Common Questions About Personal Injury, Family Law, and Criminal Defense in Virginia
Do you have questions about how Virginia laws apply to your situation or what you can do to reach your legal goals after an accident, arrest, or divorce? Our experienced attorneys in Fairfax answer some of the most frequently asked questions from clients here. If you don’t see the answer to your question here, or if you need more information about your rights, reach out to us today at 877-652-1553.
- Page 1
What are the benefits of hiring a Virginia truck accident lawyer after a semi-truck crash?
Why Hire a Virginia Semi-Truck Attorney
Semi-truck accidents are different than other types of collisions. Not only are these crashes more likely to inflict serious, disabling injuries, they are also comparatively complex. Since the interstate transportation industry is regulated at the state and federal levels, trucking companies are held to a variety of rules and regulations. While these rules and regulations often work to the benefit of victims, they can be difficult to navigate without special legal training.
An experienced semi-truck accident attorney can help you bolster your chances of receiving a favorable settlement in many ways.
Investigating the Accident
Your semi-truck accident attorney can help you investigate the causes and circumstances of your accident by:
- Collecting evidence from the crash site
- Interviewing eyewitnesses
- Inspecting the damage to your vehicle and the damage to the semi-truck
- Examining the at-fault truck driver’s employment history, qualifications, and drug test results
- Reviewing the trucking company’s safety and violations records
In ordinary automobile accident claims, there is usually only one defendant: the at-fault driver.
However, semi-truck injury lawsuits typically investigate the potential wrongdoing of multiple parties. For example, the employing company could have contributed to the accident by pressuring the driver to remain on the road when they were tired. Consequently, your case could include several defendants, including:
- The semi-truck driver
- The trucking company
- A cargo shipper
- A vehicle manufacturer
- A vehicle parts maker
Your attorney will review the available evidence to identify potential defendants, doing everything in their power to ensure you receive a fair settlement.
Negotiating a Settlement
Semi-truck companies are required by law to purchase and maintain large liability insurance policies. However, insurance companies are still for-profit enterprises that are typically more interested in increasing their profits than paying fair settlements.
Even if you have been seriously injured, the adjuster might try to devalue or deny your claim by:
- Asking you to provide a recorded statement, which they could scour for contradictions, hoping to use your own words against you
- Demanding that you consent to a so-called “independent medical examination,” which might be scheduled with a physician with a reputation for denying injury claims
- Refusing to negotiate in good faith
Insurance adjusters will often recommend that accident victims avoid hiring an attorney because they know that victims without representation are more likely to accept a lowball settlement.
Maximizing Your Compensation
Virginia does not currently cap the damages available to semi-truck accident victims. However, assessing the totality of your damages could be difficult, especially if you require continuing medical care or long-term assistance.
Your semi-truck accident attorney could help you claim damages for:
- Your past, present, and anticipated future medical expenses
- Physical rehabilitation
- Prescription medication co-pays
- Lost income
- Diminished earning potential
- Wrongful death
While Virginia does not cap damages, it does have a strict statute of limitations. Under Virginia’s statute of limitations, accident victims have a limited timeframe to file a personal injury lawsuit. If you wait too long to take action, the court could dismiss your claim without giving you a chance to tell your side of the story.
Contact an Attorney Today
Kearney, Freeman, Fogarty & Joshi believe that nobody should have to pay the price for a trucking company’s poor policies. If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a Virginia semi-truck accident that was not your fault, you could be entitled to significant compensation. Please send us a message online, or call us at 877-652-1553 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation as soon as possible.
How will I pay my car accident lawyer?
However, Kearney, Freeman, Fogarty & Joshi, PLLC works on a contingency fee basis. We understand that money might be tight, so when we accept a new case, we never ask our clients to pay for representation upfront. Instead, we only accept payment as a percentage of your eventual settlement. If we cannot secure compensation, you will not owe us anything.
Contingency Fees Make Legal Representation Affordable
People often make the mistake of thinking that experienced legal counsel is a luxury only the wealthiest Virginians can afford. While this stereotype might be unfair, it has some basis in reality: many attorneys do charge sky-high fees, asking for premium payment in return for premium representation.
However, the practice of charging exorbitant fees is not universal—nor is it always standard. Most personal injury law firms work on a contingency fee basis. They will only charge clients after winning their case, taking a percentage of the eventual insurance settlement or court-ordered award. This charge is called a “contingency fee” because it is contingent upon a successful resolution. If they don’t win your case, they do not get paid.
Because personal injury attorneys work almost exclusively with people who have suffered serious, accident-related injuries, they understand that victims have to re-direct their income and savings to potentially life-saving treatment, and it would not be fair to ask that they risk their recovery for representation.
Kearney, Freeman, Fogarty & Joshi, PLLC has spent decades aggressively advocating for the rights of Virginia car accident victims. Since our clients are often in pain, facing financial ruin, and struggling to reclaim their independence, we do not expect our clients to be able to pay for our services until their case is resolved.
How a Virginia Car Crash Lawyer Helps Secure a Fair Settlement
You do not need a lawyer to file a claim for compensation after being involved in a Virginia car crash that was not your fault. However, working with an experienced personal injury attorney has many benefits. Since automobile insurance companies are for-profit enterprises, they will often do everything in their power to devalue or deny claims. They might:
- Accuse you of exaggerating or faking your injuries
- Ask you to consent to an “independent” medical examination, hoping to blame your accident-related injuries on a pre-existing condition
- Ask you to provide a recorded statement, later using your own words against you
- Refuse to negotiate in good faith, demanding never-ending “evidence” to support your claim
How Kearney, Freeman, Fogarty & Joshi, PLLC Can Fight Underhanded Insurance Strategies
- We can investigate the causes and circumstances of the accident
- We can interview eyewitnesses
- We can subpoena traffic camera footage and surveillance recordings
- We can communicate with the insurance company on our clients’ behalf
Our attorneys take on the hard work of claim negotiations, letting our clients focus their energy on regaining their physical health and mental well-being.
A Virginia Lawyer Can Help You Obtain Potential Damages
- Your past, present, and future medical expenses
- Physical rehabilitation
- Prescription medication co-pays
- Reconstructive surgery
- Lost income from work
- Diminished earning potential
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Wrongful death
Virginia does not currently cap the damages that car accident victims could receive after filing a personal injury lawsuit. However, you need to act fast. While Virginia might not cap damages, it does have a strict statute of limitations. If you wait too long to take action, the court could automatically dismiss your claim, and you won’t be able to obtain compensation.
Contact a Virginia Attorney Today
If you were injured in a Virginia automobile accident that was not your fault, you could be entitled to significant damages through an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. Please send Kearney, Freeman, Fogarty & Joshi, PLLC a message online, or call us at 877-652-1553 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.
Can there be more than one defendant in a Virginia motor vehicle wrongful death case?
Wrongful Death Claims in Virginia
If your loved one died due to another person’s negligence, you and your family could be entitled to significant compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit. While many people are reluctant to file wrongful death claims because they do not wish to profit from the loss of a loved one, wrongful death lawsuits are about much more than money.
Benefits of a Successful Claim
- Provide your family with the money needed to pay for your loved one’s funeral costs and burial expenses
- Hold a wrongdoer accountable in civil court
- Prevent other members of your community from suffering a similar loss
Although there are benefits to filing a wrongful death claim, these claims can be complex. Even if you have a seemingly open-and-shut case.
What You Must Prove in a Virginia Wrongful Death Case
- The person who caused the accident owed your loved one a “legal duty of care,” meaning they had an obligation to protect the safety of your loved one.
- The person who caused the accident violated their legal duty of care by acting negligently.
- The breach of the defendant’s duty of care caused your loved one’s accident.
- You and your family have suffered a significant loss that could be alleviated through the award of damages.
Identifying the Right Defendants in a Virginia Wrongful Death Claim
Since the plaintiffs in a Virginia wrongful death lawsuit have to prove beyond reasonable doubt that another party’s wrongdoing caused their loss, identifying and pursuing the right defendants is critical to a successful case.
Possible Defendants in a VA Motor Vehicle Wrongful Death Claim
- The negligent driver
- The employer of the negligent driver, if they were on the clock and driving a vehicle for work-related purposes at the time of the accident
- The owner of the vehicle, if the vehicle was owned by a third party
- An automobile repair shop, if a faulty repair caused or contributed to the accident
- An automotive parts maker, if a defective part caused or contributed to the accident
- An automobile manufacturer, if a manufacturing defect caused or contributed to the accident
- A government entity, such as the Virginia Department of Transportation or a municipal infrastructure body, if the accident was caused or exacerbated by a dangerous road condition
Filing claims against more than one wrongdoer could increase a family’s chances to recover damages. However, plaintiffs must ensure they have sufficient evidence to file a claim against multiple parties.
If you name too many defendants—and cannot prove their liability—the court may be skeptical of your intent. In a worst-case scenario, the defendants could allege that you are seeking to monetize your loved one’s tragic Virginia car accident, causing the judge to dismiss your case before you ever get the chance to tell your story.
Speak to a Virginia Wrongful Death Attorney Today
Kearney, Freeman, Fogarty & Joshi, PLLC have served clients across Fairfax and Northern Virginia for more than three decades. Our experienced attorneys know how to construct a compelling, evidence-based case to persuade an insurance company, a judge, or a jury that a wrongdoer should be held accountable for your loved one’s wrongful death.
However, you shouldn’t wait to take action. While Virginia does allow wrongful death plaintiffs to recover damages on behalf of a deceased family member, the state also has a strict statute of limitations. If the statute of limitations lapses, the court could automatically dismiss your claim on a technicality.
Do not lose your chance to get justice for your loved one. Please send Kearney, Freeman, Fogarty & Joshi, PLLC a message online, or call us at 877-652-1553 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.
What roads are the most dangerous for pedestrians and bicyclists in Fairfax County?
In any collision between an automobile and an individual, the motor vehicle usually avoids damage and the driver avoids injury, while the walker, cyclist, or jogger sustains serious and even life-threatening injuries. Although local traffic safety advocates have aggressively campaigned for better-marked crosswalks and bicycle lanes, Fairfax County still has a number of dangerous roads and routes.
The Most Dangerous Roads in Fairfax County
Virginia tries to protect pedestrians and bicyclists by affording them the right of way over motor vehicles in all crosswalks and intersections, as well as granting bicyclists the same rights as automobiles on public roadways. However, even stringent laws cannot prevent every accident. Fairfax County has several areas that witness unusually high incidences of automobile collisions, pedestrian accidents, and bicycle crashes. While many accidents are caused by reckless motorists, sometimes a combination of poor driving, heavy traffic, and flawed road design can increase the risk of collisions, and there are many dangerous roads in Fairfax County, including:
- Route 7, especially between Baileys Crossroad and Seven Corners. This high-traffic commercial area adjoins several closed-access motorways but lacks numerous crosswalks and bicycle lanes.
- Route 1, between Alexandria and Dumfries. Similar to Route 7, this road passes through a number of high-traffic commercial areas.
- Route 29, between Centreville and Fairfax.
- Route 50, a heavily trafficked route that passes through commercial areas as well as densely settled residential neighborhoods.
- Backlick Road, a major multi-lane road plagued by fast-moving traffic and hazardous intersections.
- Telegraph Road, which receives heavy commuter and city bus traffic, despite passing through predominately suburban and semi-rural areas.
- Shreve Road at the Washington and Old Dominion Trail, a particularly hazardous blind turn across a popular suburban hiking trail and bicycle path.
- Old Keene Mill Road and Franconia Road, between Franconia and North Springfield.
- The Columbia Turnpike, especially the eastbound portion near the Virginia-Washington, D.C. border.
What to Do After a Virginia Pedestrian or Bicycle Accident
If you were injured in a Fairfax County pedestrian or bicycle accident that was not your fault, you could be entitled to significant compensation through an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. However, proving that a motorist was at-fault could be difficult.
Building Your VA Legal Case if You Were Struck by a Vehicle
- Seek immediate medical attention. You should always visit a physician after a pedestrian or bicycle accident, even if you do not believe you sustained severe injuries. Some common, seemingly minor injuries, such as road rash, could become more serious if not properly treated. Additionally, seeing a doctor shows the insurance company that you have serious concerns about your physical well-being and are not simply trying to make money from a settlement.
- Call the police. While calling 911 after an accident might seem inconvenient, a police report can assist your attorney and the insurance adjuster in determining whether the motorist should be held liable for your injuries. Even if law enforcement cannot determine who or what caused the accident, their report could still be used as evidence in negotiations or at trial.
- Collect evidence. If you do not need emergency medical treatment, you could collect evidence from the accident site. You could take pictures of your visible injuries, your damaged bicycle, and any nearby crosswalks and traffic control signals.
- Speak to eyewitnesses. If another person witnessed your accident, ask them for their name, phone number, and other contact information. Their testimony could help you at trial.
- Contact an attorney. You stand your best chance at making a full legal recovery when you have an experienced attorney on your side. Kearney, Freeman, Fogarty & Joshi, PLLC have years of experience fighting for the rights of pedestrian and bicycle accident victims in court. We can help you construct a compelling, evidence-based claim to help you get the compensation you need and the justice you deserve.
Contact Our Virginia Car Accident Attorney Today!
If you have been injured in a Fairfax County pedestrian or bicycle accident, send Kearney, Freeman, Fogarty & Joshi, PLLC a message online today, or call us at 877-652-1553 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.
Do I need a Virginia lawyer for my loved one’s wrongful death case?
While no amount of money can compensate for the loss of a relative, a wrongful death claim could help ease your family’s financial burden.
Deciding If a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Is Right for You
If you have recently lost a loved one due to the negligence of someone else, you may be reluctant to file a wrongful death lawsuit, even if you are in desperate need of financial relief. However, a wrongful death lawsuit is about much more than money.
Reasons to File a Wrongful Death Claim
- Hold a wrongdoer accountable for this misconduct. Wrongful death cases do not always lead to criminal convictions. By filing a lawsuit, you could hold a negligent individual, business, or other entity accountable in civil court, establishing that their misconduct caused an unimaginable tragedy.
- Prevent similar tragedies. A wrongful death settlement might help make your community a better, safer place. Your attorney could help you negotiate a policy-oriented agreement, asking that a business, police department, or city change its operating procedures to prevent further deaths.
- Ease your family’s financial suffering. People often hesitate to file wrongful death lawsuits because they fear any legal action will be interpreted as a crass money-grab. However, you should not have to pay for a funeral, a casket, and other burial-related costs because of someone else’s negligence.
The Benefits of Working With a Virginia Wrongful Death Attorney
Virginia law strives to provide everyone with equal access to its civil courts. You do not need a lawyer to initiate an insurance claim, file a wrongful death lawsuit, or appeal a judgment.
However, representing yourself has many risks. You might already be overwhelmed with grief and unable to give your case the attention it deserves. Even if you believe you have the time and energy to pursue a claim, you could be stonewalled by an uncooperative insurance company more intent on preserving its profit margins than compensating for a client’s misconduct.
How an Attorney Can Help
- By protecting your family’s rights. Wrongful death cases can be very complex, with insurance negotiations and award judgments all subject to local, state, and federal laws. If you are not intimately acquainted with Virginia’s legal expectations for claims, your case could be dismissed on a technicality, preventing you from pursuing justice for your loved one.
- By speaking to insurers. If you file a wrongful death claim, you may be forced to contend with a business or city’s insurer. Insurance companies aren’t interested in making things right and want to save their shareholders money. Instead of negotiating with you, an insurer might simply make you a low-ball offer, hoping you’ll accept it quickly. A Virginia wrongful death attorney could protect your family’s rights by standing up to the insurance company and forcing them to take your claim seriously.
- By assessing your damages. You may be entitled to damages beyond funeral fees and burial expenses, including lost income, loss of companionship, and emotional pain and suffering. Kearney, Freeman, Fogarty & Joshi regularly work with experts who could help investigate the circumstances of your loved one’s death and assess the broader value of your claim.
- By giving you peace of mind. Hiring a Virginia wrongful death lawyer spares you the emotional and financial burden of speaking to insurance adjusters, responding to paperwork requests, and going to court.
Contact Us Today
If you want to file a Virginia wrongful death lawsuit, Kearney, Freeman, Fogarty & Joshi, PLLC could help you and your family get the compensation you need and the justice you deserve. Please send us a message online, or call us at 877-652-1553 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation as soon as possible.
Can I trust a VA insurance company after the wrongful death of my family member?
How Adjusters Try to Devalue and Deny Claims
If you lost a loved one in a Virginia car accident, the insurance adjuster might have a lot of genuine sympathy for your situation. But while they may feel sorry that their client’s wrongdoing cost an innocent life, their loyalty is to the insurance company—not you or your family. Insurance companies are most concerned about their bottom line, and they do not turn a profit if they pay every deserving family a fair settlement.
Insurance adjusters are not just investigators—they are trained negotiators who will do everything in their power to devalue or deny your claim, even when you are clearly entitled to compensation.
How Adjusters Try to Deny Claims
- Asking you trick questions when your mind and emotions are clouded by grief
- Asking you to make a recorded statement they will use against you
- Requesting your loved one’s medical history, so they can attribute incurred medical expenses to a pre-existing condition
Since speaking to an insurance adjuster is always risky, you should never agree to provide a recorded statement or sign a medical release form without first speaking to a qualified Virginia wrongful death attorney.
Never Rush to Accept a ‘Fair’ Settlement
If you have a clear-cut case, an adjuster might tell you the insurance company has all the evidence it needs and is willing to offer you a settlement. However, you should never accept an adjuster’s offer without first speaking to a Virginia wrongful death attorney. The other driver’s insurer might pay you enough money to reimburse your loved one’s medical costs or funeral expenses, but they likely will not account for other expenses.
Expenses the Insurance Company Will Ignore
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment
- Loss of companionship
- Long-term therapy
- Other injuries associated with an accident
How a Virginia Attorney Can Help Your Family Get Justice
People are sometimes reluctant to negotiate better settlements after a wrongful death because they do not want to profit off the loss of a loved one. But a wrongful death claim is about much more than money.
Other Reasons to File a Wrongful Death Claim
- Hold the at-fault motorist accountable for their wrongdoing, regardless of whether they face criminal charges
- Convince a negligent business, such as a semi-truck company, to change their policies, ensuring that nobody else has to suffer a similar loss
- Receive reimbursement for money you never expected to spend on a funeral
- Attain a sense of closure after successfully concluding legal proceedings
If You Lose a Loved One, You Need Kearney, Freeman, Fogarty & Joshi
Kearney, Freeman, Fogarty & Joshi, PLLC believes that nobody should be forced to pay the price for another person’s negligence. Our highly skilled and experienced team of attorneys can help you get the compensation you need to recover after an unexpected and tragic loss. However, you need to act fast. While Virginia law does not cap the damages available in a wrongful death claim, it does have a strict statute of limitations that could prevent you from getting justice if you wait too long to take action. You stand your best chance at recovery by speaking to a lawyer as soon as possible.
You do not have to wait for the insurance company to offer you a fair deal after suffering the loss of a loved one. Send Kearney, Freeman, Fogarty & Joshi, PLLC a message online, or call us at 1-877-652-1553 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.
How long do I have to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Virginia?
The Virginia Statute of Limitations
Exceptions to Virginia’s Statute of Limitations
Virginia courts rarely grant exceptions to the statute of limitations in wrongful death claims. However, you may be able to obtain an extension under exceptional circumstances. A judge could waive or extend the statute of limitations if:
If a case is highly unusual, a judge might allow for another type of exception. However, the vast majority of claims are subject to Virginia’s two-year statute of limitations.
Making Sure You Don’t Miss the Cutoff
Unless you have an exceptional case, you must file your wrongful death claim within the state’s two-year statute of limitations, and it’s important to file as soon as possible. Waiting too long could still jeopardize your claim. This is because:
Get the Right Help in Your Wrongful Death Claim
Proving wrongful death can be difficult, even when you have a seemingly open-and-shut claim. The court will still require that you demonstrate, with compelling evidence:
While you are collecting evidence to support your claim, you will also be responsible for meeting other court deadlines and filing rules. If the at-fault party has an attorney, they could bury you in paperwork requests or make the process unnecessarily complicated.
When you lose a loved to another person’s negligence, you deserve your best chance at recovery. Kearney, Freeman, Fogarty & Joshi, PLLC have years of experience fighting for the rights of our Virginia clients. We know what insurance companies, judges, and juries need to award damages for wrongful death. We have helped our clients recover millions of dollars in damages—money they and their families can use to pay off unforeseen costs and build back their lives. Please send us a message online to find out how we could help you.
Can I afford a wrongful death lawyer?
The sudden, unexpected loss of a loved one is always devastating. While you struggle to overcome grief and adapt to life without a valued family member, you may be faced with expensive medical bills and funeral costs. If your loved one was a breadwinner, you may also be staring down a mortgage or childrearing costs you never thought you would have to face alone.
When you lose a loved one to another person’s negligence, you could be eligible to compensation through a wrongful death claim. However, you might not be sure you can afford the services of an experienced Virginia attorney.
Affording a Wrongful Death Attorney
If you believe hiring a lawyer is too expensive, you are not alone. Many people who consider filing wrongful death lawsuits usually want an attorney but are afraid it’ll cost too much.
However, KFFJ Law operates on what’s called a “contingency basis.” When you work with our firm, we will never ask you to pay the costs of representation up front. While you might be asked to help with some incidental legal fees, we will not bill you for our services until you get a fair settlement.
Once you win your case, we take a percentage-based contingency fee from your settlement.
If we can’t get you the settlement you deserve, you pay us nothing.
Possible Damages in a Wrongful Death Claim
Filing a wrongful death claim can be a difficult decision. Many people worry that others will see a lawsuit as a way to make money from a loved one’s death. However, the costs of an unexpected death in the family can add up very quickly. Few people budget to lose a spouse, child, sibling, or parent to an accident. You might be responsible for expenses such as:
- Medical costs prior to your loved one’s death
- End-of-life care
- Funeral services
- Burial costs
Often, the costs of losing a loved one go far beyond the expenses of medical care and a funeral. If the deceased person was part of your household, the loss of their income could move you toward financial ruin. A wrongful death lawsuit can help secure damages to repay funeral and burial expenses and replace the deceased person’s income.
How an Attorney Can Help You Get Justice
Unlike some other states, Virginia does not cap damages in wrongful death lawsuits. However, recovering the money you need to begin reassembling your life can be very difficult without legal assistance.
If you lost a loved one in a car accident, for instance, you might think the at-fault motorist’s insurance will cover your losses. However, you may not be able to cover the totality of your damages through an insurance settlement. Even if the insurance carrier is willing to entertain your claim, they may be reluctant to provide fair compensation, hoping some combination of grief and financial stress will make you cave to a bad-faith offer.
A Virginia wrongful death attorney can help you stand up to an unfair insurance company, a reckless motorist, or a negligent business. We will investigate the circumstances of your loved one’s death, collecting the evidence needed to prove the other party’s fault. We will also conduct an overview of your financial losses—past, present, and future—to calculate a fair claim for damages.
If the insurance company, individual, or business is not willing to negotiate a fair settlement, we can and will take them to court.
Contact Us Today
When you work with KFFJ Law, we take your loss as our responsibility, and our hardworking staff of legal professionals will do everything in their power to ensure you get the financial recovery you need to begin putting your life back together.
You do not need to let money pose a barrier to justice. Send us a message online to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation today.
Can I be reimbursed for the paid time off I used after being injured in a car accident?
Any car accident can be costly, especially if your injuries require that you take time off work to recover. Depending on your employer’s policies, you may have had to use your sick days or vacation time to protect your position while your body was still healing—effectively robbing you of a later vacation and taking away free time you worked hard to earn.
If you were hurt in accident that was not your fault, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages, including the paid time off (PTO) you had to use during your recovery.
Claiming PTO After an Accident
When you’re hurt in an accident by a negligent driver, you can usually file a personal injury claim to recover damages from the liable party or their insurance company. If you had to use your PTO after an accident, you may wonder if you can get back that time you were likely saving for a more pleasant occasion.
While a Virginia car crash lawyer cannot help you get back your vacation days—only your employer has the power to restore them—we can help you get compensated for the PTO you should have been able to use for your own personal reasons.
You may be eligible for compensation for lost PTO if you used it for:
- Your hospital recovery
- Going to follow-up doctor appointments
- Speaking to an insurance company or adjuster
- Meeting your Virginia car accident attorney
How to Document Your PTO
Your PTO has its own value, often based on how much money you earn. Usually, one day of PTO is worth as much as one day’s labor. So if you make $150 per day, then one day of PTO is worth $150.
However, PTO has additional value: it’s time that most employees spend by themselves or with their families.
Virginia’s courts recognize exhausted PTO as a form of damage and will let you file a claim for recovery—provided you have documentation of your loss.
Most of the time, your employer can help you get the documentation you need. You should ask for a form or statement which:
- Is printed on company letterhead
- Lists your name, title, and salary
- Details how much time you missed or how much PTO you had to use
How an Attorney Can Help
You should never have to bear the financial burden of another person’s negligence. Not only do you deserve compensation for your missing PTO, you should also be compensated for the money you’ve already spent on hospital bills and the money you’ll need for physical rehabilitation and follow-up appointments. A Virginia car crash lawyer will help you evaluate the sum of your damages, which may include:
- Exhausted PTO
- Car repairs
- Medical bills
- Physical rehabilitation
- Continued care
- Crutches, wheelchair ramps, other medical accessories
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment
Virginia, unlike other states, does not have a cap on damages in car accident cases. So, your attorney will fight to get you all the financial assistance you need. In certain cases, you may even be able to request punitive damages—a special sort of financial penalty levied on people, entities, or organizations which were exceptionally negligent in causing your accident.
Once you have decided to file a claim for damages, a lawyer will act as your advocate: collecting evidence needed to bolster your case, negotiating with the insurance company, and taking anyone who refuses to be fair to court.
Contact Us Today
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a Virginia car accident, send Kearney, Freeman, Fogarty & Joshi a message online today. Your initial consultation with us is free, and we handle our personal injury work on a contingency fee basis. That means, you pay no legal fees unless there is a financial recovery.
When is the right time to contact a car accident attorney?
When you get hurt in an accident that was not your fault, you should never have to pay for damages. However, getting fair compensation can be challenging. If you try to handle the claim on your own, the insurance company may be reluctant to offer you a fair deal; however, an attorney can help maximize your claim, especially if you act fast.
The Right Time to Contact a Car Crash Lawyer
If you are recovering from a car accident and contemplating a personal injury claim, you may not know when or how to contact an experienced Virginia attorney. You might think it is best to negotiate directly with an insurance adjuster or accept a settlement that covers the costs of your immediate medical expenses.
However, lawyers know that insurance companies will rarely offer a fair settlement to people who lack legal representation. Because insurance companies are for-profit businesses, they want to pay as little money as possible to help protect their bottom line. They will do everything they can to decrease the value of your claim.
When you take quick action by calling an attorney, they will help guide you through the claims process by:
- Collecting and preserving important evidence. Even if your case seems open and shut, the insurance company will still demand evidence of your damages, photographs of the crash site, repair estimates, and hospital bills. Lawyers know what evidence to gather for settlement negotiations or for court.
- Speaking to the adjuster on your behalf. Many people do not know that speaking to an insurance adjuster can be very dangerous to their claim. Adjusters will use anything you say against you. If you have an attorney, they will help you avoid mistakes that could end up hurting your claim.
- Advocating on your behalf. Insurance companies do not like it when claimants get legal help because they know lawyers are well aware of their tricks and won’t give in low-ball settlements. When you have an attorney, you have an advantage: someone who knows the insurance industry and is willing to do whatever it takes to get you the compensation you deserve.
Since evidence can disappear and adjusters can be smooth talkers, you should always contact an attorney as soon as possible. If you call quickly enough, an attorney may be able to dispatch investigators to the scene of the accident. In some cases, a legal team can reach a crash site before police or other emergency services. The sooner you reach out, the better your chances are of a fair settlement.
The Importance of Acting Fast
You should never wait too long to file a personal injury claim. The insurance company will be working hard to de-value your case, and you must file within a certain timeframe.
Virginia, like every other state, has a statute of limitation for how long someone has to file an injury claim, civil action, or lawsuit. In Virginia, most people have two years from the date of injury in a car accident to take action.
Once the statute of limitations has passed, not even the best lawyer can help. If your case is not automatically dismissed by the courts, the insurance company will tell the judge that your complaint was filed too late, and it will be immediately dismissed.
Contact Us Today
The law firm of Kearney, Freeman, Fogarty & Joshi has years of experience handling Virginia car accident claims. We know that a crash can be expensive, which is why we never charge you anything up front. We work on a contingency basis, meaning we only get paid if you do.
Send us a message online to schedule your free consultation today.