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Richmond Personal Injury Lawyer / Richmond Car Accident Lawyer

Richmond Car Accident Lawyers

Car accidents are a tragic reality on the roads of Richmond, Virginia, and throughout the Commonwealth. According to the traffic safety nonprofit Drive Smart Virginia and the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, over 1,000 people lost their lives on Virginia roads in 2022, continuing the disturbing trend of the number of car accidents increasing every year. These same statistics showed that 162 people every day were injured in traffic crashes in the Commonwealth. While people of all ages are affected by these collisions, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for people between the ages of five and 19.

When car accidents occur, they can lead to serious injuries, financial burdens, and emotional trauma for injury victims and their families. At Latham & Martin, we are committed to assisting personal injury victims in achieving success with their claims. If you have been injured in a collision with a negligent driver, or if you lost a loved one in a tragic fatal crash in Henrico, Hanover, Chesterfield, Petersburg, Hopewell, Colonial Heights or surrounding areas, contact Latham & Martin for a free consultation and immediate assistance from a team of skilled and experienced Richmond car accident lawyers.

What to Do After a Crash

Car crashes are sudden and unexpected. They are violent and traumatic, and they can send your mind reeling with confusion and anxiety over how to handle the situation. If you are able (depending on the severity of your injuries), taking the steps outlined below can help you manage the circumstances in an orderly fashion while protecting your rights and putting you in the best position for a successful outcome on any personal injury claim you might have. If you’ve been in a crash in Richmond County, including the City of Richmond, Henrico, Hanover, and Chesterfield, as well as nearby Petersburg, Hopewell, and Colonial Heights, contact Latham & Martin to discuss your case with a team of experienced Richmond car crash attorneys.

Assess the Situation

Safety Comes First. Immediately after a crash, your safety is the primary concern. If possible, move to a safe location off the road and check yourself and others for injuries. Call 911 if there are any injuries or significant property damage.

If you weren’t treated for injuries at the scene or transported to the hospital, it is important to follow up with a doctor as soon as you can after the crash, preferably within a day or two. Some injuries don’t manifest symptoms immediately, but they need to be identified and dealt with to prevent further injury. By describing what happened to a physician, they can conduct a thorough examination and order any necessary tests.

Visiting a doctor shortly after the crash also helps to document the injury and link it to the crash, even if symptoms don’t show up immediately. This is important to protect any claim you may have against the other driver.

Document the Crash

Exchanging information is an important and required activity after a crash. Exchange the names, addresses, phone numbers, insurance details, and license plate numbers of the other drivers involved. Insurance information should include the name of the company and their phone number, along with the drivers’ policy numbers.

If there are witnesses to the crash, try to find out what they saw and gather their contact information as well.

A picture is worth a thousand words. If possible, photograph the accident scene, the damage to the vehicles, and any visible injuries. These can be vital evidence in your case.

Report the Accident

Virginia law requires you to report the crash to the police if there are injuries or if the property damage exceeds $1,500. Obtain a copy of the police report as it will be valuable to your claim.

Notify Your Insurance Company

Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. Provide them with the necessary information but avoid admitting fault or providing any statements that might be used against you later.

Helpful Guidance From Dedicated and Experienced Richmond Personal Injury Lawyers

Navigating the complex legal landscape of personal injury law can be challenging. It is advisable to consult with an experienced Richmond personal injury lawyer who understands the unique aspects of pursuing a claim in Richmond County.

Latham & Martin: Compassionate Legal Support

At Latham & Martin, we understand the emotional, physical, and financial toll a crash can take on your life. We are dedicated to fighting for the rights of accident victims throughout Richmond County, including the City of Richmond, Henrico, Hanover, and Chesterfield, as well as Petersburg, Hopewell, and Colonial Heights.

Our team can help you understand your legal options and assist you in obtaining the compensation you deserve. Reach out to us for a free consultation, and let our skilled attorneys guide you through the process of recovery under Virginia law. Call our experienced Richmond auto accident lawyers today.

Serious Injuries Resulting from Car Accidents

Car accidents can result in an array of severe injuries, including:

  1. Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI): The impact of a collision can cause head trauma leading to lasting cognitive and physical impairments.
  2. Spinal Cord Injuries: Damage to the spinal cord may cause permanent paralysis or limited mobility.
  3. Fractures and Broken Bones: Arms, legs, ribs, and other bones can break, leading to long and difficult recovery times.
  4. Burns and Scarring: Explosions or contact with hot surfaces in a crash may lead to severe burns or lasting scars.

How a Personal Injury Law Firm Can Help

The role of a personal injury law firm like Latham & Martin is to guide victims through the legal process, ensuring that they obtain fair compensation for their injuries. Our team works diligently to:

  • Investigate the Accident: Gathering evidence, speaking with witnesses, and working with experts to establish the facts.
  • Negotiate with Insurance Companies: Countering tactics used by insurers to minimize payouts or avoid liability, like downplaying the victim’s injuries or claiming the victim was also to blame.
  • Take the Case to Court if Necessary: If a fair settlement is not reached, we’re prepared to advocate on your behalf in court. Our attorneys have trial experience, so we won’t be bullied into accepting a low settlement to avoid trial.

Types of Damages Recoverable after a Car Accident

Victims of car accidents may seek compensation for various types of harm done to them by another’s negligence. This is known in the law as “damages.” Damages recoverable after a car accident including losses and harm such as:

  • Medical Expenses: Covering immediate care, rehabilitation, and ongoing medical needs.
  • Lost Wages: Compensating for time away from work and potential future earning capacity.
  • Pain and Suffering: Acknowledging physical pain, emotional distress, and decreased quality of life.
  • Property Damage: Repairing or replacing damaged vehicles or personal property.

What the Plaintiff Must Prove

To recover compensation after a car accident, the accident victim must be able to prove all the elements of a negligence claim, bringing forward specific facts that address every point required in the law. The elements of a negligence claim in Virginia are:

  • Duty of Care: The defendant had a legal responsibility to drive safely.
  • Breach of Duty: The defendant’s actions violated that responsibility.
  • Causation: The defendant’s actions directly led to the injuries.
  • Damages: Tangible losses occurred as a result.

Tactics Insurance Companies May Use to Avoid Responsibility

Insurance companies may try various tactics to minimize payouts or evade liability altogether, such as:

  • Offering Low Initial Settlements: Hoping victims will accept less than they deserve. Insurers might offer a lowball settlement very quickly after the accident and then drag the case out hoping the victim will give in and accept less than they truly deserve.
  • Questioning the Severity of Injuries: Casting doubt on the extent of the damages. Some insurers hire their own doctors to examine victims and dispute the diagnosis of the victim’s actual treating physician, hoping to create confusion about how severe the injuries are.
  • Blaming the Victim: Arguing that the victim’s actions contributed to the accident. With Virginia’s strict rule of pure contributory negligence, any negligence they can pin on the victim will cause the victim to lose out on their claim.

Our lawyers at Latham & Martin are well-versed in overcoming these strategies, ensuring you receive fair compensation.

Contact Latham & Martin for Help After a Car Accident in Richmond

Car accidents can have devastating consequences, but Latham & Martin is here to help. Our personal injury law firm is committed to fighting for the rights of car accident victims in Richmond and helping them successfully navigate the complex legal landscape. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident in the City of Richmond or throughout Richmond County and beyond, don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation. We’re here to assist you every step of the way.

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