Sleep Better at Night With Answers to Your Top Questions on Virginia Brain Injury Claims
Experiencing something as traumatic as an accident in Chesterfield County can leave your head spinning with questions and uncertainty. Get the answers you need fast in this FAQ series from Richmond brain injury attorney Kevin Mottley.
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What exactly is a temporal lobe injury and how will it affect me?
One of four main regions of the brain, the temporal lobe is critical to both emotional response and understanding visual cues. Sitting behind the temples and crossing both the left and right sides of the brain, the temporal lobe is susceptible to damage from car accidents, slip and fall injuries, or intentional acts of violence.
How a Temporal Lobe Injury Can Impact Your Life
Because it is separated across both hemispheres of the brain, any traumatic brain injury (TBI) involving the temporal lobe can affect numerous cognitive and physical functions. A temporal lobe injury may impact:
- Automatic physical responses like feeling pain or experiencing hunger
- Basic language function such as the ability to understand what words mean
- Emotional regulation
- Retaining existing memories
- Sensory input like recognizing visual objects and interpreting sounds
Obviously, symptoms from temporal lobe injuries may have drastic repercussions on your normal daily life and your ability to work. Accident victims with this type of injury can experience severe anxiety or anger that makes it difficult to maintain personal relationships. Cognitive issues, like remembering specific faces or clearly communicating ideas while speaking, as well as the potential for severe physical symptoms like seizures, may interfere with everyday tasks.
Recovering Damages After a Temporal Lobe TBI
An attorney with a deep knowledge of Virginia personal injury law is a critical component to your recovery after any TBI. A lawyer can help by investigating the accident and gathering evidence proving a negligent party caused your injury. Through a settlement or court case, you may be able to recover damages for:
- Basic medical costs like an emergency room visit or hospital stay
- Future medical expenses for severe TBIs that require long-term therapy or surgeries
- Loss of hourly, salaried, or self-employment wages while recovering
- Losing future earning potential if the temporal lobe injury interferes with your ability to continue working
- Pain and suffering or loss of quality of life
Have you or someone you loved suffered a temporal lobe injury in an accident? Call or message The Mottley Law Firm today and tell us about your case.
How long do I have to file a car accident lawsuit in Virginia?
After experiencing the trauma of a serious car accident, your primary focus should be on your physical and emotional recovery. Virginia law does limit the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party, however. The sooner you contact an experienced car crash lawyer to help with the financial side, the better off you'll be.
Understanding the Virginia Statute of Limitations for Car Crash Cases
In most personal injury cases, you have exactly two years from the date of the crash to file a lawsuit. If you file after that date, even if you have extremely compelling evidence that negligence caused your injury, the case will be thrown out.
That strict statute of limitations doesn’t mean the case must be resolved within two years, only that it has to be filed within that timeframe. Virginia’s statute of limitations in personal injury cases also doesn’t apply to seeking an insurance settlement. The insurance company may have a completely different deadline to keep in mind.
While in most instances the two-year deadline is ironclad, there are potential exceptions allowing lawsuits past that date. For instance, if you became disabled due to the injury and are physically or mentally unable to file a lawsuit, such as in the event of a coma or certain kinds of traumatic brain injuries, the statute may be put on hold.
In most instances, however, you should work with an attorney well in advance of the two-year deadline. Investigations take time, and you want to give your lawyer ample opportunity to:
- Calculate potential future expenses if you can’t return to work and need surgeries or further treatment down the line
- Gather evidence of the crash like eyewitness statements, police reports, insurance photos, etc.
- Prevent the at-fault party from destroying evidence before they are aware of a lawsuit, which can be a concern when dealing with an injury caused by negligent trucking companies
- Negotiate with insurance while pursuing the court case, as a settlement may be the better route to recovering damages depending on the circumstances of the accident
Were You Injured in a Virginia Car Crash?
The bottom line is that you shouldn’t wait a single day longer than necessary to begin exploring your legal options. If you were hurt in a car crash, get in touch with The Mottley Law Firm so we can learn more about your case.
How is my lost income calculated after a brain injury?
Negligent behavior can change your life forever if you suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) from a slip and fall or car accident. Getting back on your feet after such an accident means taking into account both physical and economic recovery. While medical costs are an important factor to keep in mind, your income itself is just as important. Your regularly monthly bills will still keep arriving even if you can’t earn a wage while recovering,
How Lost Income Is Calculated in a TBI Case
An insurance settlement or court judgment after a TBI can cover lost wages if you have to work part-time or can’t return to work in any capacity after the accident. In some instances, this amount may be a simple calculation of the number of hours missed multiplied by your hourly wage. Other cases may become more complex, however, such as if you end up having to take a lower-paying job or get passed over for a promotion.
Here’s what is specifically included in lost wage calculations:
- Self-employment income if you work from home or run your own business
- Full hourly or salaried wage if you can’t work at all
- The difference between your previous wage and current wage if you have to work fewer hours or take a pay cut at a new job
- Lost benefits, like sick and vacation days
- Missed bonuses or other perks you would have received
- Additional economic damages from lost future employment opportunities
It's fairly simple for your attorney to use pay stubs and employment records to calculate lost wages for days spent in the hospital recovering. Because traumatic brain injuries often have long-term repercussions, however, your legal team may need to go a step further to arrive at a full accounting of your future wages. Physicians, economic experts, and other witnesses might be utilized to show the full extent of your economic losses.
If You Suffered a TBI, You Need an Experienced Attorney
We want the opportunity to fight for your full recovery, and that includes lost income while you deal with the physical and emotional changes caused by a traumatic brain injury. Call or message us today to let us know the basic details of your case.
What types of trucks are commonly involved in accidents?
On any given day, a wide range of large vehicles crisscross Virginia’s streets and highways, delivering everything from garbage to gasoline to groceries. These trucks serve a necessary function, but also come with serious dangers, especially when drivers aren’t paying attention to the road or trucking companies fail to keep up with vehicle maintenance schedules.
Virginia Truck Collision Basics
Different types of truck accidents bring varying challenges and legal hurdles in discovering who is at fault and legally owes you compensation. In the Richmond area, truck accidents may involve any of these types of vehicles:
- Box trucks, typically for local or regional delivery
- Cement trucks and other road construction vehicles
- Flatbeds for hauling equipment
- Government vehicles like animal control, USPS delivery trucks, or street sweepers
- Rental trucks such as U-Haul, Penske, Ryder, etc.
- Tankers carrying liquid cargo
- Tow trucks for moving disabled vehicles
- Waste management trucks for garbage pickup or recycling
When a truck driver or employer fails to uphold their standard duty of care, crashes are bound to happen that cause serious injuries. Any of the truck types listed above are susceptible to accidents involving:
- Blindspot collisions
- Distracted or drowsy driving, especially in instances of logbook violations or improper training
- Jackknife crashes when the cab and trailer move in different directions
- Rollovers when a truck physically flips on its side
- Underride collisions when a smaller vehicle goes under the cargo bed of a truck
After an accident with any type of truck, be sure to call the police, document the scene as thoroughly as possible, and gather contact info on any eyewitnesses. Then, see a doctor to have your injuries examined.
Once you’ve attended to your medical needs, the most important next step is to contact an experienced personal injury attorney. A lawyer can work to determine who holds the most responsibility for your accident, whether it’s the truck driver, the company that hired them, a crew that performed shoddy repairs, or a government agency. From there, the attorney gathers and presents evidence to help you get the settlement you deserve.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Experienced Truck Accident Attorney
Truck accident victims can recover damages for hospital stays, surgeries, lost wages, emotional suffering, and other expenses stemming from the injury. Ready to take the next steps in your recovery? You can read our free report on Virginia personal injury cases or contact us directly to find out if we are the right firm to fight for your legal rights.
If I’ve had mild traumatic brain injuries in the past, can I still recover damages for a new injury?
You’ve probably heard phrases like “pre-existing conditions” get tossed around on TV shows and in the news, and that may leave you thinking you can’t seek compensation if you suffer more than one brain injury. Thankfully, that’s not actually true. The law is on your side if you’ve been hurt in multiple accidents, although there are unique challenges in this sort of situation that an attorney will need to walk you through.
Legal and Physical Consequences of Multiple TBIs
Lawsuits from victims of multiple injuries are sometimes referred to as involving the “eggshell plaintiff” or “eggshell skull” rule. This essentially means that due to a previous accident, you were more likely to be injured again in the future.
Here’s the simple truth to understand—just because you were harmed in the past and were susceptible to additional injuries down the line doesn’t mean people are allowed to behave negligently. If you suffered another traumatic brain injury, whether from a car crash with a distracted driver or by slipping and falling when a store manager didn’t handle a problem, you can still seek compensation.
In fact, it is particularly important to pursue your legal right to recover damages after multiple injuries, as repeated TBIs—even mild ones—can result in serious cognitive and behavioral changes. Repeat mild traumatic brain injuries are often associated with mood disorders and difficulties with memory that may prevent you from working and drastically interfere with your daily life. In more serious cases, they can also cause problems with your vision and ability to communicate.
Cases involving plaintiffs who have experienced TBIs in the past can be more difficult to win, however, because you will need to show:
- How your previous injury made you susceptible to further harm
- That your current medical costs and loss of wages stem from this new accident
- Proof that the at-fault party behaved with negligence, whether by driving under the influence, failing to fix broken steps, or some other behavior
An attorney is absolutely critical to this process and can help by utilizing medical records, police reports, and eyewitness testimony to provide compelling evidence in a lawsuit.
Have You Suffered More Than One Traumatic Brain Injury?
Even if you’ve been injured in previous accidents, you still have a legal right to hold the negligent party in any new accident responsible for your costs. We’d like to hear more about your case to find out if we are the right fit to help you pursue legal action—send us the basic details of your situation today.
How long do I have to file a truck accident case in Virginia?
In most Virginia accidents involving a commercial cargo vehicle or a large passenger truck, you have exactly two years to file a personal injury lawsuit. Filing against a negligent truck driver or trucking company after that date will almost certainly result in losing out on your legal right to recover damages. You need to act quickly because the negligent party can simply file a motion to dismiss after two years, and your case will most likely be tossed by the court.
Why Prompt Action Is Key
There are some extremely rare exceptions that can extend the two-year time frame, such as if the negligent party flees the state to avoid appearing in court, but in general you shouldn’t wait until the deadline before filing. There are more reasons to act quickly than just racing against the statute of limitations.
You want to get an attorney’s assistance as soon as possible to prevent crucial evidence in your case from being intentionally destroyed or unintentionally tossed out by the trucking company, for instance. The sooner you retain legal counsel to investigate your accident, the easier it will be for your attorney to obtain compelling evidence showing what specifically caused the accident, such as:
- Black box data from the truck
- Employment records
- Maintenance schedule information
- Physical evidence like tire skid marks and photos of the scene
- Statements from eyewitnesses
Victims with severe physical injuries may consider waiting to file a lawsuit until they are further along in their recovery and the full medical costs associated with the accident are clear. This isn’t necessary, however, and there’s no actual benefit to waiting. Even if you have persistent medical costs, such as expecting additional surgeries in the future or ongoing therapy sessions, you should still file as soon as possible. Future medical expenses, as well as the loss of future earning potential if you can’t work, can be calculated as part of a settlement or judgment from a court.
Contact an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney
Talk with an attorney as soon as you can after a truck crash to get the information you need and protect your legal rights to compensation. If you or someone you love was injured by a negligent truck driver, talk to The Mottley Law Firm so we can determine your best course of action before the statute of limitations expires.
I was injured in an accident with a drunk driver. Should I file a car accident claim?
Crashes caused by a driver who was drunk or under the influence of narcotics can be some of the most devastating, with major injuries or even fatalities frequently involved. While you have legal rights to recover damages after getting hit by a drunk driver, the system doesn’t always work in your favor. That’s especially true if you don’t have a legal professional in your corner.
You Need an Attorney to File a Claim After a DUI Crash
Even if the Commonwealth of Virginia brings a criminal case against the drunk driver, that case won’t help with your costs after the collision. From broken bones to traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord damage, your medical expenses are likely significant after a DUI collision. Those costs can be astronomical before even taking into account factors like loss of wages if you need time to recover before returning to work.
That’s why you absolutely need to seek an insurance settlement or a personal injury case against the at-fault party. There’s a catch here, though, and it’s an important one you need to know about ahead of time. Negotiating with insurance can be tricky, even when fault is incredibly obvious, like in the case of a drunk driver. Unfortunately, your insurance carrier only makes money if they pay out less than they bring in, so the adjuster will likely attempt to get you to admit partial fault or find a way to deny your claim. That problem is easier to overcome with an attorney’s assistance.
In addition to the costs of your medical treatment and loss of wages, a drunk driving case may feature punitive damages that can significantly increase your monetary award. These damages are intended as a punishment for reckless behavior that resulted in injury.
For the best shot at recovering full damages, an attorney needs to gather and present the necessary evidence either to the insurance company or to a jury. That evidence is needed to prove negligence on the part of the drunk driver, as well as to showcase the full amount of compensation you are legally owed.
Let an Attorney Help You Hold the Drunk Driver Responsible
Were you hurt in a crash with a drunk driver, or did a close loved one die in the collision? Get in touch with a personal injury attorney with experience in DUI cases. Call us today or send a message through our online form so we can start determining the best next steps for your case.
How badly do I need to be hurt to call a car accident lawyer?
After a car crash caused by negligence, you have the legal right to pursue compensation for your economic and non-economic damages. Not every single vehicle collision requires an attorney, however.
If your crash only resulted in property damage or minor physical pain, insurance may take care of the situation. If you’ve been more seriously hurt, working with a lawyer may be in your best interest.
Car Crash Injuries That Warrant Contacting an Attorney
If there’s no physical injury at all in a car crash, there’s usually no need to contact an attorney. Here’s the catch though—you may have internal injuries that aren’t visible and can cause serious problems in the future.
If you’ve been in an accident, even one that seems minor, always see a doctor as soon as possible. After visiting a doctor, you may need the help of an experienced personal accident lawyer if you suffered:
- Broken bones
- Emotional damage like PTSD, anxiety, difficulty sleeping, etc.
- Soft tissue damage
- Spinal cord injury
- Traumatic brain injury
In short, you should probably contact a lawyer if your injury required seeing a specialist, any kind of surgery was involved, or long-term rehabilitation is needed. An attorney can also be extremely helpful if you suffer constant pain and discomfort that requires changing your daily schedule or prevents you from returning to work.
How an Attorney Helps After a Car or Truck Accident
If your injury is serious enough that professional legal help is worthwhile, an attorney can investigate the accident to determine who is specifically at fault. It may not always be the other driver, and there may be situations where multiple people share fault, which can complicate your case.
An experienced personal injury lawyer will also help by determining a full and fair monetary value to your losses based on medical bills, out-of-pocket costs, future treatments, and loss of wages. Even if you don’t end up taking the negligent party to court, an attorney can also help if your insurance carrier attempts to deny your claim or offers a far lower amount than you are actually owed.
Do You Need Help After a Virginia Car Crash?
Were you injured in a crash and think you might need an attorney to seek compensation? Start a live chat or send a message through our online form to schedule a free case evaluation.
My child was hurt in a car accident. What should I do?
No parent ever wants to experience the terror of learning their child has been in a serious car accident. Unfortunately, the frequency of vehicle crashes on Virginia roads makes this scenario a distinct possibility. If your child is injured in a collision, there are actions you need to take in both the short and long term to protect their legal rights.
Steps to Take After Your Child Is in a Car Crash
After calling 911 to alert emergency medical personnel and law enforcement, make sure to take these steps as soon as possible:
- Document the accident with photographs if you are at the scene with your child, and speak with witnesses to gather their contact information in case they need to answer questions or testify in court at a later time.
- Let an attorney handle all communication with insurance. Do not provide them with any kind of statement, as your words may be used against you to deny your child’s claim.
- Seek legal advice from an experienced personal injury lawyer to discuss your best method for receiving the full compensation your child is owed, which may require taking an at-fault driver to court.
- Take your child to see a doctor, even if they don’t visibly seem hurt or complain of any serious pain. Internal wounds, traumatic brain injuries, nerve damage, and other medical issues aren’t always immediately apparent and can have drastic effects on your child’s life.
Claims Involving Children Can Be Complicated
While minors under the age of 18 have a legal right to compensation, they are unable to file lawsuits in Virginia on their own. That means you as the parent or guardian must handle this aspect of their recovery on their behalf.
You need a legal professional on your side to anticipate and handle issues that may complicate your child’s case, such as if the accident occurred in a rideshare vehicle, was caused by a negligent trucking company, or if multiple cars were involved in the collision.
With the help of a lawyer, your child may be able to recover damages for medical costs like hospital stays, surgeries, medication, and rehabilitative therapy. A car crash can also create an impact on their life beyond just the initial injuries, and an attorney can help you seek compensation for their pain and suffering, as well as the potential loss of future wages.
Our Personal Injury Attorney Can Help Your Child
Reach out through our online contact form and we’ll get in touch to find out if we can help you during this difficult time. Your family deserves the best legal representation possible, and we want to help while your child recovers.
How can I support a loved one who recently suffered a brain injury?
Recovery after a TBI (traumatic brain injury) is an ongoing process that requires changes not just to the victim’s daily life, but also to yours as a close loved one. When a child, parent, sibling, spouse, or a personal friend suffers a brain injury, you can be a vital part of overcoming their day-to-day struggles.
How You Can Be There for a Traumatic Brain Injury Patient
Depending on the severity of the TBI, your family member or friend might be unable to return to work, incapable of driving themselves to appointments, or even have trouble with daily chores Your goal should be to keep stress levels down as your loved one deals with these potentially life-long changes while also potentially pursuing a legal case against the negligent party responsible for the injury. These are some of the ways you can specifically be the most helpful:
- Be prepared for difficulties. Patience is a critical element of helping a TBI patient, as behavior changes and frustration with new challenges are common.
- Encourage your loved one to take legal action. Recovery isn’t just therapy, medication, and learning new coping techniques. It also involves holding those responsible accountable for their actions and handling financial matters. If the traumatic brain injury was caused by negligence, your loved one may be able to recover damages for medical bills, loss of wages, and pain and suffering.
- Gain an understanding of the medical repercussions. TBIs may cause a range of physical, mental, and emotional issues that can deeply impact daily life and relationships with friends and family, from post-traumatic stress disorder to mood changes and even difficulties with vision.
- Help remember the small details. Your loved one will likely need assistance keeping records, writing down questions, and tracking bills that need to be paid. It is extremely easy for a TBI patient to become distracted or forget important dates and details.
- Make necessary changes at home. There are many things you can do to keep your loved one as safe and comfortable as possible, such as installing assistive equipment. In some cases, you may need to consider long-term care at a facility for more in-depth assistance that can’t always be provided at home.
- Seek out TBI rehabilitation experts to assist in the recovery process. This may include doctors, speech therapists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and support groups for TBI victims.
Get the Help Your Loved One Needs for Their Traumatic Brain Injury
Your loved one’s case is unique, and the specific care they require and ways you can help can vary depending on the type of accident and TBI that was sustained. Get in touch with an attorney to learn more about what you can do, and be sure to also sign up for our newsletter to receive regular information with more information brain injury cases.