About 28,000 full-time residents call Winchester, Virginia, home, in addition to roughly 4,000 Shenandoah University students. About 75 miles outside Washington D.C., its proximity allows residents to easily commute by car, train, or bus while enjoying life in the idyllic, historic Shenandoah Valley.
Founded in 1744, Winchester is the oldest Virginia city west of the Blue Ridge Mountains and is the medical, industrial, commercial, and agricultural center for the surrounding areas. Its rich heritage includes historic sites like General Stonewall Jackson’s headquarters, George Washington’s office, and the home of country music legend Patsy Cline. Visitors of all ages come to get away from the busy D.C. traffic and enjoy the small-town hospitality and fascinating Revolutionary War history.
Unfortunately, more visitors also increases the risk of car accidents for people who live, work, and study in Winchester. If you have been injured in a collision, you need to understand your legal rights. Virginia law holds negligent drivers accountable for the damage they cause. Although Virginia drivers are required to maintain liability insurance, their insurance companies often resist paying accident victims the compensation they deserve.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, the legal team at Skinner Law Firm can help. Our lawyers know how to resist the pressure and delay tactics and get insurance companies to pay the full value of your injury claim. We won’t hesitate to go to court to protect our clients’ rights. For additional information or to discuss the specifics of your case with a car accident attorney in Winchester, contact our office today.
Are You Entitled to Compensation?
If your accident resulted from someone else’s negligence, you would likely be able to recover compensation for any damages you sustained because of your accident. Many different negligent acts can contribute to causing a serious car accident, including:
- Distracted driving (including cell phone use or other distractions).
- Speeding or traveling too fast for the conditions.
- Following too closely.
- Failure to yield.
- Ignoring adverse weather conditions like rain, snow, or ice.
- Impaired driving/driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Failure to adequately maintain a vehicle.
- Traffic violations.
You should never assume a collision was unavoidable or your fault. In addition to negligent driver behavior, car crashes can be caused by road conditions or defective vehicle design or manufacture. It can be difficult to determine whether these subtle, underlying issues contributed to causing a collision. An experienced car accident lawyer can help you pinpoint the cause of your Winchester car accident and identify all potentially liable parties.
If a resident of another state caused your accident, it could be a little more time-consuming to pursue a claim or file a lawsuit. An attorney can help reduce the stress and inconvenience of recovering from out-of-state tourists or students.
Common Car Accident Injuries
Car accidents cause many different types of severe injuries. It is vital that you have a healthcare professional evaluate your injuries as soon as possible after the occurrence. Your prognosis can make a big difference in the amount of compensation you can recover. Some of the most common injuries our Winchester auto accident attorneys see in our injury law practice are:
- Broken bones.
- Sprains, strains, and muscle tears.
- Traumatic brain injuries.
- Spinal cord injuries.
- Severe soft tissue injuries.
- Crush injuries.
- Internal injuries.
After a car accident, it’s critical that you seek medical attention immediately. In many cases, prompt medical intervention can result in a better outcome. However, if you cannot seek emergency care following an accident, make an appointment with a primary care doctor as soon as possible. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent but can cause permanent damage if left untreated. Failing to seek medical attention can also adversely affect any claim you assert in the future.
What Should You Do After a Car Accident?
There are certain steps that you should take after any car accident to help keep you safe, protect your health, and ensure you can obtain the compensation you deserve under Virginia law. Some of the most important include:
You should call 911 after any accident that causes damage to property or injury to anyone involved. When you call 911, a contemporaneous record of the incident is created. Police and medical personnel will usually come to the scene and determine whether any laws were broken and whether anyone needs medical attention. If the police make an initial determination that the accident was someone else’s fault, especially if they issue a citation to another driver, it can make it significantly easier for you to recover compensation.
Seeing Your Doctor
You should make an appointment to see a doctor after being involved in a car accident, even if you were discharged from the hospital or left the accident scene without treatment. When you file a claim with an insurance company, they will want to see medical records describing your injuries. Seeing a doctor will enable you to provide documentation of your complaints and the recommended course of treatment. Additionally, it is important to attend all recommended follow-up appointments, fill your prescriptions, and go to physical therapy if it is prescribed.
Calling a Lawyer
You should contact a lawyer as soon as you can after an accident. Once you are represented by counsel, your attorney will handle almost every aspect of your case on your behalf. They will talk to insurance representatives and help you answer questions about the recovery process. They will also be able to properly evaluate what your claim is worth.
In some cases, you might have to go in for formal questioning under oath (called a “deposition” or “examination under oath”) or answer some written questions. Your lawyer will handle all other communications with the insurance company for you and advocate for the best possible settlement. If you are unable to settle, your attorney can file a lawsuit on your behalf to pursue recovery for your losses.
How Much Is Your Car Accident Case Worth?
People injured in car accidents often experience both economic and non-economic losses. “Economic” losses are easily quantifiable, like medical bills and other expenses. “Non-economic” losses are damages like pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life activities. The law allows you to recover compensation for both kinds of losses.
When you’re hurt through no fault of your own and are dealing with unexpected medical bills and other expenses, it’s only natural to wonder how much compensation you may be able to recover. You can recover compensation for many kinds of losses, including:
- Medical expenses.
- Lost income.
- Lost quality of life.
- Property damage.
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering.
The value of your car accident claim will depend on numerous factors, including the extent and severity of your injuries, whether you can return to work in the same capacity as before the accident, the egregiousness of the other party’s conduct, and whether you shared any fault for your accident. Cases involving long-term physical or cognitive disabilities can also entitle victims to significant compensation for losses they sustain in the future.
In instances involving significant long-term injuries, victims often work with financial and actuarial experts to properly value their future damages. Not consulting with these kinds of experts can result in significant uncompensated losses. If you have suffered severe injuries in a car accident, make sure to discuss your case with a Winchester car accident law firm that has the experience and resources you need to recover the compensation you deserve successfully.
Call Us Today to Speak With a Winchester Car Accident Attorney
At the Skinner Law Firm, our experienced Winchester car accident lawyers have helped many accident victims protect their legal rights and get the compensation they are entitled to under the law. We have experience with all types of vehicle accidents and injuries.
Call (304) 245-6613 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with an experienced car accident attorney. We fight hard to protect your legal rights so you can focus on making the best recovery possible.