Have you been recently injured in a car accident? Check out these 3 car accident tips, then call our office for a free consultation.
1. Car Accident Case Value
I’m often asked what the best way is to evaluate what a car crash case is worth. There is no simple formula for evaluating what any particular car crash case is worth. Virginia cases tend to be more difficult than most states to evaluate because we have what’s called a “contributory negligence” statute in Virginia that bars any recovery for an injured person if they were at all at fault in causing the accident or not taking reasonable care for their own safety. That can translate into a lot of reasons why your case may have complications that cause it to be worth somewhat less.In Virginia, car crash cases are normally evaluated by the cost of medical care to recover from the injuries you had in the crash, plus your wage loss, and plus a component for pain and suffering. There are other claims that you can make in more complex cases, for example, permanent disabilities or orthotic aids, or inconveniences in life, such as the inability to take care of your children or inability to engage in activities or pastimes that you used to do, or other types of inconveniences and difficulties that you encounter in life.
2. Recoverable Damages in a Car Accident
Usually, the first question people want to know when they come to see me about a Virginia car crash case is, what are the different things that I can recover for in this case? Of course, we always start with the medical issues. We focus on the cost of medical care and the cost of future treatments or disabilities that may arise because of the injury that you had in this crash. The other things that you can recover for are wage loss, loss of earning capacity, which simply means what your future earning capabilities are or how they’re restricted because of the injuries that you’ve had. Other types of injuries that you can recover for would be scarring or permanent disabilities, which would mean limitation or loss of use of part of your body because of the car crash injuries. The other things that you can recover for in Virginia are pain and suffering and inconveniences of life for things that you’re no longer able to do, whether they be recreational activities, family activities, or charitable work that you might have done that you no longer can do because of your injuries. In each of those cases, you can make claims for those inconveniences or problems that you will have to suffer as a result of your Virginia car crash case.
3. Car Accident Settlement Timeline
Sometimes I’m asked by people who have very serious injuries from a car accident in Virginia, “How long is it going to take to resolve my case?” This usually means that this person has reached a point in their case where they’ve run out of patience with the delays or the ongoing course of treatment. I always tell those people that it’s very important that you be patient and allow your doctors to do their jobs, and get to completion of what we call maximum medical improvement before we try to finalize or wrap up your case through settlement or litigation. It is difficult to tell, in the most serious cases, how long it may take to resolve your case, but we never want to wrap your case up before you’ve completed treatment because there could be hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical expenses ahead that will be sacrificed if you don’t wait for a full evaluation of the extent of your injuries.Part of the recovery process that every person must go through after a car crash is to follow the protocol or the instructions and directions from your doctor. Once that process is completed, it’s relatively quick to resolve the case by simply presenting all of the medical history, and all of the ancillary losses that you’ve sustained, and put together a written package called “the demand.” Usually within 60 to 90 days of doing that, a reasonable offer is made.
In some small percentage of cases, the insurance company will try to layoff your medical history to some preexisting accident, or some other kind of condition that you have that is unrelated to the crash, and therefore they shouldn’t have to pay for it. In those cases, we have to go to litigation and present medical evidence to prove that that insurance company’s claim is bunk. It is increasingly frequent in Virginia car crash cases that insurance companies will try to play that game to minimize the value of the most serious accident cases. In those cases, it usually takes a year to three years to resolve your case. To wait that length of time means that you could recover five, ten, or even fifteen times more in the costs that are associated with your ongoing care than if you were to try to prematurely wrap up the case within six or nine months of the crash.
Were you or a loved one seriously injured in a motor vehicle crash and have questions about these 3 car accident tips? Contact a Virginia car accident lawyer at The Strong Law Firm today for a free confidential consultation and case evaluation. Let our experience work for you.
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