Have you been injured because of the negligence or reckless actions of another party? Did your injury occur in Virginia? Virginia is one of a handful of states that applies the “contributory negligence” legal doctrine. Under contributory negligence, if an injured party is found to be even 1% at fault for the underlying incident that caused the injury, they can be barred from recovering damages.
This is a very high bar to clear, and you can be sure that the responsible party and their insurer will use this against you to try to assign you partial blame and avoid paying the just compensation you deserve. This is one of the reasons it is essential (especially in a state like ours) to obtain strong legal counsel as early as possible after your injury. Not all personal injury lawyers are the same, however, and it may seem overwhelming with all the different choices you have out there.
Important Considerations before Hiring a Virginia Personal Injury Attorney
There are several things to look for in choosing an attorney to handle your case. Here are five of the most important:
Personal injury is a complex area of the law, and you want to work with an attorney who has in-depth experience handling cases like yours. Your lawyer should have knowledge of a wide range of areas within personal injury law, and they should have an in-depth understanding of the complexities involved with pursuing a claim. Your lawyer will need to be a skilled litigator as well as a strong negotiator, with the proven ability to handle all aspects of your case from A to Z. Personal injury can overlap with other areas of the law as well, such as criminal law. For this reason, it is also helpful if your attorney has at least some experience with these other areas of practice.
How is the attorney’s reputation among his or her peers and within the community? Are they a certified by reputable organizations? Have they received good publicity from local media publications? If the attorney has been highly acclaimed by local media, referral services, other legal professionals, and previous clients they have served, this is a sign that they have a solid reputation within the legal community.
To be successful with a personal injury claim, it is often necessary to call on professionals from various fields to serve as expert witnesses in a case. These may include medical professionals, forensic experts, accident reconstructionist experts, and many others. A skilled personal injury attorney will usually have relationships with these types of professionals, and the ability to bring them in when necessary to help substantiate a claim.
Your lawyer is someone who needs to take a personal interest in your case. This means providing personalized service and treating you with dignity and respect. One of the biggest signs of respect is how an attorney communicates with their clients. Will your attorney return your phone calls, emails, text messages, or however you choose to communicate within one or two business days? Will they provide frequent updates for you, so you are kept informed on the progress of your case? Find out upfront what your attorney’s communication policy is. Your lawyer is your advocate, and they should be highly responsive to questions and concerns you may have during the legal process.
Your lawyer should be experienced, reputable, caring, and committed to your case, and finally, they should have a strong track record of successful results. This does not mean just negotiating settlements with insurance adjusters, this also means the proven ability to win cases at trial. While it is true that the majority of cases do not end up in court, your lawyer should be able to litigate the case when necessary, particularly when the other side is not willing to negotiate in good faith.
Looking for a Personal Injury Lawyer in Virginia? Call us for a Free Consultation
If you need a personal injury attorney to help recover the full and fair compensation you need and deserve, we are here to help. At the Straw Law Firm, our accomplished Virginia personal injury attorney works closely with our clients, putting our extensive experience to work to advocate aggressively for their rights and interests. For a free, no obligation case assessment, call our office today at (434) 616-2760 or send us a message through our online contact form.