Charlottesville VA Auto Accident Lawyers
If you are facing physical, emotional and/or financial damages due to a car accident, you may want to consider seeking a car accident attorney from MartinWren, P.C. to represent your case. Car accidents can be scary, and the process after an accident occurs can become tedious and complicated very quickly. At MartinWren, P.C., have sought to protect the rights of our Charlottesville VA neighbors since opening our law firm. Having seen countless cases, we are proud to be a trusted source for legal counsel to those in need of help during a difficult time.
Immediately following a car collision, people tend to have many questions. Below we have listed a few common questions to help you start thinking about the claims process and about how auto accident lawyers at MartinWren, P.C. might assist you.
What Should I Do After a Car Accident?
1) Call 9-1-1 right away.
2) Evaluate yourself and other driver for injuries.
3) Call the police to file a report that details the following:
- Property damage to each car
- Description of bodily injury
4) Exchange information with other driver (insurance, contact info).
5) Gather information from witnesses who were present at the time of the crash, so you have additional evidence in court if needed.
Of course, this is simply a brief outline for how to respond at the time of an accident; it may vary depending on the circumstance and what exactly happened. Ensuring you are safe and seek medical attention if needed is most important. Make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible. By hiring auto accident lawyers in Charlottesville VA, you can be sure that someone is working on your behalf to recover the money you spent after the accident.
What Evidence Do I Need to Collect at the Scene?
– Names of witnesses
– Insurance information from other drivers involved
– Vehicle license registration & plate number
– Driver’s license number
– Take photographs of vehicle & bodily damages
– Take photographs of road conditions and/or weather
Collecting evidence that supports your claim at the time of the scene is key to proving your case in court. Scrapes and wounds can start to heal quickly, so capturing the site at its worst is the best way to showcase the severity of your injury.
How Partial Fault Affects a Car Accident Case
As leading Charlottesville, VA auto accident lawyers, we know that most drivers are not up to date on the fault laws in their state. Frankly, a number of men and women on the road do not want to consider what would happen if they were in a major car accident. Even minor car accidents can lead to serious damage to your vehicle or injuries to yourself. When you’re in a car accident, your first thoughts should be on getting the help that you need. Between the doctor visits and the insurance claims, you will probably feel overwhelmed. These feelings may exacerbate when you think that you are partially responsible for the accident.
That said,if you think that the other driver was at fault in some way, then you may still be able to file a claim. You should ask the right Charlottesville, VA auto accident lawyers to review your case. By doing so, you can begin to understand how partial fault could affect the amount of compensation available.
Different Types of Negligence
Every state handles fault in its own way. It’s crucial that you make yourself familiar with fault laws in your state. Charlottesville, VA auto accident lawyers can help walk drivers through the fault laws and help them to understand whether they have a claim. No-fault states, for instance, do not allow you to file a claim against another driver.
Some states have comparative negligence statutes. This means that both parties can have partial fault in an accident and one driver may still file a claim. For instance, say that you are in an accident with someone who is speeding. Normally, that car would be at fault. Now, if you were without a seatbelt at the time of the accident and suffered injuries that you would not have with a seatbelt, then you could be considered partially at fault. In this instance, the other driver may be more at fault than you. It will be up to the Charlottesville, VA auto accident lawyers and insurance adjusters to come a fair settlement when a situation like this is involved.
When you file a claim against another driver while you were partially at fault, you, or your Charlottesville, VA auto accident lawyers, will have to determine the percentage of fault you were and that will be subtracted from your claim. As long as the other driver was more than half at fault, you can likely still file a claim.
If you are worried about your case because you were partially at fault, you may still be able to file a claim. An Charlottesville, VA auto accident lawyer can help you to determine what you might be able to recover during an initial case review. He or she will know the proper formula for determining fault. Even if you were partially to blame for an accident, it does not mean that you can’t collect a settlement for your injuries or for repairs for your vehicle. Depending on the laws of your state, you may still be able to collect. Consult with the right Charlottesville, VA auto accident lawyers from MartinWren, P.C.
FAQ: What does the term “attorney-client privilege” mean?
Regardless of what legal matter you might be involved in, you may hear or read about the “attorney-client privilege.” This, and any information shared between the two individuals, is considered to be a sacred right between a legal professional and his or her client. The attorney-client relationship prevents any forced disclosure of written or verbal communications between a client and their attorney. There are few exceptions to this protection, and its practical applications vary slightly from what most people might think.
What the Client Attorney Privilege Protects
This privilege is meant to uphold the ethical principle of confidentiality between an attorney and a client. It should foster open communication and develop an honest relationship so that the attorney can help to make decisions based on the best interest of the client. In return for being truthful and forthcoming about any changes, a client may expect the attorney to:
- Ensure there are no conflicts of interest
- Adhere to the Rules of Professional Conduct
- Behave ethically
- Advise the client of the payment schedule
- Listen to the client’s story and ask questions to identify pertinent information
- Maintain confidentiality
- Explain to the client his or her legal rights
- Perform research to answer questions and support the client’s case
- Represent the client’s interest to the best of their ability
- Assess the client’s chances of winning
- Explain any potential repercussions
- Respect the client’s decisions
- Write and submit legal documents in a timely manner
- Maintain communication
- Provide regular case updates
As part of the attorney-client relationship, the client should adhere to the agreed fee schedule, not ask the lawyer to partake in an illegal activity, provide information as requested, and respond to communications.
When the Privilege of a Client-Attorney Relationship May Not Apply
The privilege of this relationship is considerably broad, but it is not considered to be a complete safeguard. Under guidelines set forth by the American Bar Association, an attorney must be able to disclose privileged information to the extent necessary for the client (e.g., share documents with staff). An attorney is also supposed to reveal confidential information about a client if they believe that it:
- May prevent unreasonable bodily harm or death
- Could prevent a client from committing a crime reasonable certain to cause financial harm
- Might prevent or reduce a substantial injury to another party’s property or finances that would/will have resulted from criminal acts committed by the client, and if the attorney’s services were used to commit or cover up the crime.
When a client commits a crime through an attorney’s service, the privilege of the client-attorney relationship will not protect the disclosure of this information. If however the attorney has allegedly committed the crime, a conflict between the privilege might exist. In this type of situation, a U.S. Attorney will need to refer to a manual put out by the Department of Justice.
Establishing the Client-Attorney Privilege
For an attorney-client relationship to exist:
- The party asserting privilege should be a client
- All communication must be made to the legal acting attorney
- All communication must be made by the client to the attorney in order to secure legal services or a bona fide opinion
A client-attorney relationship does not begin when you call or email a lawyer for a free consultation. Instead, there should be a formal agreement via phone, email, verbally, written, etc., stating that you are choosing to retain the attorney’s services. To learn more about this privilege, and whether or not it has been waived, you should call a skilled auto accident attorney to discuss your situation.
How Can an Attorney Assist Me?
By choosing auto accident lawyers, you can receive guidance and answers to any questions you may have during the claims process. An attorney can help with paperwork, can ensure you have sufficient proof of injuries, and could even talk with your doctor to see how you’re progressing during treatment.
Insurance companies often do everything they can to prevent losing money, even if it means denying you compensation for your medical treatments. You should not have to suffer physically and financially due to the negligence of another person on the road.
Call us today to speak with the Charlottesville VA auto accident lawyers at MartinWren, P.C. about scheduling your first free consultation.