Car accidents can cause a tremendous amount of disruption for those involved. Victims often face injuries, bills, and psychological impacts as a result of the situation. Legally, these are the responsibility of whoever caused the accident or their insurance company, which often addresses these kinds of situations.
Getting that compensation, though, can be challenging, but a Fairfax, VA, car accident lawyer may be able to help.
At Whitlock Law, LLC, we’ve primarily taken on all manner of car accident claims, truck accidents, and motorcycle accidents, and we understand the intricacies involved in these cases. We’ve been able to successfully negotiate settlements for clients.
Our firm has found proper restitution through litigation at times when a settlement wasn’t possible. We’re prepared to make the strongest case we can for our clients and seek compensation by whatever means necessary.
For many, working with a Fairfax, VA, car accident lawyer is critical to receiving proper compensation. We take on a number of different roles when seeking compensation, often beginning with a full investigation of your accident.
When investigating the accident, we need to identify who is liable. Often, that is another driver, though others could contribute to the accident or possibly be the only party at fault. We can also gather evidence to prove their liability in court, should it come to that.
Additionally, we must gather evidence that can defend against accusations that you were at fault for the incident. That claim may be used to prevent you from collecting restitution.
After an investigation, there might be an attempt to negotiate a settlement with the party at fault before taking the claim to court. In many situations, a settlement could be a better option for both parties. It’s important, though, that the representatives on the other side take the situation seriously, as a fair agreement must be reached to make a settlement worthwhile.
When we represent you in these negotiations, it can lead to better results, as the other side recognizes that failing to settle will likely mean ending up in court.
There will be some situations, though, where litigation is unavoidable, as a reasonable settlement can’t be found. We have experience taking these claims through litigation and understand what it takes to win. From arguing for the liability of the other party to defending against claims of your liability, we are prepared to represent you and defend your right to collect restitution.
Personal injury claim rules, which all car accident claims are filed under, will determine the compensation that you can receive. This is limited to the costs that are a direct result of the injuries that you suffered in the accident.
The court will expect these costs to be proven, which is typically done through bills, receipts, and other forms of documentation. It’s critical that you keep a good record of your costs so that you can seek compensation for them.
If you win your claim or negotiate a settlement, your compensation will then be paid through different forms of damages:
When considering the compensation that you may receive when taking a claim to court, it’s important to consider the potential impact of Virginia’s contributory negligence laws.
Under these rules, the defendant’s lawyers are given the opportunity to argue that the plaintiff’s actions meet the qualifications for negligence and that, without these actions, the accident wouldn’t have occurred.
When this is successfully argued in most states, which operate under comparative negligence rules, the plaintiff’s damages are reduced proportionately to their share of fault for the accident.
However, because Virginia is one of just a handful of states that operate under contributory negligence rules, a plaintiff who is found to have a minuscule amount of fault for the accident could be prevented from collecting any damages.
The potential impact of contributory negligence is one of the many reasons why it is so important to work with an experienced car accident lawyer. We’ve dealt with claims of contributory negligence before. Our firm understands how to defend against them and preserve your opportunity to collect damages.
One of the most important elements of a car accident claim is to identify the parties who are liable for the accident. These potentially liable parties are those who could have prevented the accident, had they not acted negligently.
Although the assumption may be that it is another driver, they are not the only party who could be liable for an accident. Some of the potentially liable parties include:
If a claim goes to trial, then fault on the part of the defendant must be established to be able to collect damages. This means demonstrating why the defendant is liable, and how the accident would not have occurred if it weren’t for their actions.
This is proven by demonstrating the three elements of negligence regarding the defendant’s actions:
Many people involved in a car accident claim must, at some point, consider the option of settling a claim instead of taking the case to court. There are usually a couple of significant advantages to settling a claim and avoiding a trial.
While a trial that goes exactly as you hope may offer a greater financial award, there are some potential downsides to that option, which also happen to be the advantages of a settlement.
When you take a claim to court, it can often be a long time before you finally receive the funds that you’re seeking. A trial is likely going to last at least a matter of months, and it’s quite possible that it could be years before the claim is finally resolved, especially if it is a particularly complex case or if the court is processing a lot of cases.
However, when you agree to terms in a settlement, the funds are distributed according to those terms. This will often mean that you get the agreed-upon compensation within 30 days of the settlement being finalized.
The disadvantage of taking a claim to court is the element of risk. It’s possible that the court may not see things your way and rule against you. This happens in even the strongest of cases, and the risk is even greater under Virginia’s contributory negligence rules.
While it is possible that a trial could offer greater compensation, it also holds a greater chance of you getting nothing. A settlement, though, guarantees that you will receive the funds that were agreed upon.
Whether a settlement makes sense for you will depend on your personal assessment of the situation and how you value the factors involved.
While we can seek the highest offer that we can get from the other side, you must weigh that offer against the downsides of going to trial. For those looking to get their funds sooner or avoid the risk that a trial poses, a settlement may be the right option.
We understand how frustrating it can be for victims of car accidents who end up with injuries and expenses through no fault of their own. The medical bills, repair costs, and missed wages can create a lot of anxiety.
That’s on top of the psychological stress that the accident and injuries already cause. That’s why it’s critical for those who find themselves in that situation to work with a Fairfax car accident lawyer who can help to seek restitution from the liable parties.
Getting proper restitution in a car accident claim can often be challenging. Typically, you will seek that compensation from the at-fault party’s insurance company. These insurance companies often resist paying a fair restitution package but at Whitlock Law, LLC, we have experience getting our clients the compensation that they deserve, whether through settlement or litigation.
Contact us if you’ve been in a car accident and want to hear how we may be able to help with your claim.
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