Whether a car accident, dog bite, or boat collision, any personal injury can be overwhelming. Your injuries, insurance adjusters, the at-fault party, and the legal system are a lot for anyone to face. With over three decades of experience and results, our Virginia and Suffolk personal injury lawyers will fight for the compensation you deserve. Contact us to start your free consultation. You won’t owe us any legal fees unless we settle or win your case.
Suffolk Personal Injury Lawyer FAQs
- Do I need an injury lawyer?
- How is a settlement calculated?
- How long will my case take?
- What are the deadlines to file a claim?
- How much does a lawyer cost?
Do I need a Suffolk personal injury lawyer?
No, you are not required to hire a Virginia or Suffolk personal injury lawyer after an accident. You are certainly welcome to file a claim or a lawsuit on your own. However, you should be careful not to sign away your legal rights for a small or inadequate settlement. Once you agree to a settlement and sign the release papers, you will no longer be able to ask for more money related to your injuries.
Here are a few situations that may benefit from hiring a Suffolk personal injury lawyer:
- Permanent, Life-Altering Injuries: If you are permanently injured after an accident, it is likely that you will need life-long medical care. On top of that, your ability to work and earn a living has probably been affected as well. You’ll want an experienced personal injury lawyer that can show the insurance companies, as well as a jury, just how much your injuries have affected your life.
- Severe Injuries: Even when not permanent, severe injuries can result in expensive medical bills and lost income. A lawyer can help to ensure all of your medical bills, lost income, and any future medical care you may need, are included in your settlement.
- Low-Ball Settlement Offers: Insurance companies will often make low-ball offers within a matter of weeks hoping to quickly settle a claim. If you’re comfortable accepting their offer, it may not take long for you to get your settlement check. Unfortunately, though, these offers come with an agreement that you will not ask for more money related to your injuries in the future.
- Death of a Loved One: Virginia allows certain family members to file a claim for losses they have suffered due to the wrongful death of a loved one. These claims should be handled by a lawyer who understands the Virginia wrongful death statute so that the true beneficiaries are compensated.
How is a personal injury settlement calculated?
How Insurance Policy Limits Can Affect Your Settlement
Settlement amounts are based on both the damage done and the severity of the injuries sustained. Another major factor? Policy limits. These caps set by the insurance company limit the size of the settlement they are willing to pay. Agreed to in the insurance policy purchased by the insured, policy limits often represent the ceiling for settlement negotiations. Even if your claim is less than the policy limit, insurance companies make low-ball settlement offers at first. A lawyer can help you negotiate a fair settlement.
Damages Available to Personal Injury Victims
Depending on the details of your personal injury, you may be entitled to one or more of the following types of compensation:
- Medical Bills: Whether you need an ambulance ride to a hospital, a life-saving surgery, or years of physical therapy– medical bills can add up quickly. A personal injury lawyer can help you seek compensation for those bills, as well as any future medical expenses associated with your injury.
- Lost Paychecks: If you’re hospitalized after your accident, there’s a good chance you’ll miss work while you recuperate. Seek the paychecks you missed out on. Accidents can put people out of work for months or permanently, so the loss of earnings should also be included in your settlement.
- Pain and Suffering: Long after the physical wounds heal, the emotional pain of an accident can linger. Pain and suffering may be included in your settlement.
- Punitive damages: Negligent parties often need more than an accident to deter them from acting recklessly again. Punitive damages are sometimes awarded to motivate them to act more responsibly in the future.
- Wrongful death: If your loved one was killed, you’re probably grief-stricken and wondering how you’ll shoulder medical bills, funeral costs – not to mention the loss of future income for your family. Of course, the emotional loss cannot be understated either. The Virginia wrongful death statute allows certain family members to bring a claim for the losses they have suffered from the death of their loved one.
How long does an injury claim take to settle?
There are many factors that go into determining how long it will take to settle a Virginia personal injury case. Here are the most important:
- Reaching Maximum Medical Improvement: Maximum medical improvement (MMI) is the point at which your medical condition is as good as it’s going to get. Reaching MMI before starting negotiations with the insurance companies will ensure that all of your medical bills, past and future, are included in a settlement.
- Negotiations: Next comes negotiation. Your Suffolk personal injury lawyer, seeking the maximum compensation possible, will work with the insurance company to reach a settlement that satisfies both parties.
- Trial: Although most of our cases are settled without having to go to court, if an agreement cannot be reached, we may need to file a lawsuit. Although filing a lawsuit kick starts the process of preparing for a trial, negotiations will still continue. Just because litigation is initiated doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily go to court.
The final answer—it depends.
Statute of Limitations (Deadlines)
Under Virginia law, it is necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit within strict deadlines imposed by law. In many cases, Virginia provides for a two-year deadline also known as a Statute of Limitations. However, every case is different and this deadline could vary depending on the circumstances of the situation. Contact a Virginia personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after your accident to protect your right to compensation.
Don’t wait until the last minute
While two years might seem like a long time, the investigation and negotiation processes can be lengthy. To protect your rights, you should speak with a Virginia personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Once you have missed this deadline, you will no longer be able to file a claim.
How much does a personal injury lawyer charge?
No Legal Fees Unless We Settle or Win
We understand the fees associated with a lawsuit can be a barrier to justice. Corporations and insurance companies have tremendous resources, and our no-fee promise levels the playing field. Our no-fee promise means that you don’t owe us any legal fees unless we settle or win your case. Our personal injury lawyers will work on your behalf to get a fair settlement, and only charge legal fees if you receive a settlement or verdict.
After a personal injury accident, you need an ally who will work tirelessly to ensure your rights are protected. Allow the Serpe Firm team to be your advocate in your time of need. Our Suffolk personal injury lawyers will fight for the best possible outcome on your behalf.
Types of Personal Injury Cases We Handle
If you’ve been injured, or your loved one has been killed, we will protect your legal rights and fight for the maximum compensation you deserve.
- Jones Act & Maritime Lawyer: tugboats, barges, fishing boats, cruise ships, cargo ships, maintenance and cure
- Auto Accidents: involving cars, trucks, bicycles, pedestrians, motorcycles, uninsured/underinsured motorists
- Dog Bites & Attacks: for children, adults, mail carriers, delivery truck drivers, pedestrians, joggers, etc.
- Guardrail Accidents: defective, outdated, and improperly installed guardrails causing injury and death
- Nursing Home Neglect: falls, bed and pressure sores, medication errors, wrongful death
- Wrongful Death: wrongful death of a loved one due to someone else’s negligence
- Birth Injury: Inadequate training, defective drugs, and ineffective policies can all lead to medical mistakes.
- Child Lead Poisoning: lead poisoning can cause long-term permanent cognitive injuries in children
- Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: faulty equipment/appliances, improper repairs, improper venting, and faulty detectors