Frequently Asked Questions

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  • How is a settlement amount determined?

    There are multiple factors that are used to determine what settlement amount a victim should receive for their injuries, including:

    • The amount of assets or insurance the at-fault party has available. If the victim’s damages are of a higher amount than what the at-fault party’s insurance limits are and that party does not have the assets to make up the difference, the case will likely settle for the policy limit amount. There are exceptions, however, such as in car accident lawsuits where the victim may be able to also file a claim against their own insurance policy).
    • Projecting what a jury could decide the value of the case is if the case goes to trial. An injury attorney will research what jury verdicts were in cases similar to the victim’s case.
    • The willingness of the victim to settle for less than the full value of their claim or the willingness of the at-fault party and/or their insurance company to settle.

  • Who can agree to a settlement?

    The only parties who have the authority to settle a lawsuit is the victim. A personal injury attorney can only negotiate on the victim’s behalf and offer legal guidance as to whether or not the settlement amount if a fair and just one. The attorney cannot agree to the settlement on behalf of the victim. Once an agreement is reached, a judge must still approve the offer.

  • How do settlements work if there is more than one at-fault party named in a lawsuit?

    When there are multiple liable parties named in a lawsuit, the victim can reach a settlement with one or more of the parties and still pursue litigation against the party or parties who have not settled. This is referred to as a partial settlement.

  • At what point during the personal injury lawsuit process can a settlement take place?

    The parties can agree to a settlement at any time during the process, from the time the victim files their claim, before the trial, or during the trial, up to when the jury or judge announces their decision. Even after the trial, if there is an appeal filed, a settlement agreement can still be negotiated.

  • What is a settlement in a personal injury lawsuit?

    A settlement is an agreement that the parties involved in the lawsuit come to in order to avoid litigating the lawsuit in court. The majority of settlements involve a monetary award that the at-fault party or parties agree to pay to the victim. This compensation is to cover both the economic and noneconomic losses the victim suffered as a result of their injuries. In return, the victim agrees to dismiss all claims they have made against the at-fault party.

     

  • I was hit by a commercial truck and got seriously hurt. Is an injury claim against a trucking company the same as a car accident claim?

    If you were seriously hurt in an accident caused by a large commercial truck or big rig, the process for taking legal action isn't exactly the same as filing a claim in a more typical auto accident.
     
    In a typical auto accident, state law usually applies. When a commercial big rig or 18-wheeler is involved, certain federal laws apply. For example, commercial trucks must comply with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR). These regulations were passed to reduce commercial vehicle accidents and decrease fatalities. 
     
    Federal laws mandate that commercial truck drivers and companies carry certain minimum amounts of liability, bodily injury, and property damage insurance coverage. These federal laws and regulations establish certain standards for trucking companies, owners, and drivers. Federal laws concerning commercial truck drivers can be found under Title 49 of the United States Government regulations.  There are also many federal laws that set forth a list of safety regulations a commercial truck driver must follow, including logging requirements and proper weight and vehicle load. 
     
    The litigation process against a major trucking company can be complicated, which is why we strongly recommend you reach out to a law firm that has experience in truck accident injury cases. 

  • Can I afford to get into a lawsuit?

    At our law firm, we handle cases on a contingent basis so that if we do not recover anything for you, you do not owe us any fees. We also advance the legal costs for you so that large corporations and insurance companies cannot overwhelm you with experts and other legal tactics. We will also assist you in obtaining all benefits available to you to help you in this difficult time.

  • What if I do not want to go to court because I am getting nervous about testifying?

    On average, we are able to resolve a great majority of cases by settlement approved by you. However, we are always ready to try your case and will work with you to make sure you understand the process and to prepare you for court. As a result, there usually are no surprises when we go to court.

    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.

  • How much am I likely to recover when in court?

    Our goal is to obtain the best possible result for you. We believe that every case is unique and our evaluation of your case reflects our experience in assessing your situation. Our firm has obtained record verdicts because we are willing to fight hard and not just except a claim adjuster's evaluation of your case. As a result, we often have "million dollar" results whether by settlement or trial.

    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.

  • Who pays if I incur an injury due to an auto accident or my car is damaged?

    If you are to blame for an accident, your liability insurance will pay the other driver for property damage and personal injuries up to your policy's limits. If you are not at fault, the other driver’s liability insurance pays for your car damage and personal injuries.

    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.