Burnett & Williams

Personal Injury Claims: Frequently Asked Questions

Personal Injury Claims: Frequently Asked Questions

Thousands of people are injured each year through no fault of their own. Common causes of personal injury claims include motor vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, wrongful death claims, slip and fall accidents, and dog bites. If you have been injured, you may be entitled to compensation. 

Common Personal Injury Claim FAQs

What is a personal injury?

A personal injury is considered any injury that is another person’s fault. Personal injuries can be physical, mental, or both. 

What should I do if I am injured?

Get medical attention immediately and follow the medical advice and guidelines for your treatment and rehabilitation. Keep a record of lost time at work. Write down details as soon as possible: names, dates and times, actions taken, circumstances, etc. Get the contact information for any witnesses. Take photos at the scene, if possible. Report the accident to the appropriate authority and get copies of any incident reports. Get information on insurance coverage. 

How do I know if I have a claim?

The laws surrounding personal injury are complex. There are four main parts to a personal injury case: duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages. All four elements must be in place for a viable personal injury claim. The best way to determine if your case qualifies is to meet with a reputable personal injury lawyer who will review your case. One of the most important outcomes of the free initial consultation is determining if you have a claim and whether you would benefit from representation.

What kinds of compensation am I entitled to?

Your lawyer will help determine the compensation you are entitled to during representation. Medical expenses, lost time from work (i.e., lost wages), pain and suffering, mental anguish, permanent disability, disfigurement, and lost lifetime earning potential, among others, are all factors in determining what compensation you might be entitled to. 

How long does the process take?

Many factors will affect the length of time before case resolution. Getting started as soon as possible is essential as most states have a statute of limitations, or deadlines, for filing claims. Your legal team will help you understand the process, steps, and timeline during your case review.

How can a personal injury attorney help me?

One of the first things a lawyer will do is evaluate the merits of your case. Once you have secured representation, your personal injury lawyer can organize and keep deadlines, handle filings and paperwork, and identify witnesses and experts to support your case. They will be the point of contact for insurance companies and lawyers, and they will negotiate on your behalf. Because of their experience and insights, they will work to negotiate the full settlement to which you are entitled. If they need to, they will take your case to trial. When you have been seriously injured, legal representation clears your plate so you can focus on the most important thing – healing and getting your life back on track.

Do I really need a lawyer? 

Not all personal injury cases require representation. In your initial consultation, your lawyer will let you know if it’s to your benefit to attempt to settle the case independently rather than reducing your potential net settlement amount by hiring an attorney. Many accident victims are unfamiliar with settling a personal injury claim, and after the initial consultation, they can sometimes proceed with their claim independently.

I don’t have money, and the injury has me out of work. How can I afford a lawyer?

Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. That means accident victims only pay a percentage of the gross settlement or verdict amount. While the lawyers only earn a fee if they recover on your behalf, costs associated with filing fees, expert witnesses, depositions, and serving subpoenas, among other things, are the clients’ responsibility. Costs vary depending on the case, and the client is responsible for the costs regardless of the outcome. In some cases, firms will advance the expenses and deduct them from the award.

Contact Us Today

If you have been injured through no fault of your own, you may have a personal injury claim. One of the best things you can do to ensure a fair settlement is to consult with a personal injury lawyer.

Burnett and Williams is a Virginia personal injury law firm with offices in Leesburg, Midlothian, Winchester, Hopewell, Richmond, and Orange. Burnett & Williams is one of Virginia’s oldest and most recognized personal injury law firms. We are experts in personal injury cases and have a proven track record. Contact us today for a free consultation.