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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I’ve been in a rear-end accident! What should I do now?
Any rear-end collision seems like it should be an open and shut case. After all, the other driver ran into you, so they must be at-fault and it should be easy to receive compensation, right? Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case, and there are still ways the insurer might deny your claim or the negligent driver can defend themselves in court.
Steps to Take After a Rear-End Collision
Rear-end crashes often result from negligent behavior like distracted driving, following too closely, or driving under the influence. For the best chance at recovering the full and fair damages you deserve, here’s what you need to do after being hit in a rear-end accident:
- Contact law enforcement. Call the police from the scene so they can conduct their investigation.
- Do not interact with the other driver beyond exchanging insurance information. They will likely try to get you to admit partial fault, and there is too much chance for an altercation, especially if the negligent driver is under the influence.
- Gather whatever evidence you can from the scene. You specifically want to take photos of the vehicles as well as the surrounding environment if issues like inclement weather may have had an effect on the accident.
- Get medical help immediately after leaving the scene. Do not wait, even if you aren’t experiencing any serious pain. You may have suffered internal injuries, and you need a record of the physical damage you suffered in the rear-end collision.
- Contact an experienced personal injury attorney as quickly as possible. Your legal representative may need to investigate the causes of the collision and gather additional evidence, especially if there were multiple vehicles in the crash or in cases involving commercial vehicles.
- Follow your attorney’s advice on dealing with insurance and posting on social media. Allowing the attorney to handle communications with an insurance adjuster and keeping details of the crash off of public forums will go a long way towards ensuring you receive the full compensation you deserve.
Were You Injured in a Virginia Rear-End Crash?
Don’t wait to seek legal representation after suffering an injury. Between the statute of limitations for car crash cases and the possibility of evidence being lost or destroyed, it’s better to explore all your legal options early. Contact The Mottley Law Firm to schedule a free consultation and tell us about the specifics of your accident.
How do I know if my brain injury settlement is actually fair?
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) victims often have to deal with extensive medical bills while recovering. You deserve to recover damages after suffering a TBI, but the amount offered by an insurance company may not reflect your actual costs. That’s why it’s important to have a skilled personal injury attorney who is on your side and wants to help your financial recovery.
Key Factors in the Value of Your Brain Injury Settlement
In many cases, the first settlement offer won’t actually be the full amount you deserve. Unfortunately, insurance carriers typically want to pay you as little as possible. To get a reasonable settlement, you need an attorney to handle the negotiations and accurately value the damages you can recover, which could include:
- Previous medical costs covering your hospitalization and treatments after the injury
- Additional medical costs you are likely to incur in the future, such as surgeries or long-term therapies and rehabilitation
- Out-of-pocket costs while seeking treatment for your injury
- Lost wages if you couldn’t go back to work, as well as a loss of earning potential if you were passed over for a promotion or need to find a different line of work after the accident
- Non-economic damages that have an impact on your daily life, such as pain and suffering, PTSD, permanent disfigurement, cognitive impairment caused by the brain injury, and so on
After reaching a number, your attorney can help you decide if the settlement offer is fair by comparing it to the potential value of litigation against the at-fault party while keeping in mind the potential risks and mitigating factors that may interfere with a court case.
Talk to an Attorney Before Accepting Any Settlement
Wondering what to do next and not sure how to proceed with insurance or a lawsuit? Always consult a traumatic brain injury attorney before accepting anything from the insurance carrier. Set up a free consultation so we can learn about your injury and find out if The Mottley Law Firm is the right fit for your case.
Are teen drivers always at fault for Virginia car crashes?
This question has a simple answer—no, teens aren’t always at fault—but also a more complex explanation. While younger drivers have to follow different legal rules than older adults, simply being a teenager with less experience on the road doesn’t immediately put them at fault.
Determining Fault in Accidents Caused by Teen Drivers
The state of Virginia places certain restrictions on teen drivers to reduce collisions. Anyone under 18 isn’t allowed to drive between the hours of midnight and 4:00 a.m., for instance (with a handful of exceptions like driving to work, school, or church function). Teens under the age of 18 are also only allowed a single non-family member passenger under the age of 21 while they are driving, except in cases of emergencies or when driving to a school event.
Those restrictions don’t make a personal injury case against a teenage driver or their parents immediately viable. Teens may be more likely to engage in behaviors that could put them at fault for an accident, however, like distracted driving or texting on the road.
To recover damages after a crash involving a teen driver, you need to work with an experienced Virginia attorney to show the driver was liable for the accident. After an investigation of the crash, your lawyer may prove the other party caused your injury using evidence like:
- Cell phone location data and text logs
- Eyewitness testimony
- Medical records
- Photographs of vehicle damage and conditions at the scene, like skid marks, placement of stoplights, adverse weather conditions, etc.
- Police reports or safety evaluations on the other vehicle’s condition
- Statements from the other party admitting fault
Were You or a Loved One Hurt in a Car Accident?
If you’ve been injured in a crash caused by an inexperienced teen driver, or if your teenage child was hurt in a crash caused by another driver’s negligence, you need to contact an attorney. Let us know the basic details of the accident so our Richmond personal injury lawyer can get in touch and find out more.
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 Richmond brain injury 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.