Despite all of the traffic laws that have been passed in Virginia and all the state and national PSAs educating drivers, the rate of car accidents in Hampton, Virginia, and across the state continues to increase each year. Victims of Hampton car accidents can and often do sustain injuries that leave them suffering from permanent disabilities and chronic pain. There can also be other unexpected expenses. At Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp, our Hampton, Virginia car accident attorneys have the resources necessary to investigate complex traffic accident cases. Our personal injury attorneys have been advocating for car accident victims for decades and have built a strong reputation for working diligently and aggressively to get our clients the financial compensation they deserve.
Massive traffic congestion routinely occurs around both the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel (HRBT) and the Monitor-Merrimac bridge tunnel (MMBT) and this creates an environment where serious car crashes can occur. Another contributing factor to serious car wrecks is the array of drivers routinely traveling through Hampton, including drivers heading to the Langley Air Force Base, the Hamptons Golf Course, and Fort Monroe, as well as a direct path to Colonial Williamsburg. This leads to a combination of regular commuters, tourists, and new residents who are not used to the traffic patterns of Hampton, not to mention the greater Tidewater area.
Imagine you and a friend are driving along I-64, get through the HRBT, and are headed towards the Hampton Coliseum when another car suddenly hits you. Both you and your friend suffer serious injuries. What do you do? The first step is to seek medical attention (probably at the Sentara CarePlex Hospital). Your next step should be seeking the counsel of a Hampton, Virginia car accident lawyer.
Why Should I Speak to a Hampton Car Accident Lawyer?
At Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp, we have practiced injury law since 1985 and have recovered major settlements and jury verdicts on behalf of clients who need compensation the most. We practice a client-focused approach at this firm, which means we take the time to listen to the goals and needs of every person who comes through our door for help. Our attorneys are respected by our peers, our rivals, and the courts in Virginia. This respect was earned over decades, not just years.
Our Hampton, Virginia office is conveniently located at 101 Eaton Street, Hampton, VA, less than a half mile away from the Hampton Circuit Court.
Car Accident Claims Our Firm Handles
With almost 40 years of successfully representing car accident victims, our Hampton car accident lawyers have extensive experience in the following types of car accident claims:
Uninsured and Underinsurance Insurance claims
Most states require vehicle owners to carry a minimum amount of liability insurance. This amount is set by each individual state. Victims of crashes can file an auto accident claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company. If the number of financial losses exceeds the amount of liability insurance the at-fault driver carries, the additional compensation may also come from the victim’s own vehicle insurance company, this is called UM (uninsured) or UIM (underinsured) insurance coverage.
Some insurance companies fail to negotiate in good faith to reach a fair settlement amount for the victim’s losses, or they dispute that their client was at fault for the crash. Whatever the reason for a settlement disagreement, your car accident lawyer may file a civil court lawsuit in the jurisdiction where the crash occurred. In a lawsuit, a judge or jury listens to the evidence presented by both parties and then determines if the victim does indeed deserve financial compensation and how much that award should be.
Not all car accidents are the result of another driver. Some crashes happen because of a defect or faulty vehicle part. In these cases, the victim can pursue a product liability claim against the manufacturer. Two of the most recent examples of this type of liability are faulty airbags and ignition switches. There have been many crashes and fatalities caused by these defects.
We have recovered significant settlements and jury verdicts on behalf of injured accident victims in Virginia, including:
- A $3.5 million jury verdict award with punitive damages for a drunk driving accident victim. Our client suffered debilitating, permanent injuries, including anoxic brain damage, almost every major bone in her body broken, a collapsed lung, traumatic pancreatitis, respiratory failure, hemorrhagic shock, internal bleeding and removal of the gallbladder, and multiple soft tissue injuries.
- A $1 million insurance settlement for a client who suffered massive injuries to his feet, ankles, and legs when a turning driver collided with his vehicle. The crash left our client disabled and needing a wheelchair to travel any distance greater than a few steps.
- A $235,000 insurance settlement for a client who suffered a concussion, soft tissue injuries to her back and neck, and a laceration to her face when another driver failed to yield the right of way and slammed into her vehicle.
What Damages Can I Recover After a Car Accident in Hampton?
The following types of damages are often available after a car accident in Hampton:
Compensation for actual monetary losses, such as:
- Medical Expenses: Current and future medical bills. For example, doctor appointments, surgeries, hospitalizations, physical therapy, prescription medications, home modifications for disability, and more.
- Lost Income: Reimbursement for the income you lost due to the accident and any wages you will lose in the future.
- Diminished Earning Capacity: If your injuries leave you unable to do your job at the same level you did before the accident.
- Property Damage: Money for the repairs or replacement of your vehicle if it is a total loss and any other items damaged in the crash. For example, your phone, laptop, car seat, etc.
Compensation for subjective, non-monetary losses.
- Pain and Suffering: Compensation for the pain and suffering you have endured due to the accident and your injuries. The more severe your injuries, the higher the amount of pain and suffering damages you are likely to receive.
- Emotional Distress: If you suffered any psychological conditions due to the car accident (e.g., anxiety, depression, insomnia, PTSD, etc.).
- Loss of Consortium: This type of compensation is meant to reimburse a victim’s family for the loss of companionship, services, affection, love, etc.
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life: If you can no longer engage in activities you previously enjoyed before the collision.
When a defendant’s (at-fault party’s) behavior was extremely reckless, you may be entitled to punitive damages meant to punish the defendant and deter others from similar actions.
How Long Does It Take to Settle a Car Accident Claim?
How long it takes to settle a car accident claim is unique in each case, often due to its complexity, whether fault is disputed, and the severity of your injuries. In the best-case scenario, an insurance company will settle your claim within 30 days. However, here is an alternative timeline to give you a general idea of how long it can take:
The First Six Months
If you are severely injured, your attorney will likely advise you to hold off on settling your claim until you recover or reach maximum medical improvement (MMI). That way, you have a complete picture of your financial and personal losses. Your lawyer will also investigate the accident, determine which parties are liable, and gather evidence to support your claim. Once you heal, your attorney will skillfully draft a demand letter and send it to the at-fault party’s insurance company to begin negotiations.
Months Six to 12
If you cannot reach an agreement with the insurance company, you and your attorney may choose to file a lawsuit. In Hampton, you typically have two years from the date of a collision to file suit under the state’s statute of limitations. Additionally, your case can still settle at any point, and claims frequently do before reaching the courtroom.
Months 12 to 18
If you file a car accident lawsuit, discovery will typically begin. This portion takes up the majority of a lawsuit, as both sides will send interrogatories, take depositions, hire expert witnesses for trial, and the defense (at-fault party) may request an independent medical examination.
Months 18 to 24 and Beyond
The remaining time will involve further negotiations, possibly mediation, and trial if necessary. Once you reach trial, it can take anywhere from a few days to several months to complete. If you are awarded compensation, it will typically be sent to your attorney within 30 days of a settlement or favorable verdict. They will keep part of it as their contingency fee, pay any liens, then send you the remaining balance.
Call Our Hampton, Virginia Personal Injury Law Firm for a Free Case Evaluation
If you have suffered injuries in a Hampton, Newport News, or Peninsula area car accident caused by another party, contact a Hampton, Virginia car accident attorney to find out what legal options you may have. At Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp, our accident lawyers are dedicated to helping injured clients obtain the compensation they deserve for their medical bills, lost income, and other losses their injuries have caused.
Call our office today at (833) 997-1774 or click here to schedule a free and confidential consultation.
For more information about what to do if you are seriously hurt in a Hampton car wreck, read these articles:
- Damages available in a Hampton, VA car crash claim
- What Is the Most Important Evidence to Gather After a Car Accident?
- How Accident Victims Receive Compensation for Economic Damages Through Insurance Claims and Personal Injury Lawsuits
- What Types of Evidence Do Personal Injury Lawyers Use to Substantiate Claims for Pain and Suffering?