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The questions on this page were answered by our team of Virginia Beach & Norfolk personal injury attorneys. The questions are categorized by practice area such as car accidents, medical malpractice, wrongful death, etc. If you have specific questions about your situation, contact our firm to set up a free consultation with an actual attorney.

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  • Will my new personal injury lawyer come to see me at my house or the hospital if I am not able to get to his office to hire him for my injury case?

    Yes. Almost all personal injury lawyers who regularly handle car, motorcycle, and truck accident cases will be happy to come visit you in your home or at the hospital to get the paperwork started for them to represent you in the case. If you are hospitalized this is typically the only way possible to meet with your attorney in the important early days before the evidence trail starts to get cold. At our firm, we also understand that if the family car has been made inoperable because of the car wreck that it may be a burden for the injured person to get to our offices in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA). Our attorneys are always ready to meet with you however is most convenient for you, our prospective client. Our job is to provide the best service we can to people seriously hurt by the negligence of others.

     

  • What happens to my Virginia injury case if I file bankruptcy?

    If you are hurt in a car wreck in Virginia (VA), you may be forced to consider bankruptcy because of the huge medical bills and the loss of your job or wages because of the injury.  As a Virginia Beach personal injury lawyer, unfortunately this has happened to many of my clients in auto accidents over the past 20 years.  Nobody wants to file bankruptcy, but sometimes there is no choice especially after a serious injury in an accident.  The bankruptcy does not prevent you from getting money for your injury from the insurance company in a Virginia car crash claim.

    If you have an ongoing personal injury claim or lawsuit and are considering bankruptcy, you need to tell your injury lawyer as soon as possible what's going on with you financially.  Your attorney can help you to find a good bankruptcy lawyer and stay in touch so that your car crash case and the bankruptcy case are handled properly.  In Virginia there is an exemption for the proceeds of the personal injury case, so that if properly listed in the bankruptcy case the injured person gets to keep the money from the personal injury case even though they went into bankruptcy.  This rule varies in different states.

    Generally, the value of your personal injury lawsuit in Virginia is not affected too much by a bankruptcy even one that cancels the obligation to pay back the health care providers who rendered treatment.  The Virginia case law allows the injury attorney to put into evidence the amount of the medical bills, even if those medical bills were wiped out in bankruptcy, as an indication of the amount of pain and suffering that the person went through after the car wreck.  However, to make sure that the bankruptcy does not mess up your personal injury case it's critical that you have a competent, experienced lawyer who knows their way through these issues, and that you communicate fully with that lawyer about your financial situation.

     

    About the editors: The motto at Shapiro, Appleton & Washburnlaw 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 Virginia (VA) statute of limitations for a personal injury in a car/motor vehicle accident?

    First, always consult a lawyer for specific legal advice as this is only a guide and never rely on such a guide for an important legal decision. In Virginia, for persons who were were 18 years of age when injured, and are not under any particular disability, Virginia follows a two-year statute of limitations on personal injuries arising from car accidents and many other types of personal injury situations,  and this is the statute of limitations for medical malpractice and medical negligence claims also. Again, seek specific legal advice as there are numerous exceptions, for minors and those who were incompetent or under a legal disability, and this does not necessarily apply to wrongful death situations either.  Normally, medical malpractice actions must be commenced within two years of the date of the act or omission giving rise to the claim. For VA medical malpractice actions involving the presence of a foreign object inside the body, special discovery rules apply, so seek specific legal advice as the limitation period may be more than two years.

    One of the many reasons the lawyer should be consulted is that each state has special rules on what is usually called "the discovery rule" which essentially means sometimes a statute of limitations may be extended if the person could not reasonably discover that they had a case. Also persons who are “incompetent” (states have legal definitions on what this means) or under some type of (legal) disability, may have additional time to bring a lawsuit under certain state rules.

    Also, which state's statute of limitations applies to a particular type of personal injury is not always clear, for example, if a resident of North Carolina suffers an injury in Virginia, which state’s statute of limitation that applies may be complicated and depend on the precise types of claims that apply to the particular case. . It may depend on where a lawyer chooses to file a personal injury lawsuit. So, depending upon what type of personal injury action, whether under a state law or federal law or statute, as well as where the action is going to be filed in court, may have bearing on what statute of limitations applies, as well as what other exceptions to the statute of limitations may allow a personal injury victim/claimant to extend the period by which a suit may be filed.

    In complicated situations this is a very important legal determination that should only be made by a qualified, experienced, personal injury lawyer. This is another reason that you should obtain a confidential, free, initial consultation with a personal injury lawyer with our law firm if you are uncertain about the statute of limitations that may apply to a particular claim/case or personal injury situation.


    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.

  • I was hurt in a car wreck, so what is my case worth?

    If you had been hurt in a car wreck and suffered serious injuries, you want to know the value of your case as soon as possible. As an experienced injury and wrongful death lawyer in Virginia, I can tell you that it is a more complicated question than you might think. First just because a lawyer tells you that your case is worth a million dollars don't think that is necessarily the case, especially if a lawyer is trying to get you to sign up with them. An honest attorney should not promise you the stars and the moon just to get you to hire them.

    What I tell people at the beginning of a case is that I don't yet have enough information to know what the value of the case is going to be until I have seen the medical records and bills and find out whether you have a permanent injury which could involve future lost wages or additional medical care. There will come a time when your attorney should show you how they analyze your case to figure out what it is worth in their opinion. That time is not at the beginning of your case, but once the necessary information has been collected and your medical care has happened so that your prognosis is known. You don't want to settle a case one day and find out the next that you still need a surgery for the injuries from the accident.

    Once you settle your case with the insurance company there is no coming back later. So when I get to the point in your case where I'm telling the client what I think of the case value, I want to be sure that I have all the information including what the future is likely to hold for you. The factors that go into the value of the case are many including the amount of your economic losses like medical bills and lost wages as well as the intangible loss of quality of life items which are often called pain and suffering. However, your damages include everything that's happened to you as a result of the wreck from that time until the case is resolved including all of the out-of-pocket expenses, hassles, embarrassment, physical suffering, anguish, and psychological effect of the injury on you. Other variables also come into effect like the venue or court where the case would have to be heard as some jurisdictions are better than others because the juries are more generous with people who are hurt and less favorable to the insurance defense lawyers. In car crashes these days the amount of property damage to the vehicles makes a lot of difference in that the more messed up the vehicles are the easier it is for the jury to believe that the person was injured as an occupant of the vehicle. Finally, there are lots of other issues like how bad the defendant's conduct was, whether they were a drunk driver or a big corporate defendant and how likable and honest the plaintiff, that is you the injured person, will come across to the jury.

     

    About the editors: The motto at Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn 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 should I do if I am involved in a car accident?

    First, you should seek proper medical attention. If you are conscious at the scene, collect all pertinent information from the other drivers (i.e. driver’s license numbers, address, phone number, insurance card information, etc.). Make sure to keep a daily journal beginning with the date of the accident to document all physical and mental injuries, as well as document your view of the accident.


    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.

  • 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.

  • 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.