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When Should You Hire an Accident Attorney in Virginia?

— June 17, 2022

In order to prove negligence, your lawyer will first have to show that the party at fault had a duty to ensure other people’s safety and they breached that duty.

One of the most common questions Virginia residents ask themselves following an accident is when they should hire a lawyer or, indeed, why. The general idea is that you should always talk to an experienced Virginia accident lawyer if there are any doubts as to who was responsible for the accident.

When do I need an accident lawyer in Virginia?

Virginia is one of the few American states that still uses the contributory negligence rule. Under this rule, if you are found partly to blame for a car crash you may lose your right to receive damages. Let’s say that you were a few miles per hour above the speed limit. There was little traffic on the highway and you were perfectly in control of the vehicle when a reckless  driver switched lanes abruptly and slammed into you. Even if other drivers at the scene agree that it was the other driver’s reckless maneuver that caused the crash, you may be denied damages because you were speeding. In most states you could get damages, but in this state you should hire a good accident lawyer in Virginia Beach to make sure of it. 

Why do I need a lawyer?

Motor vehicle accidents account for the larger part of an accident attorney’s activity, but they can also help you with other types of accidents, such as slip and falls, medical malpractice, nursing home abuse or defective products.

When you file a personal injury claim, you need to prove your injuries were caused by someone’s negligence. This may not be easy as you can expect the guilty party to lawyer up as well. If you have to fight an insurance company, a hospital or a trucking company, if you were injured in a truck accident, keep in mind that such businesses make good profit each year and can afford very good lawyers. If you don’t have a tough accident lawyer by your side you don’t stand a chance.

How can a lawyer help with my personal injury claim?

In order to prove negligence, your lawyer will first have to show that the party at fault had a duty to ensure other people’s safety and they breached that duty. For example, when you get behind the wheel it is implied that you will do your duty to protect other drivers or pedestrians by obeying road rules. If you are drunk or engage in reckless driving, that’s a clear breach of duty. The same goes for doctors or nursing home staff. They have a duty of care towards their patients and any type of negligence can lead to a personal injury claim.

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Next, your lawyer will have to prove that your injuries were caused by the accident. This is called showing causality. If you were injured in an accident, you might think this is obvious, but insurance adjusters or the lawyers representing the other party won’t see it that way. As an example, if you suffered an injury to your back, the insurance adjuster may claim you had problems with your back long before the accident so you don’t deserve damages.

Finally, your lawyer will help you put a value on your total damages, which will include economic damages, such as medical bills and lost wages, as well as non-economic damages to compensate you for your pain and suffering. 

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