Charlottesville VA Auto Accident Lawyer
After hearing about devastating accidents on the news, more Virginia drivers may become anxious to get out onto the road at all. Accidents happen so often, that a driver may wonder if they will eventually be in the wrong place, at the wrong time when tragedy strikes. Even the safest driver may become part of an auto accident if the driver next to him or her swerves, speeds, fails to use a signal or otherwise endangers others with poor driving habits.
A Charlottesville VA auto accident lawyer at MartinWren, P.C. can be of assistance to those who suffered loss after a horrible car accident and want someone to turn to for support. We understand that driving may cause anxiety for some, but there is no need to live in fear. The most important thing is to be prepared for an auto accident just in case it does ever happen to you or a loved one.
If an accident occurs, our auto accident lawyers in Charlottesville VA share that you may experience a rush of adrenaline and emotions that prevent you from remaining calm. Take a deep breath and even count backward from ten if you have to; whatever you need to focus on the present moment. When we are in a state of panic, it can prevent us from doing what we need to in order to handle the situation appropriately.
Check Your Passengers
If you had other people in the car with you, check to see if they are okay too. Injuries are tricky, and some types of bodily damage may not be visible externally (such as brain injuries and internal bleeding). If anyone is feeling dizzy or in pain, seek medical attention promptly. During a consultation, let your Charlottesville VA auto accident lawyer at MartinWren, P.C. know if there were passengers and if they were hurt due to the accident.
Moving Vehicles Aside
It isn’t necessary to move the vehicles after the collision, unless where they both landed are in the way of others. While it is best to keep the cars in place until you can take pictures of the scene, it isn’t worth risking your safety. You can still gather key elements of proof without needing the cars to be where they stopped after impact.
Talking With the Driver
Depending on the severity of the accident, the other driver may get out of the vehicle with either a calm or accusatory demeanor. If you feel threatened or uncomfortable exchanging details with the other driver, an officer can do this for you instead. Our Charlottesville VA auto accident lawyer wants you to be aware that there are a few reasons why calling 911 for help can be useful. An officer can assist in managing the scene, take a report of the accident, and request an ambulance for those who sustained injuries. The police report the officer writes up will also help your Charlottesville VA auto accident lawyer to prepare your accident claim.
Car accidents are rarely simple and can feel even more confusing without help from a Charlottesville VA auto accident lawyer at MartinWren, P.C. to offer guidance along the way. Those who are looking for legal insight regarding their auto accident can call to book their free initial consultation. Please take us up on this opportunity without hesitation.
Negligence in a Car Accident
Every day in the state of Virginia, victims are injured in vehicle accidents because another driver behaved or acted in a negligent or reckless way. Charlottesville VA auto accident lawyers will tell you that there are a number of ways that a driver’s negligence can result in an injury to an innocent victim. If you have been injured in a crash, contact a car accident lawyer in Charlottesville VA at MartinWren, P.C. In the meantime, the following is a brief overview of how negligence works in a car accident lawsuit.
According to State law, negligence is the failure of a party to act or take proper care when participating in an activity – in this case driving. When a driver is negligent and that negligence caused the victim to become injured, the law says the driver breached the duty of care they had to the victim and the public at large. Depending on the circumstances of that breach, the driver may face both civil and criminal charges for their behavior, such as in a drunk driving crash.
State law says a driver is negligent when they do not use a reasonable standard of care, which may warrant the guidance of a Charlottesville, Virginia car accident lawyer. In other words, people should act as others would act in a similar situation. If a driver is under the influence of alcohol and causes an accident, the act of drinking and driving is legally deemed dangerous behavior. It is also illegal under State law. The legal theory is that most drivers do not drive when they have been drinking and do not break the law. When a driver makes the decision to get behind the wheel of a car drunk, a Charlottesville VA car accident lawyer, and the law says that this may be deemed as negligent behavior.
Other Negligent Parties in Drunk Driving Crashes
It is not just the driver of the vehicle who can be deemed negligent under the law. If the driver was drinking, the injured victim may also be able to pursue damages against the party who served the driver alcohol. If the driver was at a bar, club, or restaurant and that establishment kept serving the driver alcohol despite their intoxicated state, the business can be held liable. If the driver was at a private home and the hosts served alcohol and let guests drive home after they were drinking, like the driver who caused the crash, the law may consider that action negligence.
Contact a Charlottesville VA Car Accident Lawyer Today
If you have been injured in an accident caused by the negligence of another party, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your losses. Our car accident lawyers based in Charlottesville VA understand the overwhelming stress an accident and the resulting injuries can have on families. We work diligently to obtain financial compensation because of the harm victims suffered by the at-fault party.
What Does It Cost to Hire a Charlottesville, VA Auto Accident Lawyer for a Personal Injury Claim?
If you’ve decided to hire a Charlottesville, VA auto accident lawyer to represent you in your personal injury case, you may be wondering how much those services will cost. Here are some tips to help you navigate the business side of your arrangement with your lawyer.
Coming to a Written Agreement
Even if your Charlottesville, VA auto accident lawyer is someone you know well, it’s in the best interests of both parties to have a written agreement on fees. For most lawyers, this is part of their standard operating procedures, and in some states, it is even a legal requirement. You and the attorney should both sign the agreement. If the lawyer you are working with uses a standard form, read it carefully to make sure that any special arrangements you have made are reflected in the document.
Understanding Contingency Fees
Many people are struggling financially because of their injuries, so it’s unlikely they have the funds available to pay a lawyer in full upfront. Attorneys offer other options for payment, and one of those is a contingency fee system. In this arrangement, the client doesn’t have to produce any money at the beginning of the case. Instead, the Charlottesville, VA auto accident lawyer takes a share, usually between 33% and 40% of the final settlement or judgment that the client receives. This percentage may be negotiable with some attorneys.
Deciding to Hire an Attorney
Hiring an attorney is a big decision, so you want to think through whether your case is worth the expense. Here are some things to consider.
- If the other party, usually an insurance company, has refused to make any reasonable offer of compensation, but your damages are extensive, it’s probably worth hiring an attorney on a contingency basis.
- If the claim is small, you may be able to handle it yourself through small claims court or arbitration.
- Going to court or arbitration without a lawyer can be an intimidating experience. You should carefully consider whether you are up for that challenge.
- Highly technical cases where the other party has a sophisticated defense is probably worth getting an attorney.
- Your case must be strong enough for an attorney to be willing to take it on a contingency basis.
- If you’ve been offered a significant settlement, but you still think you should get more, you should consult an attorney to make sure that a better offer is a realistic expectation.
Important Evidence in Car Accident Cases
In order to have a successful car accident claim, you must present the court with sufficient evidence. Here are several types of evidence your Charlottesville, VA auto accident lawyer may ask you to obtain:
- Photos: As the old saying goes, a photo is worth a thousand words. If you’re physically able, take several photos of the accident scene with your smartphone camera, like skid marks on the road, broken glass, all the vehicles involved in the accident and road signs. If you have visible injuries, you should take photos of those as well.
- Police Report: If police arrived at the scene of the car accident, they created a police report. The report includes important information about the accident, such as when and where it occurred and the names of everyone involved. Remember to obtain a copy of this report.
- Witness Statements: If there were witnesses present at the time of the car accident, you should obtain their names and contact information. They may be able to testify on your behalf in court.
- Medical Records: It’s important to seek medical care immediately after a car accident. A doctor will evaluate the severity of your injuries and recommend the appropriate treatment. The medical records from your doctor and hospital visits will provide proof of your injuries, so be sure to get copies of them.
- Auto Repair Bills: It’s likely that your vehicle endured some damage during the accident. To make sure you get reimbursed, gather all records related to your car repairs.
Tips for Hiring the Right Auto Accident Lawyer
If you want to pursue compensation for your injuries, it’s in your best interest to have a Charlottesville, VA auto accident lawyer on your side. Here are some tips for hiring the right one:
- Ask for Referrals: If you know family members or friends who have been in car accidents, don’t hesitate to ask them for referrals. They may be able to recommend a skilled car accident lawyer who can help you.
- Create a List of Questions: During your initial consultation with a lawyer, you should ask plenty of questions about his or her skills and experience. This will help you determine if he or she is the right person to represent you. For example, you may want to ask how many years of experience he or she has handling car accident claims and what his or her success rate is.
- Pay Attention to How a Lawyer Communicates With You: When you first speak to a Charlottesville, VA auto accident lawyer, observe how he or she interacts with you. Does the lawyer ask a lot of questions and seem genuinely interested in your case? Or does he or she seem to just be going through the motions? If it’s the latter, you may want to find someone else.
Most attorneys offer a free initial consultation to determine the strength of your case. If you decide to retain counsel, find a knowledgeable and experienced Charlottesville, VA auto accident lawyer who understands the procedures in your area.
The legal team at MartinWren, P.C. has successfully represented many victims and their families who suffered serious injury from accidents. Call our office to schedule a free case evaluation and to find out how a Charlottesville VA car accident lawyer can help you.