Frequently Asked Questions About Virginia Car Accidents

How long do I have to file a claim? What if the other driver doesn't have insurance? Can I still seek damages if I was partially at fault? Our car accident clients have lots of questions and we have lots of answers. Until you are ready to call and schedule a case evaluation with us, feel free to look through our section of Frequently Asked Questions to find the answers to the questions you have. And if your question is not there, do not hesitate to call us.
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  • What are the causes of most rear-end collisions?

    Rear-end collisions are believed to constitute one-third of all motor vehicle accidents. While these crashes have a variety of causes, they all have the potential to inflict devastating and life-threatening injuries. Causes of rear-end collisions

    Rear-End Crashes: a Preventable Accident

    Rear-end collisions are often referred to as minor accidents or “fender benders.” However, according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), they result in approximately 500,000 injuries and 1,700 deaths each year. Rear-end crashes are very often the result of “preventable negligence,” and the at-fault driver is usually the one in the rear. Although rear-end car crashes usually occur in slow-moving city traffic, they can happen anywhere and at any time.

    Causes of Rear-End Collisions

    • A reckless motorist. When motorists speed, display road rage, or otherwise violate the rules of the road, they put themselves and all other drivers at risk. Since higher rates of travel correlate with long braking distances, drivers exceeding posted speed limits may not be able to brake in time to avoid an unexpected obstacle.
    • A distracted driver. Researchers have found that distracted driving is as unsafe as drunk driving. When people take their attention away from the road, whether to change radio stations or send a text message, they may fail to notice traffic issues ahead.
    • An intoxicated operator. While drunk driving deaths are on the decline, driving under the influence remains one of the leading causes of preventable injury and death in the United States. Under most circumstances, an intoxicated motorist could be held liable for the costs of any resulting accident and injuries.
    • A tired driver. Fatigued driving has been termed a silent epidemic. Studies have shown that fatigue is involved in up to 20% of all motor vehicle accidents.
    • A mechanical failure. Mechanical failures, which could include faulty brakes, bald tires, or defective suspension systems, may impair a motorist’s ability to avert an accident. While many mechanical failures are the result of poor maintenance, others could be caused by manufacturer error and oversights.

    Establishing Liability After a Rear-End Collision

    Virginia law affords accident victims the right to file a claim for compensation against an at-fault motorist. However, securing a fair settlement after a rear-end collision could prove difficult—especially if the other driver, or their insurance company, tries to convince the court that your own negligence caused or contributed to the accident.

    Since insurance companies are fundamentally for-profit enterprises, they will often seize any opportunity to reduce their financial liability. In many cases, they will use whatever means necessary to deny or delay compensation.

    How Your Car Accident Attorney Can Help Prove Liability

    • Analyzing physical evidence from the crash site, including photographs of the damage to both vehicles as well as pictures of your physical injuries
    • Subpoenaing surveillance camera footage from nearby businesses and traffic safety systems
    • Inspecting the at-fault motorist’s text message history, phone records, and recent financial transactions
    • Interviewing potential eyewitnesses whose testimony could prove critical in insurance negotiations or in a jury trial 

    Depending on the circumstances of your Virginia rear-end collision, you could be entitled to file a claim against:

    • The at-fault motorist
    • The at-fault motorist’s insurance company
    • A negligent business such as a semi-truck company or maintenance contractor
    • A government agency
    • A vehicle maker or automotive parts manufacturer

    Your Potential Damages After a Virginia Car Crash

    The Law Firm of Kearney, Freeman, Fogarty & Joshi, PLLC is committed to defending the rights of Virginia automobile accident victims. We have successfully litigated high-profile collision cases, including:

    • Securing an $80,000 jury verdict for a motorist injured in a rear-end car crash
    • Obtaining $200,000 for a Virginia driver who developed degenerate disc disease after being injured in a collision
    • Winning a $475,000 settlement after a semi-truck driver struck another vehicle from behind

    Since Virginia law does not cap the compensation an accident victim can receive from a rear-end collision personal injury lawsuit, you could receive as much money as you need to begin the difficult task of reclaiming your independence and rebuilding your life.

    However, you have to act fast. If you wait too long to take action, Virginia’s strict statute of limitations could preclude you from filing a claim. If the statute of limitations lapses, the court could automatically dismiss your lawsuit without further consideration.

    Contact Us Today

    A rear-end collision could have life-changing consequences. At Kearney, Freeman, Fogarty & Joshi, PLLC, we advocate for our clients and know what it takes to overcome a vigorous defense. 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 recover damages if I wasn’t wearing a seat belt at the time of my car crash?

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), vehicle accidents are the number one cause of death for those aged 1 – 54. Over half of those deaths are due to vehicle occupants not wearing seat belts. These life-saving devices are sometimes ignored because passengers say they’re uncomfortable, and passengers also say that when traveling short distances, they simply forget to put them on. If you forget to buckle up or choose not to wear a seat belt, and you’re injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, it may be more difficult to receive compensation. No seat belt accident injuries

    Virginia’s Seat Belt Laws for Adults and Children

    Almost every state in the country requires that motorists wear seat belts whenever they are operating or sitting inside a moving vehicle. Virginia has its own strict seat belt laws, which require the following: 

    • Drivers and passengers age 16 or older must wear a seat belt if they are sitting in the front seat of a moving vehicle.
    • Children under the age of 16 must wear a seat belt or be secured in a safety seat, irrespective of where they are sitting inside the vehicle.

    There are some exceptions to these laws; however, most adults must buckle up when they occupy the front seat of a moving vehicle.

    Contributory Negligence Laws in the Old Dominion

    Virginia is one of very few states that adheres to a strict contributory negligence doctrine. Under most circumstances, whenever a motorist’s own misconduct contributes in any way to an accident or causes their car crash-related injuries, they cannot recover any damages from a personal injury lawsuit.

    However, it’s important to remember that not wearing a seat belt does not constitute negligence.

    The accident victim didn’t cause the crash because they chose not to wear a seat belt. However, the insurance company will want to prove that you contributed to your own injuries because you chose not to wear one.

    Contributory Negligence and Recovering Damages

    Defense attorneys will sometimes allege that an accident victim’s failure to wear a seat belt contributed to or caused their car crash-related injuries. Many studies, surveys, and academic analyses have shown that seat belt usage reduces the risk of sustaining serious and potentially life-threatening physical injuries.

    However, state law explicitly prohibits these arguments in personal injury lawsuits. For example, Virginia Code § 46.2-1094 states that a violation of Virginia’s seat belt laws does not necessarily bar claimants from filing or pursuing a civil claim against an at-fault motorist.

    Under most circumstances, a defense attorney cannot even admit an accident victim’s failure to wear a seat belt into evidence, unless the victim’s seat belt usage relates to another, more significant act of misconduct such as driving under the influence of alcohol or instigating a road rage incident. 

    Building a Compelling Personal Injury Case

    While Virginia law may not bar accident victims from recovering damages if they failed to use their seat belts, securing a fair and equitable settlement could still be challenging. Since insurance companies are fundamentally for-profit enterprises, they will often seize any opportunity to deny or devalue a claimant’s compensation.

    How an Experienced Virginia Car Crash Attorney Can Help

    • Collecting and analyzing police reports
    • Gathering evidence from the crash site
    • Interviewing bystanders and potential eyewitnesses
    • Reviewing your medical records to assess the totality of your recoverable damages
    • Negotiating with the insurance company on your behalf, letting you focus on your physical recovery

    Potential Damages After a Virginia Car Accident

    • Your past, present, and anticipated medical expenses
    • Physical rehabilitation
    • Therapy
    • Lost income from work
    • Exhausted vacation days and paid time off (PTO)
    • Diminished earning potential
    • Emotional pain and suffering
    • Loss of enjoyment
    • Disability
    • Disfigurement
    • Wrongful death

    Virginia does not currently cap the damages available to car accident victims. However, it does have a strict statute of limitations. If you wait too long to file a claim, a Virginia court could dismiss your case without further consideration, leaving you responsible for the costs of an accident that was not your fault.

    Contact a Virginia Attorney Today

    Kearney, Freeman, Fogarty & Joshi, PLLC has spent years advocating for the rights of Virginia automobile accident victims. Our firm believes that nobody should be forced to pay for another motorist’s mistake. Please send us a message online, or call us at 877-652-1553 to speak to a legal professional, and schedule your 100% free, no-obligation consultation as soon as possible.


  • How will I pay my car accident lawyer?

    The aftermath of a serious automobile accident can challenge even the most robust insurance policies. If you’re injured in a crash, Virginia law affords car crash victims the right to file legal claims for damages, but hiring a competent, experienced attorney might seem like a financial impossibility.

    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. Paying your car accident attorney

    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
    • Disability
    • Disfigurement
    • 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 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.  Cost to hire a wrongful death 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. Compensation for using PTO

    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:

    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
    • Disfigurement

    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. When you should hire a car crash attorney

    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.


  • When should I contact a personal injury attorney?

    Even when you’re involved in a minor fender bender, the experience can be overwhelming, especially if you were injured or given a major repair bill for your vehicle. You may not be sure if insurance will help you pay for the damages. While you may have already considered taking legal action against the at-fault driver, you might still be unsure if a lawyer’s intervention would really make a difference. You may also wonder whether it is simply too soon to call an attorney, especially if you are waiting for the insurance company to write a check or offer a settlement. When you need a personal injury attorney

    If you were injured in a car accident, obtaining legal representation is essential for making a fair recovery. A Virginia car accident attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve.

    It’s Never Too Soon to Call an Attorney

    If ever you’re involved in an automobile accident, a personal injury attorney should be the first person you call. This is especially true if:

    • The crash resulted in significant physical injury or death
    • You aren’t sure who was at fault
    • The police report is inaccurate
    • You aren’t sure about your insurance coverages
    • Your insurance company offers an insufficient settlement
    • The other motorist’s insurance company will not take responsibility for your medical bills

    Your personal injury attorney will immediately initiate an investigation into the accident, its causes, and your potential compensation. If you call immediately after the crash, they may even be able to dispatch a quick-response team to the site. This team will begin collecting evidence, helping to ensure that no one—not the other motorist nor an insurer—can dispute the facts.

    Even if your personal injury attorney does not believe you should file a claim, they will still provide critical advice to minimize your liability and expedite your financial recovery.

    Why You Shouldn’t Wait Too Long

    While it is never too soon to call a personal injury attorney, it can be too late. If you want to file a personal injury claim in Virginia, you are expected to do so within a particular timeframe. This timeframe is called the “statute of limitations.” Every state, and even the federal government, has its own statute of limitations.

    In Virginia, the statute of limitations for filing a car crash claim or lawsuit is usually two years from the date of the accident or resultant injury. Although there are some exceptions to the statute of limitations—if, for instance, a victim does not discover an injury until later—the court will not usually offer extensions. This is why it is very important that you contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.

    How an Attorney Can Help

    A Virginia personal injury attorney can assist you in many ways. They can help:

    • Deal with the insurance company. While you may think your insurer is on your side, adjusters and other agents want to save their employer as much money as possible—even if it means paying out less than you deserve. Your attorney will negotiate with the insurer for the best settlement and take them to court, if necessary. Statistically, you are more likely to receive a larger settlement if you retain legal counsel.
    • Instruct you on collecting necessary documents. An attorney can explain which medical and other documents to collect and save that could be critical to your case.
    • Reduce uncertainty. An attorney can reduce any anxiety and uncertainty you may have about your claim/case and its outcome. Since your attorney will be invested in the results of your case, they will dedicate immense resources to investigating your accident, calculating your damages, and fighting for your maximum compensation.

    Your attorney’s end goal is your recovery. That means, your lawyer will do everything possible to ensure you do not have to pay anything out of pocket for an accident that was not your fault.

    Contact Us Today

    If you were injured in a car accident, it is never too soon to contact a Virginia car crash attorney. Send Kearney, Freeman, Fogarty & Joshi a message online today, and schedule your initial consultation.


  • How long does it take to get a car accident settlement check?

    If you have been injured in a Virginia car accident that was not your fault, you know you shouldn’t be responsible for paying for costly car repairs, medical expenses, and physical rehabilitation. So, you may wonder when you can expect your settlement check from the insurance company. While you may be fortunate to receive a payment check within a matter of months, the other driver’s insurer will be in no hurry to negotiate a settlement. In fact, they may be inclined to delay negotiations as long as possible. To accelerate the receipt of your check and possibly increase your compensation, you need a personal injury attorney working for you. Your car accident settlement check

    Reaching a Settlement After Your Accident

    After being involved in a Virginia car crash, you should immediately call a personal injury attorney. They will begin collecting evidence related to the accident and working to establish the other driver’s negligence. They will then begin the settlement process which consists of several steps, including:  

    • Filing a claim. Your attorney will cross-check the negligent driver’s insurance policy and then notify their carrier that you have decided to file a claim.
    • Starting an investigation. Once the initial claim has been filed, your attorney will continue the investigation. They may requisition police reports and medical documents, as well as interview eyewitnesses. The investigation will also incorporate evidence of your damages such as medical expenses and lost income.
    • Calculating your damages. Your attorney will not begin settlement negotiations until he knows the maximum amount you may recover. Often, this amount is not immediately obvious. While you may have a car repair estimate, a period of time with lost wages, and medical bills, you may require damages for future expenses, too. Your doctor may recommend corrective surgery, tell you take more time off work, or suggest extensive physical rehabilitation.
    • Sending a demand letter. After your attorney is confident they’ve collected all the necessary evidence and calculated your damages, they will send a demand letter to the at-fault motorist’s insurance company.
    • Initiating negotiations. The at-fault driver’s insurance company will almost certainly offer a lower settlement than what you deserve. Your attorney wants what is best for you, not the insurer, and will negotiate for a higher award.

    If the insurance company refuses to negotiate or pay a higher settlement, your attorney may decide the best course of action is to file a personal injury lawsuit.

    Your Timeline

    Often, the biggest obstacle to receiving an expedient settlement is the negotiations stage of a claim. Depending on the circumstances of your claim, you may have a check in-hand as early as three months. However, complicated cases often take longer to settle and could take years to fully resolve.

    Claims can take longer to settle if they involve:

    • Insufficient evidence
    • Wrongful death
    • Multiple defendants
    • Improper or poorly-calculated claims of damages
    • An uncertain medical recovery timeframe
    • Catastrophic injuries

    But once you, your attorney, and the insurance company agree on a settlement, you will rarely have to wait a month beyond the conclusion of a successful negation to see a check. Sometimes, it may come within a week.

    Getting Started With Your Settlement

    When you are physically injured, emotionally devastated, and in desperate need of assistance, you cannot afford to wait for the insurance company to take its time addressing your claim. The first step to getting paid is simple: contact a personal injury attorney immediately after your accident. Even if you are certain that the other driver was at fault, insurance companies are businesses that want to protect their profits. They may deny your claim on frivolous grounds, claim you caused the accident, or offer less money than you deserve and an amount that can’t possibly pay for your accident-related medical expenses.

    Contact Us Today

    The sooner you file a claim and initiate negotiations, the sooner you can get paid and start on the road to recovery. Kearney, Freeman, Fogarty & Joshi can help you get the settlement you deserve. If you or a loved suffered injuries in a Virginia car accident, send us a message online to schedule your initial consultation.


  • Why do I need a car accident lawyer if the crash wasn’t my fault?

    If you are injured in an accident that was not your fault, you may not feel you need to hire an attorney. But before you file a personal injury claim on your own and negotiate directly with the liable person’s insurance company, it’s important to understand that insurance companies operate as a business. Their ultimate goal is to pay out as little money as possible for every claim. They do not have your best interests at heart but rather their bottom line, and they’ll use many types of underhanded tactics to make sure they reduce the amount you receive.  

    It can be tempting for accident victims to accept the very first offer an insurance company makes, but in most cases, this will never be the amount you deserve. Working with an attorney who is experienced with car accident settlements means victims will usually recover more in damages. Why you need a car crash attorney

    What You Can Recover After a Car Accident

    If you’re injured by a negligent driver, working with an experienced attorney can help ensure that you receive all the compensation you are entitled to. It’s possible to receive damages for the following:

    • Medical expenses for the treatment you’re receiving and care you might need in the future
    • Lost wages if you were unable to work during your recovery
    • Lost potential income if you suffered a permanent disability
    • Pain and suffering for the mental, physical, and psychological pain you experienced

    Call Us After a Car Accident

    At Kearney, Freeman, Fogarty & Joshi, we work with personal injury clients on a contingency basis, so you can hire us without paying anything up front. We only collect fees when you are awarded damages. Our initial review of your case is completely free, and we are happy to come to the hospital or to your home to meet with you. Protect your rights, and call us today.


  • Should I contact a lawyer if I suffer a broken rib injury in a car crash?

    Broken rib injuries are not uncommon in Virginia car accidents. On impact, the force of the steering wheel on the chest can be strong enough to damage ribs as well as internal organs such as the lungs or spleen. This type of injury can be scary since it can also interfere with the victim’s ability to breathe. Victims need an experienced car accident attorney to help ensure they get the compensation they deserve. Broken ribs after a car accident

    Symptoms and Complications of Broken Rib Injuries

    The symptoms of a broken rib might include:

    • Pain in the chest area
    • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
    • Painful breathing
    • Dizziness and lightheadedness

    It is essential that victims who suspect they have a broken rib injury seek medical treatment immediately. Rib bones that are moved out of alignment because of the force of a crash can cause life-threatening punctures and damage to the lungs, blood vessels, soft tissues, and organs. Even with moderate trauma, lung bruising and swelling can develop, requiring emergency care. Older adults are particularly vulnerable to developing pneumonia because they cannot breathe deeply or cough due to the pain of their injury.

    Treatment in mild cases usually focuses on managing the pain and limiting strenuous activity. In more serious cases, patients might need a chest tube or other surgery, a blood transfusion, or artificial ventilation.

    Recovering Damages After a Broken Rib Injury

    An experienced car accident attorney can help you recover damages from the party responsible for the accident, including:

    • Medical treatment, including treatment for complications
    • Medications
    • Physical therapy
    • Lost income during your recovery
    • Pain and suffering

    Call an Experienced Virginia Car Accident Attorney

    When you’re injured due to someone else’s negligence, you deserve a fair recovery, but you must act quickly. If you don’t seek compensation within the two-year statute of limitations, you will miss out on obtaining damages. Please contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation to learn about your rights and how we can help your situation.