After an ill-fated car accident, you may have to deal with serious consequences. If you sustained serious injuries, you may need complete rest for months to recover. This could mean losing out on work, salary, and even your job. If the accident happened because of the other driver’s negligence and disregard for safety, you may have the scope to file a personal injury lawsuit. The car accident laws in Virginia are rather different from many other states, and it makes sense to contact one of local auto accident lawyers immediately after the accident. Here are some things to know about hiring an attorney in VA.
The unique contributory negligence rule
Virginia follows what is called the contributory negligence rule, which is different that of comparative negligence rule followed by most other states. Under the contributory negligence rule, you cannot pursue legal action against the other driver, if you had a role in causing the accident. No matter how small your share of fault is, you cannot file a personal injury lawsuit. Consider how complicated auto accidents are, you definitely need to consult an attorney, to know the best course of action.
The first meeting
When you meet an auto accident lawyer for the first time, there are a few questions you need to ask –
- How long have you been dealing with car accident claims in VA?
- Can you share a few references?
- How many auto accident lawyers work for this firm?
- Who will handle my case personally?
- Have you handled comparable cases?
- How much can I expect in compensation?
- How long will the case take?
- What are your fees?
Many auto accident lawyers take up cases on a contingency fee, which means that they don’t get paid if they don’t win. Ask the lawyer how they plan to handle other litigation and investigation costs related to the case, and if they can advance the same for you. Attorneys usually take around 25-40% of the final settlement as their fee, but ask in advance.
Negotiating with the insurance company
Consider hiring a lawyer if you want to know more about the state personal injury laws. Your lawyer is also critical for dealing with insurance companies, which often rely on various tactics to reduce their financial burden. The claims adjuster may even try to shift the blame, so let your lawyer handle all the relevant aspects, so that you can stay home and recover.