Being involved in a car accident can be a scary and overwhelming experience. But when the collision is caused by a drunk driver, the situation becomes even more traumatic. Not only do you have to deal with your injuries and vehicle damage, but there are also legal and insurance implications to consider. Having an experienced personal injury lawyer by your side can make all the difference. Here are the top 5 reasons to hire a personal injury attorney if you were hit by an impaired driver in Virginia.
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1. Maximize Compensation for Your Injuries and Damages
The biggest benefit of working with a personal injury lawyer is that they can help maximize the compensation you receive for medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and other damages related to the drunk driving accident. An attorney understands how to calculate and negotiate the full value of your claim. They will gather evidence, work with experts, and aggressively negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf.
Without proper representation, you risk settling for less than you deserve or missing out on key forms of compensation altogether. But with an attorney fighting for you, there is a much greater chance of being fully compensated for the drunk driver’s negligence.
2. Level the Legal Playing Field Against Insurance Companies
Drunk driving accidents in Virginia claims often involve complex negotiations with insurance companies. These large corporations have teams of experienced adjusters and lawyers who know how to minimize payouts. They can use clever tactics to pressure unrepresented victims into accepting lowball settlements.
But when you have your own knowledgeable personal injury lawyer, the playing field becomes more balanced. Your attorney can respond to insurance company delays, low offers, and denials with the proper legal strategies. They understand insurance company tactics, know insurance regulations and laws, and have the negotiation skills to secure fair compensation.
3. Navigate the Complicated Legal Process
The legal process after a drunk driving collision can be complicated, with many procedural requirements, deadlines, and paperwork. An experienced personal injury lawyer knows how to navigate the system smoothly and effectively. For example, they can handle tasks like:
Filing police reports, insurance claims, and court documents
Collecting and preserving evidence from the scene
Working with crash reconstruction experts
Researching case law precedents
Meeting all statute of limitations and other legal deadlines
Without proper legal experience, you may miss important requirements or make procedural mistakes that hurt your claim. But a lawyer understands the ins and outs of the system and can manage the process for you.
4. Allow You to Focus on Recovery
The aftermath of a drunk driving collision is hugely disruptive to your life. You likely have significant medical needs, vehicle repairs, missed work, and stress to deal with. Working with a personal injury lawyer allows you to focus your time and energy on healing and getting your life back in order.
The attorney handles tasks like corresponding with insurance companies, gathering evidence and paperwork, researching legal issues, and managing the claim process. This lifts a huge burden so you can direct your efforts toward recovery. With an attorney’s help, you avoid spending countless hours trying to self-navigate the complex legal waters on your own.
5. Reduce Stress and Anxiety by Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
Being in a major accident and then having to handle legal and insurance matters is extremely stressful for crash victims. You may constantly worry about saying the wrong thing to insurers, making procedural mistakes, or not getting properly compensated. The situation can easily become overwhelming.
But having an experienced personal injury attorney handle matters reduces this burden substantially. You can relax knowing that a skilled professional is fighting for your best interests. They have the skills and tenacity to deal with insurance companies and get positive results. This provides significant peace of mind during the difficult recovery period.
Hiring a personal injury lawyer in Virginia after being hit by an intoxicated motorist provides major benefits, including:
Maximize compensation for your damages
Level the playing field against insurance companies
Navigate the complex legal process
Stay focused on your recovery
Reduce stress and anxiety
With an experienced attorney on your side, you improve your chances of success and avoid the common pitfalls of trying to handle matters on your own. Protect yourself and your rights by partnering with a lawyer after a Virginia drunk driving accident.
How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help
A personal injury lawyer can provide invaluable help if you were injured by a drunk driver in Virginia. Here are some specific ways an attorney can assist:
Investigate the Accident – Thoroughly analyze reports, statements, evidence and factors contributing to the collision
Assemble Evidence – Gather police reports, crash footage, medical records and other key evidence
Consult Experts – Work with accident reconstructionists, doctors and other experts to prove damages
File Insurance Claims – Submit timely, well-documented claims with insurance companies
Negotiate Settlements – Use legal skills to secure full and fair settlement offers
Litigate if Necessary – Take the case to court if needed to obtain adequate compensation
Manage Legal Process – Handle all aspects of the case and legal proceedings for you
Having these complex legal matters handled by an experienced professional allows you to stay focused on your recovery while maximizing the compensation you receive.
Steps to Take After a Drunk Driving Crash
If you are the victim of a drunk driving accident in Virginia, here are important steps to take:
Seek medical attention – This creates a record of your injuries and treatment.
Report the collision to police – Provide details on the intoxicated driver.
Document the scene – Take photos of damage, skid marks, conditions, etc.
Get contact info – For the impaired driver and any witnesses.
Consult a personal injury lawyer – Do this as soon as possible after the crash.
Follow doctor’s orders – Attend all appointments to recover properly.
Save records – Keep all accident-related documents, bills, etc.
Avoid talking to insurers – Refer them to your attorney instead.
Repair vehicle damage – But preserve evidence like dents/scrapes first.
Following these steps helps build your injury claim and ensures key legal deadlines are met.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What damages can I recover after a drunk driving accident?
Common damages available include medical expenses, lost income, pain/suffering, vehicle repair or replacement costs, and other accident-related losses. An attorney can help ensure you receive full compensation.
2. How long do I have to file a drunk driving injury claim in Virginia?
Virginia has a statute of limitations of two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. However, it is wise to contact an attorney immediately after the collision.
3. How much does a personal injury attorney cost for a drunk driving case?
Most work on a contingent fee basis, meaning no upfront payment is required and the lawyer takes a percentage (typically 33-40%) of the settlement/award if successful.
4. Will my own car insurance cover my damages from the drunk driver?
Not usually. You need to make a third-party liability claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance. Your attorney can handle this.
5. What if the drunk driver doesn’t have sufficient insurance coverage?
Your attorney can investigate other avenues for compensation, like your own UM/UIM coverage or personal assets of the at-fault driver.
Finding an Experienced Virginia Personal Injury Attorney
Hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer is highly recommended if you are the innocent victim of a drunk driving crash in Virginia. With legal representation, you can make the process much less burdensome and maximize the compensation you rightfully deserve. Protect yourself and your rights by partnering with a skilled attorney.