Car accidents often happen quickly, and it can be difficult to prove exactly what happened in the circumstances leading up to the accident and who was at fault. Because multiple factors affect a car accident claim, and because the interaction of these factors in a lawsuit can become complex, it is extremely important that you seek legal representation to assist you with your claim. However, it’s also important to understand how and why legal representation gives you an advantage.
In Virginia, Fault Is Key
Legal representation in your car crash case is crucial because Virginia follows a pure contributory negligence rule when it comes to determining fault. This means, even if you are only 1% at fault for your own accident, you could be barred from recovering financially for your damages. However, an attorney may be able to show that the other driver is 100% at fault for the accident and is, therefore, liable for any costs you incurred as a result of the crash.
Insurance Companies May Try to Trick You
You can be certain that the other driver’s insurance company will contact you after an accident, and the agent will try to save his company as much money as possible by using tricky tactics, including:
- Asking confusing questions
- Recording a statement and using it against you
- Surveilling your social media posts and using those against you
If you hire an attorney to handle your case, however, you can avoid conversations with insurance agents by politely referring them to your legal representation. Additionally, your attorney can advise you on how to handle your social media and daily activities to preserve your recovery.
Evidence Can Change a Case
After a car accident, it’s likely you’ve collected some evidence necessary for a successful injury claim. However, an attorney can use this evidence properly and obtain even more for you, giving you a better chance at a complete recovery. Important evidence may include:
- Eyewitness statements
- Dashboard camera footage
- Expert witnesses
- Post-accident photos and videos
- The police report
- Cell-phone records
You May Not Fully Understand Your Losses
It’s rarely wise to handle your own case. Because your recovery is the priority, it’s important that you fully understand the worth of your claim. An attorney can help you grasp the extent of your losses, such as:
- Medical bills. This includes what you need to pay current bills and what you may need to pay in the future.
- Lost wages. Your injury may keep you from working temporarily or may permanently affect your ability to work.
- Property damage. This includes any body work your car may need or replacement costs if it was totaled. Additionally, valuable items inside your car such as a laptop may need repairs or replacement after the crash.
- Pain and suffering. Your car crash may result in permanent or long-term disability, disfigurement, or loss of a loved one.
Additionally, hiring an attorney also means you’ve recruited an experienced negotiator who can advocate fiercely for you and earn adequate compensation for your damages.
The Paperwork Must Be Accurate and Timely
Virginia car accident laws are complex, numerous, and time sensitive. However, the logistics of filing a lawsuit, going through discovery, and filing any necessary motions correctly and on time may be too complicated without an attorney. Even small mistakes could lower your compensation.
Hire an Attorney to Maximize Your Compensation
Even when insurance companies are required to make payouts, they look for any opportunity to minimize them. But an attorney can help you prove the severity of your injuries, so you receive the compensation you truly need to recover from your injuries. The team at Kearney, Freeman, Fogarty & Joshi is ready to review your case in a free consultation and help you understand your options. Speak with a member of our team by calling us today.
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