If you’re injured in a Virginia accident that might be another person’s fault, you need to know how to protect your legal rights. A good place to start is by reading answers to frequently asked questions from our Richmond personal injury attorneys at Renfro & Renfro. We have over a decade of experience helping clients throughout the metro area and the Commonwealth of Virginia with personal injury claims.
Personal injury law is a body of statutes and case decisions that determine legal liability for physical and mental injuries received in an accident. It covers injuries received in car crashes and other motor vehicle accidents, slip-and-fall premises liability cases, injuries from defective products, and other types of accidents.
Each state establishes its own personal injury rules. In Virginia, personal injury liability generally is based on fault. A person who negligently injures another individual is legally responsible for compensating the injured victim. In practice, compensation is usually paid by an insurance company representing the at-fault person.
The top priority after any accident or injury is seeking professional medical assistance. That’s true even if you don’t think your injuries are serious, or even if you don’t think you’re injured. Some serious injuries, like traumatic brain injury, aren’t immediately apparent right after an accident. Immediately after any accident, you should get a thorough medical evaluation to find out whether the accident caused any injuries.
In some circumstances, you may not need an attorney to help you recover compensation. However, if your injuries are serious and long-lasting, you should talk with a lawyer at the earliest possible time after getting medical treatment. For detailed information about how to determine whether you need legal assistance, please read our separate page that answers the question, Do I Need an Injury Lawyer?
The only way to know for sure whether you have a legal claim is to talk with an experienced personal injury attorney. Making the determination requires analyzing the facts and circumstances of the accident and applying the laws to those facts.
If you received serious injuries, you should never talk to the at-fault person’s insurance company. Their only goal is to pay you as little as possible, or even pay you nothing at all. If they contact you, tell them — or better yet, have someone else tell them — that your lawyer will contact them. If you talk with the insurance adjuster, you may jeopardize your legal claim and affect your ability to get compensation.
Personal injury law provides many different factors that enter into calculating compensation for injuries caused by someone else. Every case is different and requires detailed analysis and complex calculation. Reimbursement for pain and suffering is one element of personal injury compensation. Other factors include the nature of your injuries, how long it will take you to recover, impact on your employment, effect on your personal life, and more.
Only an experienced personal injury lawyer can give you an estimate of what you can recover based on an analysis of your claim. Insurance adjusters won’t give you an accurate answer if you ask them how much you can get.
While some cases do go to trial in court, most cases end in a settlement between the injured person and the insurance company for the at-fault party. When you consult with a lawyer, you should make certain that your lawyer has litigation experience if a trial becomes necessary. At Renfro & Renfro, we negotiate aggressively with insurance companies on behalf of clients, but we do not hesitate to take a case to trial when a lawsuit is the best way to get fair compensation for a client.
The length of time it takes to recover compensation in a personal injury case varies greatly. Every case is different. How long your case takes depends on the insurance company’s willingness to negotiate, nature of your injuries, facts relating to the accident, and amount of compensation. More complex injuries and accidents typically take longer to reach settlement.
If you receive injuries on the job, you probably have Virginia workers’ compensation insurance coverage. Depending on how the accident happened and who is at fault, you may also have a personal injury claim. That’s why it’s important to have a lawyer who handles both types of injury cases, like our workers’ comp and personal injury attorneys at Renfro & Renfro.
Our experienced Richmond injury attorneys at Renfro & Renfro provide a free consultation and case evaluation for accident victims. You are under no obligation if you contact us and talk with us about your case, but you will learn more about your legal rights. We can also help with your workers’ compensation claim if you were injured on the job.
We serve clients in the Greater Richmond Region, including in Petersburg and Dinwiddie, and throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. We welcome you to schedule a consultation by using our online form.