After being involved in a Northern Virginia car accident, it can be difficult to know what to do next. Medical bills, lost wages, car repairs, and other unexpected expenses may be piling up. The last thing you need is an insurance company attempting to minimize your payout.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident due to the negligence of another, contact the personal injury law firm to discuss the details of your case over a free initial consultation and case evaluation. Our team of experienced Fairfax car accident attorneys will ensure you are fairly compensated and not taken advantage of by the insurance companies.
Why Choose Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP?
- Our car accident lawyers have been successfully obtaining compensation for injured victims for more than 38 years.
- Meeting your needs is our top priority, we will not collect a fee from you unless we win your case.
- We do this work because we care about our car accident clients and the Fairfax community.
How Can a Northern Virginia Car Accident Attorney Help?
An experienced motor vehicle accident lawyer can help you recover compensation for the losses you have suffered, while also alleviating you from the frustration that commonly comes along with filing a car insurance claim.
When filing a claim for an automobile accident in Virginia, you typically will be dealing with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. They will require you to provide a substantial amount of information regarding the accident, all while the insurance agent will be looking for any reason to not pay you.
Insurance companies frequently deny payments on the basis that:
- You are partially or completely at fault
- There is an inadequate amount of information has been provided to substantiate your claim
- Other unspecified reasons
A lawyer with experience in car accident cases will advocate for you so that your rights will remain protected and the maximum compensation you are entitled to receive will be pursued. An attorney will investigate the accident to determine fault and to corroborate your claim, they will gather all of the necessary evidence and documentation. You will have the freedom to focus on getting better.
How Much Does a Car Accident Attorney Typically Cost in Northern Virginia?
The price of hiring a car accident lawyer is a common concern for victims looking into legal representation. A common misconception is that a personal injury attorney is expensive – perhaps too expensive for someone also dealing with medical bills and property damage repairs. Luckily, Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP offers affordable representation. We offer our services on a contingency fee basis to all clients.
- Free initial consultations
- Zero upfront costs
- No retainer fee
- No hidden costs
- Agreed-upon legal fees ahead of time
- Reasonable percentage-fee arrangement
- No attorney’s fees unless we win
If we take on your case and do not secure you any financial compensation, you will owe us $0 for our legal services. We only charge if we win an award on your behalf. If we do win a car accident settlement or verdict, you will pay our fees as a percentage of the award won. Our typical percentage is 33%. With a contingency fee setup, you never have to afford an attorney out of pocket.
We understand the aftermath of a serious car accident can put a financial strain on your family. Our goal is to make legal representation affordable to every accident victim in Northern Virginia. Operating on a contingency fee basis enables us to protect citizens’ rights. It also motivates us to secure the highest possible recovery awards for each client, since this determines how much our lawyers receive for their hard work. Learn more about what one of our attorneys might cost during a free case review in Northern Virginia.
Common Causes of Car Accidents in Northern Virginia
Identifying the cause of your car accident is a task our crash lawyers can take care of for you. We can return to the scene of your car accident, obtain copies of police reports, speak to eyewitnesses and work with investigators to get to the bottom of your case. The most frequent causes of car accidents are typically due to driver error, including:
- Driving under the influence
- Distracted driving (cellphone use, eating, adjusting the radio)
- Running red lights
- Driver fatigue
- Driving in dangerous weather conditions
In 2017, 127,375 traffic accidents occurred in the state of Virginia. Motor vehicle collisions took 843 lives in 2017 – the highest number in five years. Distracted, negligent, careless and reckless drivers caused most traffic accidents. Holding at-fault drivers accountable for their actions is something we can help you with at Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP.
Common Types of Vehicle Injuries in Northern Virginia
Over 4.5 million people experienced injuries as a result of car accidents in 2017, as reported by the National Safety Council. Car accident injuries could change victims’ lives, from giving them chronic pain to inflicting permanent disabilities. A car crash could cause almost any type of physical injury. Here are the most common injuries from car accidents:
- Head and Back Injuries
Injuries that affect the head are among the most serious of car accident injuries and can occur when drivers or passengers strike their heads against steering wheels, windows or dashboards. The extent of a head injury can range from a mild concussion to a coma.
The forceful impact of car accidents commonly causes back injuries. The spinal cord and nerves can be damaged or discs herniated, leading to decreased feeling in the legs, feet, hands, arms, and other body parts. In serious cases, spinal cord injuries can result in paralysis.
- Neck and Chest Injuries
Rear-end collisions often result in whiplash, the most frequently caused car accident injury. The sudden jerk of the head and neck can damage neck muscles and ligaments.
Broken ribs and collapsed lungs can come from blunt force trauma suffered during an accident, as well as internal organ damage and internal bleeding.
- Extremity Injuries
The legs, feet, arms, and hands are regularly wounded. Injuries can range from lacerations to fractured bones. Even if a driver or passenger wears a seatbelt, his or her extremities could sustain injuries by colliding with objects in the vehicle, such as a window, seat, steering column or dashboard. Extremity injuries are especially common in motorcycle, bicycle and pedestrian accidents in Northern Virginia.
Virginia Laws on Car Accident Claims
Virginia is a fault insurance state. This is the most common insurance system, with only 12 states following no-fault laws. In a traditional fault-based insurance state, the driver or party that caused the car accident will be financially responsible for related damages. If you get into a car accident in Northern Virginia, you will contact the at-fault driver’s insurance company for financial recovery. Call the other driver’s insurer to file your damage claim. If you caused the crash, the other driver does not have insurance or you were in a hit-and-run, call your insurance provider to file a claim instead.
Virginia is also a contributory negligence state. If an investigation finds you did not cause the crash, but you contributed to it to some degree, the courts may bar you from recovery. Virginia is in the minority as a contributory negligence state, as most states have moved to fairer comparative negligence laws. In a comparative negligence state, partial contribution to an accident will not fully bar the victim from recovery, but instead, decrease the victim’s compensation award.
Insurance Claim Denials
It is important to hire a lawyer to help you navigate Virginia’s contributory negligence rule. When evaluating your case, a car insurance company may deny your claim if it believes a courtroom would likely assign you contributory negligence for the accident. Virginia’s strict rule may encourage insurance companies to deny claims or refuse to negotiate better settlements. Hiring an attorney could be in your best interests if you fear an insurance company taking advantage of you during the claims process.
How long after an automobile accident can you file a claim in Northern Virginia?
Every state has statutes of limitations that set parameters on how long claimants have to bring lawsuits. Statutes of limitations are the courts’ way of motivating victims to file their lawsuits as soon as possible. In Virginia, the statute of limitations on most car accident claims is two years (Code of Virginia 8.01-243). The clock will start ticking on the date of the accident, the date you discover your injuries or the date of a loved one’s death. If your car accident lawsuit is only seeking recovery for property damages, your statute of limitations is five years.
The courts in Virginia are very strict about statutes of limitations. They allow only very limited exceptions to the rule. If you try to file a car accident lawsuit after your deadline has passed, the courtroom will most likely refuse to hear your case. Otherwise, the person you are filing against may petition the court to dismiss the case. It is critical to speak to an attorney about your potential car accident lawsuit right away. If you wait too long, you may miss an important time limit or break another rule.
Possible Damages Available For Car Accidents in Northern Virginia
A car accident lawsuit in Northern Virginia could help you and your family obtain the financial recovery you need to pay for expensive damages. The at-fault party could owe you thousands of dollars in economic and noneconomic damages. A successful insurance settlement or personal injury trial in Virginia may end in money for many different losses.
- Economic damages. Economic compensation can include payment for your medical expenses, disability-related costs, surgeries, rehabilitation, lost wages and vehicle repairs.
- Noneconomic damages. A lawsuit could also result in money for your personal losses, such as physical pain and suffering, permanent disabilities, lost quality of life and emotional anguish.
- Punitive damages. A punitive damage award may occur in crash cases involving gross negligence, such as drunk driving or vehicular manslaughter.
- Wrongful death damages. Your award may cover funeral and burial costs, mental anguish, loss of consortium, and other losses if you lost a family member in a fatal car crash.
One of our attorneys can help you understand the potential value of your car accident claim during a free initial consultation. We can analyze the facts of your unique case and estimate what it could be worth. Hiring a lawyer with experience increases your family’s odds of securing fair and full recovery for your damages.
What to Do After a Motor Vehicle Accident in Northern Virginia
The actions you take after surviving a car accident could influence your odds of securing financial compensation. An insurance company will check to see if you fulfilled certain responsibilities you have as someone involved in a crash. These can include calling the police and getting prompt medical care. Immediately following a car accident, it is recommended to follow these steps:
- Stay at the scene.
- Call 911 to get medical assistance, if you or anyone involved is hurt.
- Call the police so a report can be filed. This can serve as a valuable piece of evidence for proving liability.
- Do not move vehicles or injured persons, unless you absolutely must due to safety concerns.
- Take photos & videos for evidence.
- Exchange information with all drivers involved and any witnesses.
- Seek medical care and continue any ongoing treatment recommended by your doctor.
- Contact your insurance company to report the accident.
- Speak to a car accident attorney for legal counsel regarding your options for obtaining compensation for your injuries.
If you are unsure what to do after a serious car crash in Northern Virginia, call an attorney first. A lawyer from our firm will be happy to walk you through the steps you need to take to protect yourself, such as gathering evidence against an at-fault party to seek financial compensation. Every case is unique. A free consultation with one of our lawyers can provide tailored counsel for how to proceed.
Schedule a Free Consultation With A Skilled Northern Virginia Car Accident Attorney
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, contact the law firm of Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP today. Recovering from an accident is stressful enough, let us help you get back on your feet. For a free consultation with our Northern Virginia accident attorneys, contact us today!