It is impossible to give you a general figure of what you should expect in damages for your case without much more detail. However, having been in the legal profession for 20+ years, I will have a good understanding of what to expect in your case after consulting with you and gaining a better understanding of your situation. You are often able to seek damages you may not even think of. To ensure you are taking what is rightfully owed to you is our job.
In short: YES. If you come in for a consultation, you will be protected under attorney-client privilege.
Please Note: By just downloading any of our resource guides, you are not creating an attorney-client relationship with The Parrish Law Firm.
You may not need a lawyer if you were only hurt in a minor fashion and don’t need follow-up treatment after your accident. However, if you were more seriously injured and require weeks or months of care, then you very likely will benefit from the services of an experienced personal injury lawyer like me.
As an attorney who worked on the insurance side of the law, this is how insurance companies get you exactly where they want you, especially in more significant cases. If you do not use a lawyer, there is a high chance you will not get a fair settlement. Insurance companies spend millions training their adjusters to make it seem that you’re coming out of the situation feeling better even if they’re turning you into another victim — this time by ripping you off!
It is also important to note that our consultations are 100% FREE, so you’re better off meeting with me and understanding what I can do for you than you are trying to fight a big insurance company on your own.
If you need to go to court after a car accident depends on multiple variables. These variables could include your timetable, the severity of the accident, the position and posture of the opposing insurance company, and a plaintiff’s own tolerance for risk. In some cases, the court could summon you to testify even if you settle out of court.
What Does Going to Court Mean?
A preliminary matter is clarifying any misconception about what it means to “go to court.”
“Going to court” can sometimes be a misleading phrase. Even if you do not personally appear in court, your case may be pending in court. Some cases settle without the victim filing a lawsuit—without any court intervention whatsoever. In this scenario, an insurance company is not likely disputing liability (or fault), and the parties’ respective assessments of the amount of damages are relatively close.
Other cases settle after filing a case but before trial. In this latter scenario, a victim may personally appear at a court-ordered mediation, pretrial, or some other court event, but not participate in a trial.
Sometimes the parties appear for trial and arrive at a settlement before the trial actually starts. If the parties do not settle the case prior to a court decision, then the court makes a final order.
Timing of Your Case
The closer the time of your lawyer’s involvement to your case’s statute of limitations, which, according to Virginia Code § 8.01-243, is two years in most instances, the more likely it is you will need to file a lawsuit. Once a lawyer files a lawsuit, your case is pending in court even if you do not ever personally appear in court.
The Greater Your Damages, the More Likely Your Case is to End Up in Court
The smaller the stakes, the less incentive there is to incur the costs of litigation. Fender bender type cases with property-only damage are highly unlikely to end up in court.
While inanimate objects are easy to remedy or replace, the human body is not. Personal injuries up the ante. Personal injuries can vary from minor and temporary to major and permanent.
The higher on the spectrum the injuries fall toward major and permanent, the greater the likelihood of not only filing a lawsuit but taking the case to trial.
The Posture of the Insurance Company
The opposing insurance company’s posture will be a big factor in whether your case settles prior to filing a lawsuit or prior to a court decision. Some insurance companies expect victims to file, prosecute, and try a lawsuit, hoping to exhaust victim’s resources, wear them down emotionally, and ultimately take a smaller settlement.
It is important that you work with a tireless attorney who is experienced with insurance companies and their battle strategies. An attorney who begins building evidence, working up your case, and preparing for trial early on lets the insurance company know that you are serious.
Your Risk Tolerance
Most cases settle without a trial because of emotional as well as financial risks of a trial. Victims may agree to accept less than what they originally sought to make sure some money goes into their pockets. Defendants who initially denied liability or offered a woefully inadequate settlement might eventually pay more to avoid litigation costs and the risk of the court ordering them to pay a higher award to the victim.
A lawyer’s job is to guide clients on what is in their best interests given the available evidence. A lawyer is nevertheless unable to substitute their judgment for the client’s wishes.
Personal Wishes on Going to Court
Every client has different feelings about having their case be a public record and having to testify in court. Everyone’s financial obligations and willingness to endure months of uncertainty is likewise different. Some clients have an “all-or-nothing” approach, while others take a “bird-in-the-hand” approach.
Speaking with a car accident attorney who actually takes cases to trial will give you a better idea of pretrial negotiation offers and demands in relation to jury verdicts.
Criminal Proceeding May Require Witness Testimony
Some car accident cases involve a crime. An example of this could be a drunk driving or drug-related case. Other examples would be hit-and-run cases or situations where road rage was a factor.
In these situations, even if you settle out of court for damages, you could receive a subpoena to appear in court as a witness to testify against the other driver.
The Parrish Law Firm Will Answer Your Questions about Your Car Accident Case
Parrish Law Firm, PLLC evaluates car accident cases for victims at no cost to them. During the free case evaluation, you will discuss how likely a case is to become a lawsuit and go to trial, as well as what you, as a victim, might expect to recover in damages. To schedule this free consultation, call 571-229-1800.
There are several ways social media can undercut your personal injury claim. As second nature as it seems to share your life with family and friends, social media users who have a pending personal injury claim or lawsuit must exercise great caution. Sharing profile information, pictures, posts, videos, and comments on social media can undercut your personal injury claim by giving opposing counsel’s research team fodder that they can use against you.
Social media accounts provide defense attorneys with a valuable source of evidence to impeach your credibility, refute the cause of your injury, and undermine the amount of damages you claim to have suffered. You can avoid being in a compromised position by showing your personal injury attorney your current social media profiles and seeking specific guidance. In the meantime, here are some do’s and don’ts.
Private Versus Public Profile
If you have public profiles, you can adjust these to “private” or “protected” in the “settings” area of your account. It is generally unwise to delete profiles in their entirety, as this can arouse suspicion of trying to hide something. In some cases, a court could also deem it “spoliation of evidence.”
Avoid accepting any new friend requests, and be wary of any new followers. These could be from the enemy camp, trying to get a closer look and monitor you.
You may wish to refrain from any social media use while your case is pending. Keep in mind, however, that searchers can find retweets, comments, hashtags, mentions, tags, etc. For this reason, you may also wish to ask your friends and family members to leave you alone on social media.
Keeping your information private is a good first step. It nevertheless does not mean that you can continue to post anything that you want to.
Your Social Media Posts May Be Subject to Discovery Requests or a Court Order
Even if your social media accounts enjoy private settings, an opposing lawyer can ask you to produce printouts of your social media activity in the discovery process. “Discovery” is the phase of a lawsuit where parties exchange information to build their respective cases.
Defendants have the right to seek as much information as they can about you. This includes information that is not public record.
A Court Can Order You to Show Social Media
Parties typically conduct discovery without court intervention. However, either party can petition the court if the other side does not want to produce information that the requesting party believes is relevant. For good cause shown, a court can order you to produce information from your social media accounts.
A court could also order you to reactivate a temporarily deactivated account. In some cases of deleted accounts, a subpoena can provide information from a provider’s servers or from a third party’s servers that store social media data. Each provider has a different policy concerning the length of time it retains data from deleted accounts.
Examples of How Social Media Can Hurt Your Case
Even social media activity that you believe has no relationship to your case can harm you. The connections that a clever lawyer can make between your posts and your case are limitless. Nevertheless, here are a few specific ways that social media can not only undercut your personal injury claim but also sabotage it:
- Behavioral tendencies such as consuming alcohol, photos captured while driving, or a high-risk activity that could frame a view that the victim played a role in causing the accident
- An accident victim claiming loss of enjoyment of life or pain and suffering regularly poses happily for pictures in various places
- An accident victim claiming incapacitating injuries posts videos of dancing, hiking, bowling, or some other physical activity
- A victim pursuing lost wages or loss of earning capacity is complaining about his/her job, showing off a DIY home improvement project, or sharing affiliate links for online work-from-home websites
- A victim posts financial resource-demanding plans for the near future (making a large purchase, taking a vacation, etc.)
- A victim whose settlement agreement contains a confidentiality provision announces the settlement on social media
This is by no means an exhaustive list. Even posting something that you believe helps your case can invite a harmful response from a social media troll or other ill-willed social media user.
The Bottom Line
Your safest bet is to avoid social media altogether while your case is pending. You must continue to monitor your account to make sure that well-meaning friends and family do not mention you in their public or unprotected posts.
Your Personal Injury Attorney Can Help You Avoid Mistakes
The Parrish Law Firm, PLLC provides personalized advice to each client at every step in the personal injury process, including how social media can undercut your personal injury claim. We provide a free case consultation where we answer your questions and evaluate your case. To schedule this free consultation, call 571-229-1800.
The worst-case scenario of your case’s value is always zero. The best-case scenario is an educated estimate based on the severity of the crash, your injuries, medical expenses, prognosis, your occupation, and your lifestyle. These factors also drive up the amount of your ‘pain and suffering’ and inconvenience damages.
Severity of the Crash
The higher the rate of speed at which the vehicles were traveling and the crash impact, the greater the damages are likely to be. But this is not always the case.
In every case, the first hurdle a victim must clear is the allocation of fault among parties. Regardless of the seriousness of the car accident, the victim must establish that another party was at fault before recovering any compensation.
Car accident attorneys gather evidence in injury claims and sometimes work with an accident reconstructionist or an engineer to describe the speed, force, angle, and impact of the collision and prove fault.
The amount of compensation a car accident victim receives will many times be proportionate to the amount of medical bills incurred. You may also need future therapy or other medical intervention to reach maximum medical improvement. These future expenses are part of your case value.
Even with documented medical expenses, however, insurance companies will work hard to erode your claim. One way they do this is by arguing that you suffer from a prior injury or pre-existing condition.
Insurance companies may also argue that the treatment you received was unnecessary under the circumstances or that you did not follow your doctor’s orders, making your situation avoidably worse.
Car accident attorneys sometimes rely on physicians to testify as to a client’s long-term outlook. Among the information a medical expert can provide is how long the victim will need treatment, the odds of the victim making a full and complete recovery, the likelihood of the injuries being permanent, and reasonably foreseeable future treatment.
Type of Work or Career
Car accident victims typically suffer wage loss from being under medical care. The amount of wage loss depends on the person’s occupation and nature of their employment.
An accident with incapacitating injuries may force a victim to work fewer hours, find a different line of work, or prevent the victim from working altogether. The loss of this income is part of what a victim should recover from the car accident case.
‘Pain and Suffering’ and Inconvenience
Victims should receive compensation for the physical pain or discomfort and the mental anguish they have to live with.
Due to their noneconomic nature and the absence of a court-recognized formula to calculate them, ‘pain and suffering’ and inconvenience damages are a big unknown in car accident cases.
Regardless of the approach used in the victim’s settlement demand, an insurance company will try to whittle it down. Because of the subjective nature of these damages and wide range of possibilities, this is an area where you really need a strong attorney.
Sometimes a car accident involves factors for which the court allows an award of punitive damages. The intent of punitive damages is to punish the offender where severe aggravating factors such as drug or alcohol abuse or road rage were involved.
Prosecuting a case incurs expenses. Even if you do not pay these upfront, you can plan to deduct something for case expenses from your case’s value. Expenses might include medical records costs, expert witness fees, court reporter fees, filing fees, and other expenses. Be sure to discuss these with your lawyer ahead of time, as what legal fees you can anticipate.
Talk to a Car Accident Attorney to Learn How Much You Can Receive from Your Car Accident
Pursuing a lawsuit can impose an emotional toll and can carry financial risks. Do not enter into a civil lawsuit without having an idea about what your bottom line looks like.
The Parrish Law Firm, PLLC helps car accident victims make the right call in handling their cases. We will provide an upfront analysis of your car accident case during a no-cost consultation with you and discuss how much you could receive from your car accident. To schedule a free consultation, call 571-229-1800.
‘Pain and suffering’ and inconvenience are determined by several factors in a car accident. If you suffered personal injuries in any type of accident involving negligence, Virginia law allows you to pursue ‘pain and suffering’ and inconvenience damages. A victim must specifically prove these damages and should not take their award for granted.
Is There an Exact Way to Determine ‘Pain and Suffering’ and Inconvenience Damages?
These noneconomic damages are subjective and require a certain skill in communicating to an insurance company or jury. The minimum amount of ‘pain and suffering’ and inconvenience damages is something close to zero. There is no maximum amount a jury can award.
‘Pain and Suffering’ and Inconvenience Are Noneconomic Damages
Unlike medical medical-related expenses or the repair or replacement of property, ‘pain and suffering’ and inconvenience damages do not come with a price tag. This is what makes them “noneconomic” or “nonmonetary.”
Adding to the complexity of calculating these damages is that a jury can award money for ‘pain and suffering’ and inconvenience that has not even happened yet. Virginia juries can award both past and future damages.
The total of the claimant’s economic damages (medical treatment expenses, etc.) will affect the amount of ‘pain and suffering’ and inconvenience. The higher the amount of medical bills, the higher the likelihood of ‘pain and suffering’ and inconvenience, and the more logical it seems to a jury to award a higher figure.
The Subjective Nature of ‘Pain and Suffering’ and Inconvenience
Even with a mountain of medical bills, ‘pain and suffering’ and inconvenience still requires proof. Injuries affect each victim differently. While some injuries may lend themselves to a foregone conclusion of ‘pain and suffering’ and inconvenience, others are far more subjective.
A regular triathlon competitor, for example, is likely to suffer greater ‘pain and suffering’ and inconvenience following a foot injury than someone who leads a more sedentary lifestyle.
A disfiguring injury or one with prominent scarring is likely to cause more ‘pain and suffering’ and inconvenience to someone in a public-facing position than to someone who lives or works in a more isolated area.
Other factors that vary from one case to the next are:
- The severity of the victim’s injury
- The victim’s anticipated recovery period
- Whether maximum medical improvement will have the victim in the same place he or she was in prior to the accident
- The demographics of the jurors in the jurisdiction where the case is pending
Communicating ‘pain and suffering’ and inconvenience Damages
In order for a victim to recover maximum ‘pain and suffering’ and inconvenience damages, a jury must have a clear picture of the victim’s life before and after the accident.
Expert Testimony Helps
Doctors and other experts can testify as to the objective nature of the victim’s injuries, using logic to connect the victim’s injuries to ‘pain and suffering’ and inconvenience. However, the victim and/or other witnesses will need to provide details of a more subjective nature to make more of an emotional connection between the injuries and their resulting ‘pain and suffering’ and inconvenience.
As important as the victim’s entire story is, constraints in time and attention require testimony that is the right length and with the right amount of details. This is somewhat of an art.
Unfortunately, regardless of what they have been through, not all victims or their families come across as likeable or credible. Juries need to connect to a victim in order to award ‘pain and suffering’ and inconvenience damages.
An Attorney Can Guide You Through It
A trial attorney works with accident victims and witnesses to be absolutely truthful but also prevent them from making innocent mistakes in body language, word choices, dress, and other factors that can lead juries to make unconscious conclusions unrelated to the facts of the case.
It is essential to work with an attorney who can help you tell your story in the most compelling way possible to convince a jury to award ‘pain and suffering’ and inconvenience damages.
Statutory Limits on ‘Pain and Suffering’ and Inconvenience
Courts in the Commonwealth of Virginia must follow laws that govern the award of ‘pain and suffering’ and inconvenience in car accident cases. If the defendant is a public school or public transportation provider, the amount of damages available to the victim is limited.
Also Virginia law § 8.01-243 limits the amount of time you have to file a personal injury claim under a car accident in most situations.
When you work with the right attorney, you will know if there is a maximum amount of ‘pain and suffering’ and inconvenience damages you could receive.
Talk to a Personal Injury Attorney about Your Rights
Parrish Law Firm, PLLC helps their clients get their stories across in a meaningful way. Determining ‘pain and suffering’ and inconvenience in a car accident can be tough. Our law firm can help evaluate ‘pain and suffering’ and inconvenience damages for you at no cost. During a free case evaluation, we can discuss your injuries, any Virginia limits to which you might be subject to, and an estimate of what your case is worth.
To schedule this free consultation, call 571-229-1800.
There are many factors involved with determining how to calculate your ‘pain and suffering’ and inconvenience settlement in Virginia. While it might be simple to calculate medical costs and other incurred accident expenses, establishing a financial amount that correlates to ‘pain and suffering’ and inconvenience can be more complex.
How We Can Assist You With Calculating Your ‘Pain and Suffering and Inconvenience
Our attorneys will need information about your personal injury case. A free consultation gives us the opportunity to gather needed information about the specific details of your case. This is also a great time for you to ask our attorneys any questions you might have about the legal process.
In order to seek compensation for ‘pain and suffering’ and inconvenience in the state of Virginia, we will first have to establish fault. Once we prove that another party was at fault, we will then seek monetary damages for things like medical bills, time off work, and any other costs from the accident.
In addition to establishing fault, we must also be able to defend against a claim of contributory negligence (add link?) on your end (or, in other words, a claim that you were partially at fault for the accident). The complex ‘pain and suffering’ and inconvenience laws of Virginia can be confusing and working with a personal injury attorney can help you navigate the law.
Calculate an Amount That Directly Correlates With Your ‘Pain and Suffering’ and Inconvenience
‘Pain and Suffering’ and inconvenience is a non-economic cost. Our attorneys can assist you in how to calculate your ‘pain and suffering’ and inconvenience settlement in Virginia. We have a few methods available for calculating a fair compensatory amount to cover ‘pain and suffering’ and inconvenience.
Types of Personal Injury Cases Where ‘Pain and Suffering’ and Inconvenience is Present
‘Pain and suffering’ and inconvenience are present in all personal injury cases, such as the following:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Bicycle Accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Dog bites
- Spinal injuries
- Product liability cases
- Slip and fall cases
- Child injury cases
- Wrongful death
Who Do I Seek Compensation From in a ‘Pain and Suffering’ and Inconvenience Case?
You may be eligible for ‘pain and suffering’ and inconvenience compensation if another party was 100% at fault. You ordinarily have two options available when seeking compensation for ‘pain and suffering’ and inconvenience. If you were involved in an auto accident, you typically can seek compensation from your insurance provider under certain conditions (called Uninsured (“UM”) or Underinsured Motorists Coverage (“UIM”)) or the at-fault party’s insurance provider.
What Is Included in a ‘Pain and Suffering’ and Inconvenience Claim?
We will consider many factors when calculating your ‘pain and suffering’ and inconvenience amount including:
- Daily inconveniences due to injuries sustained
- The impact on your day to day life
- Damaged personal relationships due to the injury
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Mental changes including depression and anxiety
- Effects of disfigurement
- Chronic physical pain
- The seriousness of injuries sustained
While it can be difficult to collect evidence of these sources of ‘pain and suffering’ and inconvenience, you can provide physical documentation of medical records. Medical records can indicate the seriousness of an injury and assumptions can be made as to the impact it will have on everyday life.
How Long Do I have to File a ‘Pain and Suffering’ and Inconvenience Claim?
Virginia allows you to sue for ‘pain and suffering’ and inconvenience up to two years following an accident. Injuries sustained to an infant, however, are the exception to this rule and the law allows a much greater time for pursuit of these claims.
Is There a Limit on ‘Pain and Suffering’ and Inconvenience Compensation?
The maximum amount available for ‘pain and suffering’ and inconvenience claims is not limited by the law in most cases; however, there are some limitations for claims against medical providers and governmental bodies. For example, there is also a $100,000 limit on claims against most government entities. Additionally, ‘pain and suffering’ and inconvenience cannot be claimed in workers’ compensation cases.
Why You Should Work With a Personal Injury Attorney
Because the compensation process for ‘pain and suffering’ and inconvenience in Virginia can be confusing and complex, it can be beneficial to work with a personal injury attorney. We will work until we get you a fair amount that covers your ‘pain and suffering’ and inconvenience.
To be blunt the entire idea of “damages” is money. In order to receive compensation for your “damages,” the claims procedure provides you with money.
Assuming you can show that the other driver acted negligently, then the claims process looks at your driving behavior, i.e., did you do anything that contributed to the accident? If so, guess what? The claim is over. You are completely barred from recovering for your injuries.
This harsh rule is called contributory negligence and it means that if you are just 1% of the cause of the accident, then you get nothing! Virginia is one of only a few states that still use this extremely harsh rule, but if you are going to make an automobile accident personal injury claim, you had better get used to hearing this phrase. Insurance companies love to cite contributory negligence as a reason to deny claims and will use it at any and every opportunity.