Virginia follows the at-fault insurance laws when it comes to personal injury cases meaning that the liable party will be responsible for compensating you for the losses of the injury victim. However, securing a fair financial settlement with the at-fault party is not as simple as it seems.
Firstly, you should never walk down this road alone if you wish to get compensated fairly.
But even apart from securing legal representation from an experienced personal injury attorney, your duties are far from over. There’s a lot you can do/not do to make or break your personal injury claim, you’ll have to extra careful about what you say and do if you don’t want your settlement sum slashed.
In this article, we’ll discuss how you can maximize your payout under Virginia’s personal injury law, how such cases progress, and how an attorney can help.
Proven Strategies For Maximizing The Payout For Personal Injury Cases In Virginia
We’ve extracted these strategies and tips from years of practical experience in personal injury practice. Be sure to follow through with this plan as best as you can because your actions will determine the fate of your case, if you want fair compensation, you’ll have to act in time:
Explore Your Legal Rights
First of all, if you’re in the USA, you have rights, whether you’re a citizen or not, so don’t let that hold you back. Many accident victims give up on the idea of personal injury compensation gearing that their social position or financial status may become a factor – it doesn’t!
You can hire a personal injury lawyer and have them fight your case for you without paying a penny upfront, it’s called the contingency fee plan.
Just be sure to contact a lawyer as soon as possible in such cases and have them evaluate your situation to suggest the best course of action. Lawyers make it a point to share your legal rights and options with you so that you never feel like sticking to an inflexible plan.
Report The Case To The Police & Keep A Copy Of The Accident Report
In most cases, reporting the event to the police is essential. For instance, in the case of motor vehicle accidents, you’ll have to call 911 right from the spot. This is a legal requirement in all of the states, including Virginia, and when the police officers arrive at the scene, tell them all that they need to know.
If, for some reason, you could not ask them to come over at that point, just visit the nearest station and file your report there. Reporting the matter to the police ensures creates a sort of evidence pool for your case because the law enforcement officers will investigate matters on their end as well and mention their findings (and maybe hint towards negligence) in their report.
Be sure to get your hands on this report.
Gather Evidence & Document Anything Related To Your Case
Evidence is everything in personal injury law, if the injured person fails to produce a firsthand record of the event, they essentially deprive the insurance adjuster and the lawyer from the view of the accident scene as they saw it. Photos and videos of your injuries, property damage, accident scene, and the surrounding details will help you build a coherent and strong narrative.
Then comes all the documentation.
Medical bills (receipts for medical expenses), extra expenses/special damages, property damages, lost wages, loss of future earnings, and so on, you need to account for all of these via documented evidence. Saying it won’t make the insurance adjuster believe you, you’ll need the documents that prove your claims.
Moreover, a journal and statements from your doctor, family member, and friends, will also help you create a realistic picture of your physical pain and emotional distress due to the accident, thus ensure fairness in the non-economic damages calculations.
Don’t Delay Visiting The Doctor
The heading makes it pretty clear: visiting the doctor should be your top-most priority in a personal injury case, you should not delay it in any situation. Ideally, you should seek medical treatment within 72 hours after the accident happened, three days – this is the deadline, stick to it. Especially if you have had a serious spinal injury.
Your visit will not only unveil the full extent of your losses but also give you an estimated time for recovery. This means that your lawyers will be better able to position themselves in your case and calculate the long-term medical costs (i.e. for physical therapy) with more accuracy.
Just be sure to visit the doctor, no exceptions!
Exaggeration is a type of lying, even inadvertently, you may say things that are either distorted or not true – never do this. Lawyers hate it when their clients lie to them. Avoid exaggerations, avoid misquoting factors, avoid distorting the events, avoid introducing any inaccuracy in how things happened.
Your lawyer will come to know, one way or another, if you lie about something in your case – you’ve got much more to lose out of such a misadventure than they do, so be careful about what you say. If you don’t remember a certain detail, be honest and tell them that you don’t know.
Just be truthful and factual.
For instance, teenage drivers are known not to be reasonably careful, and if that is the case with you, don’t lie about it, let your lawyer know, and work it out with them if possible.
If You Have To Be A Witness, Go For It
Okay, there are two things here: firstly, you’ll need witnesses for your case, which you’ll find at the accident scene. However, you may yourself also have to become a witness. Let’s say that the negligent driver was drunk and thus becomes involved in a criminal case.
You might be asked to come and testify. You should definitely go, your statement will not only help reveal the truth but the judgment itself will become a valuable factor in your case. Your social service thus will help your personal injury claim as well.
Share Your Accident/Damages History With Your Lawyer
Have you ever had a car accident in the past? Were you ever seriously injured that created some long-term effects? These sorts of details are important for lawyers who need to be ready for any sort of argument about the validity of their claims.
Share your history and medical records with the attorney and be sure to leave no page unturned while preparing the case.
Stay Off Social Media For A While
You’re probably yearning to post on Facebook or Twitter about how you got involved in a crash but survived and that you’re okay even if in deep agony. You may have meant “okay” as in you survived, however, your words can be used against you so be very careful.
The insurance adjuster may simply assume that you’re being deceitful about the intensity of your injuries. Better to stay off the social networks for a while than to risk slashing down your financial compensation sum.
Avoid Giving A Statement To The Insurance Adjuster
If the insurance rep from the liable party’s insurance provider calls, you should just share the basic details of the crash with them, i.e. affirm that it happened, where, when, and so on. Don’t go into any details and don’t give any statements about how things happened.
Instead, you should consider talking to a lawyer beforehand, preparing your statement, and then delivering it when the time’s right. Simply excuse yourself from the conversation by saying that you’re not feeling well, a perfectly valid excuse.
Your lawyer should be the first person you discuss your case with, period.
Hopefully, you, as the injured party, will be able to settle fairly as per the liability insurance coverage if you follow through with these tips.
The VACAIL Law Firm Can Handle Your Bodily Injury Claim In Virginia
Personal injury cases demand not only exceptional skill and a history of success but also a level of understanding on part of lawyers towards the condition of their client. For us, at the VACAIL law firm, every client is like a family member in distress and we make it a point to make them feel valued and comfortable throughout the legal process.
If you or a loved one has suffered losses due to a personal injury incident in Virginia, you should make haste in calling us. Be sure not to discuss your case with the at-fault party’s insurance company, instead, you should explore the details of your case and your options with our lawyers boasting years of legal experience.
Not only do we offer effective legal representation at all stages of the personal injury claim settlement process including fair settlement negotiations and trials, but also make it a point to guide you through the best course of action. The initial consultation is free, so don’t hesitate to call us, we won’t oblige you for anything.
Also, if you do plan on hiring us, know that we work on a contingency fee basis which means that you won’t have to worry a bit about paying us until you’ve won maximum compensation.
Call us today to learn more!
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