Personal Injury FAQ

Seasoned & Trusted Injury Lawyers in Richmond, Virginia

We strive to answer questions frequently asked by our clients. Call our Richmond law office today to arrange a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer from our team.

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Trucking Accidents

  • How are truck accidents different than other motor vehicle accidents?

    Tractor-trailers can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded, which is 20 to 30 times the amount that an average vehicle weighs. They can also extend to 80 feet in length. These vehicles are very large and very dangerous. Truck drivers are paid to operate these vehicles and must obtain a special license in order to get behind the wheel. They must also adhere to federal and state trucking regulations. Trucks can cause severe damage in a highway collision. In accidents between trucks and regular automobiles, the occupants of cars are at a much higher risk for injury. For all of these reasons, truck accidents are almost always more likely to be serious than other types of car accidents-and in many cases, the negligence or recklessness of the truck driver is a factor.

  • Why do some truck drivers forge their logbooks?

    Truck drivers are required to take frequent rest breaks, only staying on the road for a specified number of hours before breaking between shifts. Unfortunately, some drivers disregard this regulation and forge their logbooks to reflect a false representation of their hours on the road. This leads to fatigued driving, which is extremely dangerous and can cause accidents.

  • What regulations must truck drivers observe?

    Regulations include regular maintenance and vehicle inspections including brake inspections, frequent rest stops and shift limitations, zero drug and alcohol use, special speed limit restrictions, and more.

  • Is it too late to file a truck accident lawsuit?

    In the state of Virginia, you have two years from the time of the accident to file a personal injury claim. This is known as the “statute of limitations” and it is different in every state. The sooner you speak with a lawyer, the better for your case.

Auto Accidents

  • What should I do if I was in an accident with an uninsured driver?

    Drivers in the state of Virginia are required to carry uninsured motorist coverage, which also cover “hit and run” cases. Please speak with a Richmond car accident lawyer from our firm about the specifics of your case.

  • Can I deal directly with the car insurance company?

    While you of course have this option, we do not advise that you deal directly with the insurance company after a major car accident. The agent you speak with may seem to have your best interests at heart, but it’s important to be aware that he or she answers to the insurance company that employs them. To the insurance company, paying you what you deserve is not the priority; their top concerns are their bottom line and profit margins. You deserve to have an advocate on your side that can stand up for you. That’s why you should always speak with an attorney who can represent you to the insurance company and maximize your claim.

  • Am I entitled to compensation if the auto accident was partly my fault?

    Every state is different, but in the state of Virginia, drivers who were at fault or even partially at fault in a collision may not collect compensation. This is known as the “contributory negligence rule.” However, don’t be so sure that the accident was your fault. You owe it to yourself to speak with a seasoned car accident lawyer before writing off the possibility of pursuing compensation. With years of experience in handling car accident claims, our firm could be able to see something you are missing that could make all the difference in your situation.

  • What should I do after an accident?

    Remain on the scene. Contact the police and wait for them to arrive. Check to see if anyone needs medical attention. If you are able to do so, take pictures of the scene, including the position of vehicles, damage to the vehicles, skid marks on the pavement, your injuries, and so on. Get the names and contact information of the other driver or drivers involved, as well as any witnesses. When you get home, write down everything you remember about the accident, and call an attorney. Don’t admit blame or apologize, as this could hurt your case even if you later find out that you weren’t at fault in the accident. If you need emergency medical attention, get it. Otherwise, be sure to see a doctor as soon as you can after the accident. Even if you don’t think you were hurt, you could have sustained injuries that you aren’t aware of, such as a head injury or internal injury.

  • Does Virginia have a “dram shop” law that allows me to sue the bar that served a drunk driver who caused my car accident?

    No. The state of Virginia is one of only eight states in the nation without a “dram shop” law, which would allow you to hold a bar or other establishment liable for over serving a drunk driver who caused an accident.

Medical Malpractice

  • What is medical malpractice / medical negligence?

    Medical malpractice is the name for a medical practitioner’s injury-causing negligence. If the actions of your doctor, nurse, or other healthcare professional did not meet the reasonably expected standard for someone in his / her position, you may be able to file a medical malpractice claim.

  • How common is medical malpractice?

    Medical negligence is the third most common cause of death in the United States, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). The only causes of death more common than medical malpractice in the U.S. are cancer and heart disease. Medical mistakes are responsible for approximately 200,000 deaths in patients in the United States annually. In the year 2012, medical malpractice payouts totaled more than $3 billion, with a payout occurring every 43 minutes, on average.

  • What are some examples of medical malpractice?

    Types of medical malpractice include diagnosis errors including misdiagnosis and failure to diagnose, anesthesia errors, birth injuries, medication errors including overmedication, surgical errors, and more. Some of the most commonly misdiagnosed conditions include stroke, cancer, heart disease, and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

  • What is the statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases?

    The statute of limitations is the deadline for bringing personal injury claims in a state. In Virginia, plaintiffs have two years to file medical malpractice lawsuits after the date of the alleged incident, with some exceptions.

    These exceptions include:

    • Misdiagnosis cases
    • Objects left behind / retained in surgery
    • Medical malpractice that causes disability
    • Cases where the injury victim was a minor

Brain Injuries

  • What are some common symptoms of brain injuries?

    Common symptoms of brain injuries may fall under the following categories:

    • Language / speech problems
    • Headaches
    • Balance problems
    • Changes in behavior
    • Changes in emotion
    • Sensory / smell problems
    • Seizures
    • Cognitive difficulties
  • How often do brain injuries occur in Virginia?

    The Commonwealth of Virginia is one of the only states in the nation with a brain injury registry. Every hospital in Virginia must report head injury cases to the Virginia Brain Injury Central Registry. Approximately 10,000 brain / head injuries are reported to this registry each year, the vast majority of which are considered mild.

  • I hit my head but the emergency room sent me home. I feel even worse. What does that mean?

    Brain injuries cause a series of effects, which is why severe head injuries often present symptoms after the victim has been discharged from the emergency rooms. It is important to go back to the emergency room immediately if your symptoms do not get better or if they worsen.

  • Why do I need a lawyer who has handled brain injury cases in the past?

    Brain injury cases are difficult because the effects can be challenging to quantify and express in court. You need a lawyer who appreciates the true scope of your injury and its impact on your life, and who can express that reality in a compelling and persuasive manner. Expert testimony from medical professionals is often required to present a full picture. You need a firm with these connections as well as access to the resources necessary to represent you effectively in a catastrophic injury case.

Spinal Cord Injuries

  • What are the most common ways that spinal cord injuries happen?

    The leading cause of spinal cord injuries in the United States is automobile accidents. Other causes include recreational sporting accidents, falls, and acts of violence. People over the age of 65 are particularly susceptible to spinal cord injuries caused by falls.

  • How can a spinal cord injury affect me?

    Complete spinal cord injuries can result in total or partial paralysis. Paraplegia is paralysis of the legs and possibly the trunk. Quadriplegia is total paralysis from the neck down. Incomplete spinal cord injury can cause other effects, including partial paralysis, loss of muscle use, loss of sensory perception, and loss of movement.

  • Why do I need a lawyer with experience in spinal cord injury cases?

    The added complication affecting spinal cord injury cases is the fact that, in almost every case, victims are dealing with severe injuries that will drastically impact them for the rest of their lives. The compensation they receive for their injury needs to adequately reflect those needs. An attorney with experience in these types of cases can more accurately identify and calculate those expenses, and present a case that convincingly expresses the needs of the victim. Major cases involving severe injuries require the oversight of experienced, successful, and seasoned personal injury attorneys.

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