analysis, and then pursuing the case to conclusion through negotiations or a lawsuit. The following is a brief, general summary of all the work that must be done to succeed to secure compensation in a personal injury case. Your responsibilities are to continue to receive the medical care recommended by your doctor’s so you can physically recover from your injuries and to stay in contact with your attorney so they know how your treatment is progressing.
To prove negligence of the person who caused your injuries, your lawyer collects all available information relating to the accident. That includes police and accident reports, any available video surveillance, witness statements, photos of the accident scene, and any other evidence that relates to the occurrence. It also may be necessary to interview people who witnessed the accident or were present at the scene.
To determine the amount of compensation that you deserve under Virginia law, your lawyer obtains all your medical records and bills, insurance statements, and similar documents. Records of your employment wages and income are also part of the evidence. In some cases, expert opinions are necessary to establish the long-term harm to you physically, personally, and in terms of your ability to work.
After collecting and analyzing all the relevant information and conducting a thorough investigation, your lawyer formulates a strategy for approaching your case, including the amount of compensation to pursue. Your attorney discusses all these aspects of your case with you before proceeding.
In most cases, an insurance company represents the at-fault person. Your lawyer negotiates with the insurance representative in an effort to secure a fair settlement. Your lawyer has strategies and techniques for leveraging the evidence and persuading the insurance company to pay your claim, just as the insurance company has tested strategies for paying as little as possible on a claim.
If negotiations do not yield a satisfactory settlement or the two-year statute of limitations for pursuing your personal injury claim approaches, your lawyer will initiate a court action against the at-fault party on your behalf. Filing a case in court requires compliance with numerous court rules, policies, and procedures. Initiating and conducting litigation requires representation by an experienced injury attorney.
Our Virginia injury attorneys at Renfro & Renfro understand how an accident causes stressful challenges and changes your life in an instant. As we aggressively pursue your claim, our team provides the guidance and support you need, allowing you to concentrate on healing. We shoulder all the work of securing your financial recovery.
In our client-focused practice, we build a close working relationship with each client through open, attentive communication. We always answer questions and address concerns and keep you advised of the progress and status of your case. Our responsive approach puts clients at ease and gives them complete confidence that their legal interests are fully protected. Our results-driven litigation strategy ensures diligent representation at every stage of the process.
If you’re seriously injured in an accident, the top priority is getting professional medical treatment. Once treatment is underway, contact us at the earliest possible time. The sooner you talk with us, the sooner your case will be underway. Gathering evidence is much easier soon after an accident than it is if considerable time passes. Importantly, you should never talk to the insurance company for the at-fault person before you contact a lawyer. Talking directly with an insurance company that represents the individual at fault can adversely impact your ability to recover compensation.
Our experienced Richmond injury lawyers at Renfro & Renfro provide a free consultation and case evaluation to accident victims. We serve clients in the Greater Richmond Region, including in Petersburg and Dinwiddie, and throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. Whether or not you’re certain that you need an injury lawyer to be fully compensated for your injuries, we welcome you to schedule a free consultation by using our online form.