Sleep Better at Night With Answers to Your Top Questions on Virginia 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 injury attorney Kevin Mottley.
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How can a car accident lawyer help me if I suffer a knee injury in a crash?
When drivers engage in negligent behavior, they put everyone on the road at risk of a wide range of possible injury types. Although the knees may seem like a very small part of your body, trying to walk with a busted knee quickly reveals what a big role they play in your day-to-day life. Knee injury victims often have bigger medical bills than expected and struggle to return to work. With an attorney’s help, you can hold the at-fault party responsible and recover damages.
Frequent Knee Injuries in Virginia Car Accidents
Knee injuries can easily occur on the highway when collisions involve large cargo trucks going 55+ mph, but they are also a serious risk in low-speed crashes on any given Richmond street.
This type of accident injury often takes place when a passenger or driver’s knee collides with the vehicle’s dashboard, door, or windshield. Even if your knee doesn’t physically strike an object, it can still be seriously damaged by twisting, tearing, or hyperextending due to the violent motion of the collision.
Specific common knee injuries in Virginia car, truck, or motorcycle accidents can include:
- Bone fracture
- Dislocation of the knee joint or kneecap
- Serious tissue injuries like torn ligaments or meniscus
- Spraining ligaments or tendons
In some cases, these injuries lead to months of recovery—or even permanent physical changes. When you are dealing with stress and pain from a knee injury, you can ease the pressure on the legal side by working with an experienced personal injury attorney to recover compensation.
Recovering Damages for a Vehicle Collision Knee Injury
Virginia car accidents ending in knee injuries are frequently caused by distracted drivers in rear-end collisions. The good news is that you have the legal right to recoup damages from the at-fault party for the financial, physical, and emotional impact on your life.
The financial impact of a knee injury can be considerable, as it may include an extended recovery period where you can’t go back to your day job, especially if you need a knee brace and have to stay off your feet as much as possible.
Even after the hospital stay or at-home recovery is over, you may still deal with long-term consequences like limited mobility or chronic pain. Besides interfering with your employment, a knee injury can have a severe negative impact on normal daily activities. Pain and irritation in the knee can make it difficult to drive, get dressed, play with your kids in the backyard, lift objects, or even simply remain standing for extended periods.
If you’ve experienced physical or emotional repercussions from a knee injury caused by negligent behavior, you have the option to seek compensation through a settlement or court judgment for:
- Lost wages during the recovery period
- Impact on future earning potential
- Property damage to your vehicle
- Physical therapy
- Other medical costs like hospital stays, surgery, X-rays, etc.
- Pain, suffering, and reduction in quality of life after the accident
For the best chance at recovering everything you are owed, make sure to visit an emergency room or walk-in clinic quickly after the collision. Internal injuries like knee soft tissue damage may not be apparent to the naked eye but can be documented by medical staff while they also check for other injuries like a concussion.
Talk to an Attorney
If you are suffering from a knee injury after a car or truck collision, you need the help of an attorney to perform an in-depth investigation into the crash. Besides gathering evidence to show who is financially responsible for your pain, your lawyer can also deal with insurance adjusters by negotiating for a fair settlement.
Talk to a professional who has dealt with these kinds of cases in the past and is ready to aggressively defend your legal rights. Contact The Mottley Law Firm to set up a free consultation and discuss your case. We want to hear about your accident and find out if we are the right fit to help in your financial recovery.
Are truckers always at fault for rear-end accidents?
There are certain kinds of accidents that appear to have clear-cut culprits. When a truck driver hits the back of your car, obviously they are at fault, right? Unfortunately, that question is a bit more complex than it first seems.
Determining Fault in Rear-End Truck Collisions
Like anyone on Virginia roads, truck drivers have a basic duty of care to uphold while operating a vehicle, and that includes allowing enough lead time to avoid a collision when stopping. Rear-end crashes between truckers and passenger cars are often a result of distracted driving, such as when the driver is eating, talking on the phone, fiddling with knobs, and so on.
However, that isn’t always the case. There are times where the truck that hit you isn’t responsible at all. For instance, someone else may have hit the truck first, which caused the truck to collide with the back of your vehicle.
Additionally, pursuing compensation from the actual truck driver isn’t always useful. The company that hired the driver may instead bear responsibility through negligent hiring and training practices. In some cases, the accident could have been caused by a faulty part that needs to be recalled, putting the manufacturer at fault. There are also instances where a shoddy repair job or improperly loaded cargo can cause a truck accident, leaving the maintenance or loading crews on the hook for your costs.
There’s another important catch to keep in mind. Even if the fault is extremely apparent, you still have to prove the other driver (or the employer) was negligent in order to receive the compensation you deserve. Insurance providers make money by denying claims, and truck companies don’t want to be taken to court, so both will try to find ways to avoid paying you.
An insurance adjuster may argue that you were partly at fault for the accident, which can prevent you from receiving any compensation at all. Insurance companies may also use tactics like taking social media photographs out of context to claim you aren’t as injured as you appear to offer you a lower amount than you deserve.
No matter who was ultimately responsible for the truck hitting your car, you need to contact an attorney who can fight these tactics after a rear-end collision.
What to Do After a Rear-End Collision Caused by a Truck Driver
Making your case and receiving compensation for your injury, even when it seems obvious that the truck driver was at fault, depends on gathering and properly utilizing evidence. You specifically need to acquire:
- Photos from the scene of both vehicles and the road conditions.
- Contact information from bystanders who saw the collision and can describe what occurred.
- Evidence from the trucking company itself, such as the truck’s black box as well as employment records and driver logs. Typically, your attorney will handle gathering this type of evidence.
- Police reports after law enforcement come to the scene to try to determine fault.
- Medical documentation of your injury.
That last point is particularly important when a truck strikes the back of your car because whiplash is common after a rear-end accident. Other serious injuries with life-long repercussions are possible in rear-end crashes, especially when dealing with large tractor-trailers or cargo trucks.
Symptoms of brain and spinal cord injuries frequently don’t appear immediately after the crash and can be missed if you don’t get checked out by a medical professional quickly. Documenting those injuries is critical to negotiating a full and fair settlement with the truck driver’s insurance or in pursuing compensation through a lawsuit.
Call a Virginia Personal Injury Attorney After Any Truck Accident
The most important step after any rear-end truck accident is to find a skilled attorney to investigate the crash and utilize all the available evidence to fight for your legal rights. Contact The Mottley Law Firm today to schedule a consultation. We want to hear about your accident and find out if we are the right fit to take your case.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.