See What a Petersburg Car Accident Attorney Can Do to Help You
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), in 2019, 831 people were killed in car accidents in the state of Virginia. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you may wonder whether a Petersburg, VA car accident attorney can help. The aftermath of a car accident can be a very difficult time. You may be injured—perhaps so severely that you are unable to return to work for weeks, months, or even longer than a year. Your medical bills may be piling up and you may be unable to pay even your normal minimum monthly bills.
You may not even be sure you can obtain the medical treatments you need and may need in the future. All of this because a negligent driver was careless, distracted, or reckless. An experienced attorney from Tronfeld West & Durrett can take a significant burden from your shoulders. We will handle the legal aspects of your car accident, giving you time to heal from your injuries.
How Can I Help My Petersburg Car Accident Attorney?
Following your Petersburg, VA car accident, there are things you can do that can significantly help your attorney, giving you a better chance of a positive outcome. Of course, many of these are dependent on how severe your injuries are. You should always ensure you and others involved in the accident receive medical attention as quickly as possible. If you are physically able, take photos of the scene of the accident, including the license plate of the other vehicle after calling 911.
If there are witnesses to the accident, jot down contact information. You always want to call the police for anything other than a very minor bump-in, because the police report could be crucial for determining liability. Exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver but avoid discussing the accident. You might say something as innocuous as “I’m sorry,” (meaning you’re sorry the accident occurred at all), but this could later be misconstrued as an admission of guilt.
After you have been checked out by a doctor and are home, contact your insurance company. Relay the basic facts of the accident, then write down the time you called and the name of the person you spoke with when you hang up. Keep a journal to jot down anything you can remember about the accident. Memories tend to fade quickly, and something you think is unimportant could end up being extremely important.
Start a file folder for all your medical expenses and receipts. Keep receipts for gas, meals, and lodging if you are required to travel to see a medical professional. When you do all these things following your car accident, you are helping your Petersburg, VA car accident attorney obtain the best settlement possible on your behalf.
What are the Most Common Types of Car Accident Injuries?
Car accident injuries are unique to those involved but there are certain injuries that occur frequently among those involved in a car accident. Some of these injuries can be catastrophic in nature, like traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries. Less severe—but still serious—head injuries occurring during car accidents include concussions and whiplash.
Whiplash is one of the most common types of car accident injury, yet it can be viewed as an injury that is not “real.” Because whiplash is a soft-tissue injury, it tends to be more difficult to definitively prove via x-rays or other medical tests. Those who have a whiplash injury may experience pain in the neck, arm, back, shoulder, or muscles. Dizziness and vertigo, difficulty focusing, chronic headaches, sensations of pins and needles, sleep disorders, stiff neck, and muscle spasms can also occur following a whiplash injury.
Cuts and scrapes, as well as broken bones, are also common car accident injuries. Burns, scarring, and facial disfigurement can occur in a car accident, causing not only physical injury but emotional issues as well. Those who receive a traumatic brain injury or a spinal cord injury can find their lives significantly altered—sometimes forever. No matter the level of injury you sustain following your car accident, an experienced Petersburg, VA car accident attorney can help you get your life back on track.
How Are Damages Calculated?
Your Petersburg, VA car accident attorney will determine the damages you are entitled to receive based on a number of factors. The insurance company of the negligent party is generally required to pay the following: all medical expenses, lost wages, pain and physical suffering, emotional damages, and permanent disfigurement or physical disability.
How Much Should I Expect from My Car Accident Settlement?
Using the methods outlined above you can get a “ballpark” figure regarding your car accident. Be sure and discuss this with your Petersburg, VA car accident attorney as he or she will have insights into the issue and has experience determining damages. Generally speaking, an individual that is represented by an attorney is much more likely to receive an equitable settlement than the individual is not. Insurance companies are much less likely to attempt to lowball a settlement offer once an attorney is involved in the process. The insurance company knows the attorney is fully aware of what the claim is worth and will not back down from that number.
How Long Does a Car Accident Settlement Take?
There are many factors that can affect the amount of time your car accident settlement can take. Depending on these factors in your specific case, you could be looking at months—or years. A fairly straightforward case could be on the low end, taking only a few months to complete. When there are complexities involved (long-term injuries, lost future income), the case will take longer. Additional factors that can affect the length of time your claim will take to settle include:
- Whether there are issues regarding proving liability;
- The quality of evidence regarding your damages;
- How quickly you get your claim filed;
- Whether your projected treatment plan is uncertain;
- How quickly the insurance company responds to your claim;
- The amount of negotiation involved;
- Whether there are multiple negligent parties, and
- Whether you hire an experienced Petersburg, VA car accident attorney.
In some cases, insurance companies may drag their feet in responding to your claim, hoping you will get tired of waiting and drop the case. The insurance company might also take extra time investigating the liability and damages if the damages are extensive. If your attorney and the insurance company agree on a fair settlement, then it will likely take about six weeks from that time for you to receive your check.
How Can a Tronfeld West & Durrett Petersburg Car Accident Attorney Help?
Attorneys Jay Tronfeld and Wiley Latham practice in Petersburg, VA, and can help you if you have been involved in a car accident caused by a negligent driver. Since you, as an injury victim, have a narrow window of opportunity to seek recovery for your injuries, it can be extremely beneficial to have an experienced Tronfeld West & Durrett attorney by your side from start to finish.
We have the necessary tenacity and commitment necessary to ensure you receive the compensation you need and deserve. Our goal is to truly make a difference in your current life and in your future while protecting your rights at every turn. Contact Tronfeld West & Durrett today to speak to a knowledgeable Petersburg car accident attorney.