Frequently Asked Questions

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  • I was in a car crash. How quickly do I have to find an attorney and file a lawsuit?

    Each state has a "statute of limitations" that governs how long you can wait before filing a lawsuit. The time limit will be different depending on the type of injury you suffered. Here is a list of the statute of limitations for auto accidents in the states that we practice: - North Carolina: 3 years, wrongful death 2 years, - Virginia: 2 years - West Virginia: 2 years - Washington, D.C.: 3 years While the statute of limitations provides the “end date” for the filing of a lawsuit, there may be many good reasons to get yours started earlier. Additionally, because every case is different, there may be some exception to the general statute of limitations rules that applies to your case.

    About the editors: The motto at Shapiro & Appleton& Duffan law firm is simple -"All we do is injury law." We hope you were able to find the answer to your injury query. If not, please review our Virginia Accident Lawyer FAQ Library for additional information. If you'd like to speak to an actual attorney about your potential injury claim for free, please contact our office at 1-800-752-0042.

  • What is the minimum car insurance I'm allowed to carry in my state?

    Insurance coverage is typically measure by three numbers. The first is the maximum you will be able to recover for a single bodily injury in a single accident. The second is the total recovery you can get for all injuries in a single accident. The third is the maximum recovery you can get for all property damage caused by the accident. District of Columbia: $25,000/$40,000/$10,000 North Carolina: $30,000/$60,000/$25,000 South Carolina: $15,000/$30,000/$10,000 Virginia: $25,000/$50,000/$20,000 West Virginia: $20,000/$40,000/$10,000 These statutory minimums protect you from other driver’s negligence. It is always a good idea to carry more coverage than the minimum in case you are injured in a crash that is someone else’s fault.

    About the editors: The motto at Shapiro & Appleton& Duffan law firm is simple -"All we do is injury law." We hope you were able to find the answer to your injury query. If not, please review our Virginia Accident Lawyer FAQ Library for additional information. If you'd like to speak to an actual attorney about your potential injury claim for free, please contact our office at 1-800-752-0042.

  • What is uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage and why should I think about having it?

    These two types of coverage protect you from injuries in cases where the other driver was either underinsured or uninsured. Underinsured motorist coverage pays for medical expenses, lost ages, and other damages when you or your passengers are hurt in an accident caused by a driver with auto insurance coverage too small to pay the bills. Your insurer will make up the difference between the negligent driver’s coverage and the maximum of your own policy. Uninsured motorist coverage operates the same way, except that instead of making up the difference between the negligent driver’s coverage and your own policy limits, your insurance company will be responsible for all of your bills. In Virginia and North Carolina, and many other states, uninsured and underinsured car insurance coverage is mandatory but the amounts that you maintain on your policy are optional over the minimal coverage. It is a very important part of your car insurance, because it helps you if the other driver is uninsured, or does not have enough insurance for the magnitude of your injuries. 
     

     

    About the editors: The motto at Shapiro & Appleton law firm is simple -"All we do is injury law." We hope you were able to find the answer to your injury query. If not, please review our Virginia Accident Lawyer FAQ Library for additional information. If you'd like to speak to an actual attorney about your potential injury claim for free, please contact our office at 1-800-752-0042.

     

  • Does my state have a primary enforcement law for seat belts?

    Primary enforcement laws allow police officers to pull over and ticket drivers who are not wearing seat belts without requiring any other traffic citation.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that primary enforcement laws increase safety belt use by 11%.  This increase, nationwide, can save billions of dollars annually. 

    Here's a list of the states that we practice in that have primary enforcement laws:

    - South Carolina

    - North Carolina

    - District of Columbia

    - Maryland

    Virginia and West Virginia are still secondary enforcement states.  This means that the police officer must witness another traffic violation before he may pull you over for not wearing a seat belt.


    About the editors:
    The motto at Shapiro & Appleton& Duffan law firm is simple -"All we do is injury law." We hope you were able to find the answer to your injury query. If not, please review our Virginia Accident Lawyer FAQ Library for additional information. If you'd like to speak to an actual attorney about your potential injury claim for free, please contact our office at 1-800-752-0042.

  • Do I really need a lawyer?

    This is a good question since some cases don't really require a personal injury lawyer. In you're on the fence about hiring an attorney, we totally understand. This is an extremely important decision and there are so many lawyers out there telling you to "call them right away or your claim will forever be doomed." We don't work like that. 

    Part of our job is to help you figure out if you need a lawyer. We do this during a confidential, no-hassle consultation (which can be in-person or done over the phone). If you do not need an attorney, we will tell you and there is no charge for this initial evaluation. 

     

  • How long will the whole process take?

    Unfortunately, there is no simple response to this question. The length of time depends largely on how serious your injuries are, whether or not the at-fault party has insurance, the length of time in between the accident and when you contacted the firm, and so forth.

    We take great pride in being able to resolve cases as quickly as possible while knowing that we have not rushed the process. Our team of personal injury lawyers will help you determine a realistic framework for your case and its particular needs.
     

  • What should I do and not do if I am involved in any personal injury situation?

    Whether injured in a car wreck, on the job, or as the result of other negligent conduct of others, there are a few simple things anyone can do which will help in later investigations as well as the preservation of evidence and memories. The first step in any accident is to assess the presence and extent of any injuries. The appropriate authorities should be summoned without delay in the event of a car wreck (police and emergency medical personnel). You should also make an effort to identify as specifically as possible all eyewitnesses (names, addresses, telephone numbers).

    In the event of a car wreck you should notify your insurance company as soon as possible. You should also obtain photographs of your automobile, if it is damaged, as well as any injuries which are apparent. (If you don’t have a camera readily available disposable cameras are easily available at grocery and drug stores and serve an invaluable purpose in this setting). As soon as practical after the incident have photographs taken of the scene of the incident. When dealing with a car wreck be sure to get photographs of the layout of the highway, controlling speed limit signs, highway markings, traffic control devices, skid marks and gouges in the pavement resulting from the wreck. Prompt and appropriate medical care is probably the most important aspect of dealing with any injuries.

    Be sure you promptly obtain medical from a physician qualified to respond to your injuries. Give the doctor a complete history, including a description of the events which caused the injuries. Keep records of the dates of your doctor’s appointments, as well as the address and telephone number of the doctor’s office. This makes obtaining a complete medical file at a later date an easy task. Most medical offices have business cards readily available, you simply need to obtain a card and keep them together for easy reference at a later date. These simple steps will assist in reconstruction of your wreck as well as your medical care which are essential in the protection of anyone injured as the result of the negligence of others.  Virtually this entire site is devoted to this topic, to please read on.  Review our "case results" and video discussions. 

    About the editors: The motto at Shapiro & Appleton& Duffan law firm is simple -"All we do is injury law." We hope you were able to find the answer to your injury query. If not, please review our Virginia Accident Lawyer FAQ Library for additional information. If you'd like to speak to an actual attorney about your potential injury claim for free, please contact our office at 1-800-752-0042.