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.
- Page 1
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.
What do I need to know about filing a lawsuit for a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI)?
When dealing with a traumatic brain injury (TBI), the word “mild” is something of a misnomer, as you may still experience serious symptoms over an extended period. Unfortunately, that word alone can cause problems when dealing with insurance companies or filing a lawsuit against an at-fault driver. Here’s what you need to know before taking your next legal steps.
Impact of Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries
Mild TBIs such as a concussion are easily missed the first time around, as they often don’t appear physically on a scan like bruising or a cerebral laceration. That makes a mild TBI case difficult to prove in court if you don’t have a CT or MRI scan clearly showing a physical injury. Insurance companies are also more likely to push back on covering costs associated with a mild TBI, and they may even try to avoid paying your claim outright.
Before providing a statement, you need an attorney’s help to handle communication with the insurance adjuster. An experienced TBI lawyer can utilize medical records, eyewitness accounts, and other evidence to prove your injury was caused by the accident and had a financial impact on your life. It’s critically important to have a brain injury lawyer perform an investigation and provide evidence if you need to take the negligent party to court.
Even mild brain injuries can have a big impact on your finances as you rack up expensive medical bills—especially if returning to work full time isn’t always possible. Symptoms after suffering a mild traumatic brain injury in an accident can include:
- Anxiety and depression
- Changes to thought processes, such as delays in thinking or difficulty comprehending concepts
- Difficulty concentrating
- Dizziness and nausea
- Emotional issues like irritability, mood swings, and sudden angry outbursts
- Fatigue and difficulty sleeping
- Memory loss
- Ringing in the ears
- Sensory issues like loss of smell or sensitivity to light and sound
- Vision problems
Even these supposedly “mild” symptoms may prevent you from completing your normal work duties, stop you from driving, or otherwise interfere with your daily routine and cause a financial loss. You have a legal right to recover damages for those losses if your injury was caused by negligence, whether in a car crash, slip and fall, or other incidents.
Are You Considering Legal Action After a Mild TBI?
If you are suffering symptoms after a mild TBI, you should discuss your case with a legal professional to weigh your options and help decide on the right path for moving forward. The Mottley Law Firm is here to help.
How can I find out what caused my truck accident?
Any crash can be devastating, but truck accidents in particular often cause severe property damage, serious injuries with high medical bills, and long periods where you may not be able to work. Determining the primary cause of your truck accident, and whether the fault is shared between parties, is critical to recovering damages.
Proving the Cause of Your Virginia Truck Accident
Unfortunately, the direct cause of the collision may not be immediately clear. That is often the case when a victim is seriously injured and needs to be taken to the hospital before speaking with the driver or responding officers. While police on the scene will initially attempt to determine fault, the investigation needs to go deeper than that to prove negligence and protect your legal right to compensation.
An attorney with experience handling Virginia truck collision cases knows what evidence to look for, what questions to ask, and how to interact with insurance companies for the best outcome. A personal injury lawyer can sift through police reports, driving records, medical documentation, employer data, and other sources to determine if the crash was caused by:
- Distracted driving
- Texting while driving
- Drowsy driving due to logbook violations or improper scheduling
- A medical issue experienced by the truck driver
- Failure to yield, speeding, aggressive driving or other traffic violations
- Intoxicated driving
- Mechanical failure
Discovering the root cause of the crash is important because it lets you know who bears responsibility and should be pursued for damages. In some cases, the accident may not actually be the truck driver’s fault.
If the crash was caused by mechanical failure, for instance, the fault may instead lie with the trucking company for failing to repair the vehicle, a maintenance crew for shoddy repairs, or even the part manufacturer for producing a faulty product. Improper hiring and training practices may also place liability with the parent company rather than the actual driver.
Contact an Experienced Richmond Personal Injury Attorney
Were you injured in a truck crash? We can help negotiate with the trucking company’s insurance for the full amount you are owed or pursue the case in court if necessary. Call The Mottley Law Firm or send us a message through our online form today to get more information.
How are pain and suffering damages calculated after a car accident?
When someone is injured by a negligent driver, they are entitled to recover damages for quantifiable expenses like medical bills, out of pocket costs, car repairs, or loss of income. There are other, less tangible problems associated with car crash injuries that may not be physically visible but still require monetary compensation. The specific amount is calculated by an insurance adjuster offering a settlement, or by a jury if a case needs to go to court.
Specifics of Pain and Suffering Calculations
Unlike lost wages where you can point to pay stubs and find an exact amount to be paid, there isn’t necessarily a specific dollar amount tied to physical or emotional pain and suffering. The amount can vary depending on how strongly the case is presented. To receive the full, fair compensation you are owed, you need a personal injury attorney to show that you experience issues such as:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Emotional distress like frequent anger, anxiety, or fear
- Inability to engage in physical activities
- Loss of appetite or energy
- Mental anguish or depression
- Additional detrimental effects of an injury, such as embarrassment from disfigurement
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Sexual dysfunction
These ongoing problems may occur after suffering nearly any type of injury in a car crash, but are especially common in cases where the collision caused a traumatic brain injury, which often results in a number of emotional and cognitive difficulties.
Why You Need a Lawyer to Help Calculate Your Pain and Suffering Damages
No matter what specific type of injury you suffered in the car accident, the at-fault party and insurance carriers will likely attempt to reduce or outright deny any payment you are owed. That’s why you need a lawyer to be directly involved.
For instance, an insurance company may attempt to claim issues like ongoing pain or PSTD were caused by other incidents in the past. With an attorney’s help, you can ensure only relevant medical records are released and previous injuries aren’t used against you.
A personal injury lawyer can additionally utilize sources such as journal entries, calendars of missed events you had planned on attending, and expert testimony from health professionals to help calculate pain and suffering compensation.
Get The Personal Injury Legal Help You Need Today in Virginia
A car crash can bring sudden and massive changes to your life, from ongoing pain to loss of future earnings. Don’t leave money on the table or let the negligent party off without providing the full compensation you deserve. Start a consultation with an experienced car crash attorney today.
How can I support my loved one after a traumatic brain injury?
Whether caused by a vehicle crash, a work accident, or a slip and fall, traumatic brain injuries (TBI) frequently result in lifelong changes that require significant adjustments to everyday activities. While the victim of a TBI directly deals with their injury, it is also necessary for you personally to make changes and help your loved one cope with these new challenges.
How to Help a Traumatic Brain Injury Victim
Medical professionals and therapists can offer a brain injury victim rehabilitation and coping techniques, but they will still likely experience significant difficulties with previously routine actions. You as a spouse, child, sibling, or friend can help your loved one in these simple ways:
- Assist with appointments and recordkeeping. Cognitive problems after a TBI are common. Your friend or family member may need gentle reminders for when to pay bills and show up for doctor visits. Providing transportation if they can’t drive or have difficulty following a bus schedule is also frequently necessary. You may additionally need to maintain medical records to provide details to caregivers and healthcare professionals.
- Be patient. It is extremely easy to become frustrated with a TBI victim’s behavior and take emotional outbursts personally. Your loved one may not know what they need or have problems expressing their needs, and they may find it difficult to do things they used to love, like reading a novel or watching a movie with loud sounds.
- Help reduce stress and distractions. Difficulties associated with brain injuries are made worse by distractions and stressful situations, so other people may need to frequently take care of basic chores like cleaning and cooking.
- Make sure they have a personal injury lawyer. Getting justice for your loved one’s injury by holding the negligent party responsible is just the beginning. Medical costs associated with a TBI can be astronomical, and your loved one might not be able to work. Work with an attorney to prove negligence caused the injury so your family member can receive the full compensation they are owed.
- Maintain a schedule. Avoiding confusion that leads to extreme frustration is critical. Besides making a regular schedule, be ready to break bigger tasks into smaller, more manageable actions and allow plenty of time for breaks.
Taking the Next Steps to Help Your Loved One After a TBI
Are you ready to help your loved one with the challenges of living with a traumatic brain injury? Get in touch with The Mottley Law Firm so we can discuss the brain injury case and connect you with support groups for more help.
How are lost wages calculated in a car accident claim?
Everyone knows when you are injured by a negligent driver you deserve to receive compensation, but you don’t have just the cost of medical treatment to consider. Bills don’t stop coming in because you were in a car accident, which is why you can also recover damages if your injury prevents you from working.
Trying to understand how lost wages are calculated when dealing with insurance carriers and seeking a settlement from the at-fault party can be more complicated than you think, however. That’s why it is so important to have a skilled attorney working with you after a collision.
Lost Wage Calculations After a Virginia Car Wreck
Lost wages can be recovered whether you are a self-employed freelancer, a salaried manager, or an employee paid hourly or via commission. In some cases, the calculation is as simple as multiplying your hourly rate by the number of days you missed work. That’s not always the whole story though, especially if your injury requires long-term therapy and rehabilitation. You also need to take into account:
- Benefits or pensions you can no longer utilize
- Loss of future earning potential if you can’t return to work for an extended period
- Missing out on promotions that would have occurred in the future
- Overtime you expected to work
- Yearly, seasonal, or end-of-project bonus pay
To get what you are truly owed, you need to provide proof of your lost earning capability as well as show the injury directly caused that loss. That’s why it is critical to see a doctor after a car accident, even if your injuries don’t immediately seem life-threatening. Your attorney can then utilize medical records, eyewitness testimony, video or photo evidence, forensic economist experts, pay stubs, tax forms, client correspondence, and other sources to make the best possible case.
Are You Unable to Work After a Car Accident?
When recovering from a car or truck crash, you don’t want to miss out on recovering the full amount you are owed from your injuries. An attorney with experience in Virginia personal injury lawsuits can help you negotiate the best settlement, or even take the case to court if necessary. Send us a quick message to start a consultation about your case.
What evidence do I need for my brain injury case?
To recover damages after suffering a traumatic brain injury (TBI), the burden falls on you and your lawyer to show that your injury was caused by negligence. If you’re considering a lawsuit, you may question if you have the evidence necessary to prove your case and receive a settlement or get a successful outcome in court. Let’s take a look at what evidence you can already access, and what details a skilled attorney can help you gather.
Evidence of the Accident and TBI
First and foremost is proving that the accident occurred and that it was responsible for your TBI. Whether you were in a vehicle crash, injured due to a work mishap, or suffered a slip and fall, these are the most common forms of evidence to look for:
- Photographs of the scene where the injury occurred
- Police reports
- Video evidence if the accident was filmed
Directly showing the extent of your brain injury is also crucial to a successful case. Brain injuries often aren’t physically obvious, which is why you need to see a doctor after any blow to the head. In particular, these are the types of medical documentation that best help in a TBI case:
- Diagnosis from an emergency room doctor or neurologist
- Medical documentation of the injury such as an MRI or CT scan
- Cognitive evaluation from a neuropsychologist
Evidence of Future Expenses Due to a Traumatic Brain Injury
Expenses for a TBI don’t stop just at the initial emergency room visit or hospital stay, however. You may require ongoing and expensive medical treatment, from additional surgeries to long-term therapy and even assisted living costs.
Additionally, severe TBI patients often lose the ability to earn income as they can’t work due to cognitive and language difficulties caused by brain injury. You may be able to recover damages for continuing expenses and loss of wages. That's why you need to keep track of:
- Pay stubs, bank statements, and tax returns
- Treatment notes from any physical, occupational, or speech therapy
- Expert witness testimony
That last type of evidence is typically handled by your attorney, who may consult with economic, medical, or vocational experts to provide context to your situation. You need a personal injury lawyer who understands how TBI cases work and knows the ins and outs of both state and federal law to put this evidence together into a compelling argument.
Get Help for Your Virginia Traumatic Brain Injury Case Today
Whether you or a loved one are experiencing hardship after an accident led to a brain injury, contact us for a consultation. We’ve got a strong track record of positive outcomes for patients who have suffered a TBI and we can help you gather the evidence you need.