Were you hurt in an accident caused by someone else? Learn the process of seeking compensation from the at-fault party in Virginia and how a Norfolk injury attorney can help.
Being a victim of someone else’s negligence is traumatic. Accidents and injuries can occur no matter how cautious you are. No matter the type of injury sustained, you need the help of a Norfolk injury attorney to protect your rights.
Personal injury can include actual bodily harm and emotional distress. The more serious an injury, the greater its impact on your life. Injury victims have a right to recover financial compensation against the party responsible. The essence of the compensation benefits is to make you whole again.
It can be difficult to file a personal injury claim without legal assistance. Insurance companies are tactical in using your inexperience and vulnerability to their advantage. They can manipulate you to accept fault for the accident, hence minimizing or outrightly denying your claim. With an experienced Norfolk injury attorney, you may have a better chance of securing compensation for your wounds and financial losses.
How Do I Know if I Have a Personal Injury Claim?
Personal injury claims in Norfolk, Virginia, are founded on the legal principle of negligence. Every individual is legally obligated to exercise a standard of reasonable care while performing any acts that could harm others. For example, every motorist has a duty of care to drive safely, etc.
Any event and accident that causes physical, emotional, or financial harm due to another’s fault give rise to injury claims. The negligent party must have violated their duty of care, resulting in your injuries. You have a personal injury claim if you can prove the responsible party’s liability.
Personal injury accidents include:
- Auto accidents
- Truck accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Bite injuries
- Construction accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Burn injuries
- Defective product liability
- Wrongful death
How Many Personal Injury Claims Go to Court?
An injury victim can exercise their legal rights by filing an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. Most cases are settled out of court. In fact, navigating your settlement claims process with the insurance company is the first thing to do.
A personal injury settlement compensates you for the accidental injuries and losses. It also releases the insurance company from future liability of the incident. Once an acceptable settlement can be agreed upon, your claim is resolved.
Only a few percentages of personal injury claims end up in court. Court proceedings can be expensive and time-consuming. If your case is complex or parties cannot agree on a fair settlement, you can go to court. A trial date will be set, and the judge or jury will determine your claim.
According to Virginia’s Statute of Limitation laws, you have two years to file a personal injury lawsuit. If you attempt to file after this time, your claim will be dismissed. In addition, you will be barred from seeking financial compensation for the damages.
What Is the Procedure For a Personal Injury Claim?
The legal process of personal injury claims in Norfolk, Virginia, includes:
Contact a Norfolk Injury Attorney
The first step to filing a personal injury claim is to contact a Norfolk injury attorney. A lawyer ensures your case is represented in your best interest. At the initial consultation, be completely honest about the accident or event. Your Norfolk injury attorney will evaluate and assess the worth of your claim.
Your lawyer will investigate your case. Ideally, accident victims gather first-hand evidence by themselves. However, it may not always be the case. Your lawyer will probe the detail of your case to determine the fault of the liable party.
Send a Demand Letter
Once the negligent party has been identified, a letter of demand will be sent out to their insurance carrier. The letter sets out the details of the incident and your demands. Upon receipt of the letter, the insurance company will typically:
- Confirm receipt of the demand letter
- Start settlement negotiations by offering a compensation amount
- Continue negotiating until there’s a reasonable settlement
- Refuse to negotiate if the insurance company denies liability
Gather Evidence of the Accident
An accident lawyer knows the importance of assembling and preserving evidence. Evidence helps to build a solid personal injury claim and prove liability. In addition, it proves the nature and extent of your injuries and losses. Evidence includes:
- Police or incident report
- Medical record
- Witness statements
- Details and receipts of any expenses incurred
- Property damage
- Photos and videos of the accident
Negotiate a Potential Settlement
Personal injury claims are seldomly settled in court. Parties to injury claims usually want to resolve them as quickly as possible. It saves time and reduces legal costs. However, be careful in accepting settlements without a lawyer present.
Insurance companies don’t have your best interest. They will deploy tactics to deny your claim or pay you less than you deserve. Therefore, it is wise to hire a lawyer to negotiate with them on your behalf.
File a Personal Injury Lawsuit
While it is common to settle out of court, your claim may be disputed. Parties may fail to agree on a settlement amount, giving rise to legal action in court. If your case goes to trial, the judge or jury will determine the case and award compensatory damages.
What Damages Can You Claim for Personal Injury?
If you are hurt due to the avoidable negligence of another, you are entitled to monetary compensation. Your claim will be based on the severity of your injuries and the damages suffered. Your legal team can help you recover compensatory damages for the following:
- Medical care (ongoing and future medical expenses)
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Wrongful death
- Punitive damages
Note that not all injury cases will have these damages. Your lawyer will analyze the scope of your damages to know what you are entitled to.
A Norfolk Injury Attorney at VACAIL May Be Able to Help
Accident injuries can be financially draining and life-altering. If you are injured because of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. At VACAIL, we understand how these incidents can impact your life.
We will help build a strong case substantiated with evidence and win you fair compensation. We desire nothing but the best for you. Schedule a free consultation with a Norfolk injury attorney today.