Car Accident

Is it Important That I Hire a Car Accident Lawyer Who Is Near Me?

Although you always hope it won’t happen to you, you never know when you might be involved in a car accident. In fact, there are approximately 6 million car accidents in the U.S. each year. So what do you do if you are injured in a car accident in or near Richmond, Virginia?  It’s no secret that involvement in a car accident can result in severe injuries, both physical and emotional. And often, the process toward recovery can be long and daunting.  If you or a loved one has sustained injuries in a car accident in Virginia, we want to help.  Regardless of precisely where your accident occurred, River Run Law has the tools, resources, and experience necessary to fight for your rights. And while we are located in Richmond, VA, our car accident attorneys have helped clients throughout the Commonwealth on their pathway to recovery. So don’t wait—contact us today to discuss your case and see how we can help you. So How Important Is It Really That I Hire a Car Accident Lawyer Near Me?  These days, many people know that hiring an attorney can be a great first step toward pursuing valuable compensation in the aftermath of a serious accident. But many accident victims still wonder, Is it important that I hire a car accident lawyer who is near me in proximity?  It is certainly important to hire an attorney for your case who is licensed in your state. However, you may not necessarily have to hire the closest firm to you—especially in today’s day and age, where technology continues to advance and doing things virtually and remotely has become more and more common. Thus, when you are searching for the right firm for your car accident case, physical proximity should not be the only factor you consider in making your decision. Rather, here are some additional qualities and characteristics to look for in selecting a car accident attorney:  General litigation experience;  Experience handling car accident cases, specifically;  Ability to negotiate effectively on your behalf; and  Willingness to put you, the client, first above all else.  So while there may be some benefit to having an attorney that is near you, it is not everything. Make sure to select a lawyer for your car accident only after taking into account all other relevant factors as well.  How a Car Accident Attorney Can Help Some people mistakenly believe that hiring an attorney for a car accident case is a waste of money. Instead, they may attempt to save money by negotiating with insurance companies and navigating the case on their own. However, this is successful less often than you might think. A personal injury attorney who handles car accident cases day in and day out knows what to expect and will be able to more effectively and efficiently handle your claim on your behalf. An experienced car accident lawyer can help you:  Gather facts and evidence; Analyze your case and explain your legal options moving forward; Determine what damages you may be entitled to recover; Negotiate with opposing parties and their insurance companies;  Draft and file any necessary court paperwork; and Prepare for and take your case to trial when necessary.  Don’t feel like you have to handle your car accident case alone. In fact, hiring an attorney can help you save time and money in the long run.  Why Should I Hire River Run Law? With so many attorneys to choose from, you may be wondering, Why should I choose River Run Law over another car accident lawyer near me?  At River Run Law, we are prepared to travel throughout Virginia to provide well-deserved legal representation to those in need. No matter where you are located, you can count on us to provide quality services for your car accident case. Here are a few things that we believe set River Run Law apart from the rest: We have an entire practice area dedicated exclusively to helping car accident victims in need;  Our attorneys have decades of combined experience handling complex legal matters;  We operate our firm with the utmost professionalism while also striving to provide a relaxed and stress-free process for our clients; and  We are honored to have received many positive reviews and testimonials from our former clients.  If you are searching for a law firm that will fight zealously for your rights, look no further than River Run Law.  Contact Our Team of Personal Injury Attorneys Today Being involved in a car accident can be scary. And dealing with the aftermath can be complicated, stressful, and emotionally draining. Let us take some of the weight off your shoulders.  No matter where in Virginia you are located, River Run Law is standing by and ready to help. We are available in person or by phone, email, or video conference. So contact us today for a free consultation. Let’s discuss your case and see what we can do to help you recover.

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Truck Accident

How Long Does It Take to Settle a Semi-Truck Accident in Virginia?

If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a truck accident, you may be wondering how long it takes to settle a semi-truck accident. People involved in truck accidents can suffer life-threatening injuries and leave victims with long-term or permanent issues.  Injuries sustained in truck accidents often require significant medical procedures and rehabilitation to heal properly. Unfortunately, medical expenses pile up quickly in these cases. A Virginia truck accident attorney can help you recover the compensation you deserve for your injuries and other damages. Contact us today for a free consultation.  Semi-Truck Accidents in Virginia Virginia traffic statistics indicate that 2,484 traffic collisions involving large trucks occurred in 2019. Forty-eight of the accidents involving large trucks resulted in a fatality. The majority of Virginia’s large truck collisions occurred in Fairfax County.  Injuries in Truck Accidents A semi-truck pulling an empty trailer weighs approximately 35,000 lbs. Passenger vehicles, on the other hand, weigh between 2,750 lbs and 4,000 lbs. The weight discrepancy between the two leads to devastating consequences in the event of a collision. Common injuries seen in semi-truck accidents include: Traumatic brain injury, Broken bones, Whiplash, Spinal cord injuries, Burns, Abrasions, Nerve injuries, Internal organ damage, Dislocated joints, Paralysis, and Loss of limbs. The size and magnitude of semi-trucks impacts every accident that involves one. If you suffered injuries in a collision with a semi-truck in Virginia, contact River Run Law today for a free consultation.  What Damages Are Available to Truck Accident Victims? Victims of truck accidents are entitled to seek compensatory damages designed to cover the economic and non-economic losses you suffered because of the accident. Recovering damages can help you and your family pay the bills and expenses associated with semi-truck accidents. Economic damages can include: Current and future medical expenses; Loss of earning capacity; Childcare expenses; Property damage to your vehicle; and Rehabilitation costs. The court requires proof of these damages for compensation to be awarded.  Non-economic damages include: Pain and suffering, Physical disfigurement, Loss of consortium, and Mental anguish. Severe accidents can result in significant awards of non-economic damages.  In cases of extreme negligence or wrongdoing, courts award punitive damages that are designed to punish the party responsible for the accident.  The River Run Law team will fight to guarantee you receive the compensation you are owed. Common Causes of Semi-Truck Accidents in Virginia Commercial accidents account for 3.8% of all vehicle crashes in Virginia.  Virginia defines commercial vehicle as a vehicle that: Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more; Is designed or used to transport nine or more people; or Is displaying a hazardous materials placard. Thus, semi-trucks operating in Virginia are considered commercial vehicles. Overall, 4,922 accidents occurred involving commercial vehicles in Virginia in 2019. The most common factors contributing to commercial vehicle accidents include: Improper lane change, Following too closely, Failure to yield, Distracted driving, Driver fatigue, Ignoring traffic signs or signals, Improper backing, Improper turn, and Speeding. Truck accidents occur for a multitude of reasons, many of which are purely accidental. However, when accidents are caused by another person’s negligence, they should be held responsible. The nature of the truck driving business enhances the risk of negligence occuring. Trucking companies incentivize quick delivery times. Therefore, truck drivers aim to beat deadlines and arrive ahead of schedule. Unfortunately, some drivers place speed over safety. Truck Driver Regulations The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) imposes hours-of-service regulations on commercial truck drivers in an attempt to curb driver negligence. The regulations include: An 11-hour driving limit after 10 consecutive hours off duty for property-carrying drivers; A 10-hour driving limit after 10 consecutive hours off duty for passenger-carrying drivers; A mandated 30-minute driving break for every 8 hours of driving for property-carrying drivers; Property-carrying drivers are prohibited from working more than fourteen consecutive hours; and Passenger-carrying drivers are prohibited from working more than fifteen consecutive hours.  Despite these regulations, trucking companies offer bonuses to drivers who meet high mileage quotas and encourage long hours and work weeks. In accidents involving semi-trucks, multiple factors may exist that contributed to the collision. A semi-truck accident attorney can help you determine which parties should be held liable. Who Is Liable in Truck Accidents? Semi-truck accidents present complexities that do not often exist in regular car accident cases, including the possibility that multiple parties are liable for your injuries.  Truck Driver The most obvious party facing liability is the truck driver. Hundreds of thousands of accidents occur every year due to operator error. Truck drivers make mistakes just like regular drivers, and when those mistakes cause you to suffer injuries, the driver can be held liable. Trucking Company Semi-trucks and their attached trailers are typically owned by the company that employs the truck driver. Thus, issues stemming from improper maintenance of the semi-truck itself could fall on the company, rather than the driver. Proper maintenance of semi-trucks prevents issues like worn tires and defective breaks that lead to hundreds of accidents every year.  Additionally, trucking companies employing drivers must ensure that the drivers meet necessary qualifications. For example, semi-truck drivers must possess a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to legally operate a commercial vehicle. A trucking company allowing an employee without a CDL to operate a commercial vehicle would be considered negligent.  As previously mentioned, the FMCSA passed regulations designed to reduce truck driver fatigue while driving. Trucking companies are prohibited from disregarding the regulations or encouraging their employees to disobey the regulations. Proof that a trucking company influenced a driver to go against FMCSA regulations could result in liability for the company in the event of an accident.  Accepting a Settlement Offer After a Truck Accident Most truck accident cases settle before entering a courtroom. After investigating your case, we will present a demand to the insurance company for the party liable in the accident. We will negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf, convincing them that we will not settle for a penny less than you deserve. In most cases, we […]

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Car Accident

What to Do After a Car Accident in Virginia [Step By Step]

There are an estimated 6 million car accidents in the United States every year, resulting in approximately 3 million injured victims. Despite these statistics, being involved in an accident is always a shock. The fact remains that nobody ever gets in their car expecting to be involved in a collision.  As a result, people often do not know what to do after a car accident in Virginia.  Of course, it’s true that the moments immediately following a car accident can feel like a blur. Nevertheless, it is important to know what to expect and what steps to take. Doing so can not only better protect you and your passengers from further injuries, but can also increase your chances of receiving compensation to help you recover. Want more information on what to do after a car accident in Virginia? The injury attorneys at River Run Law are ready to help. Contact our team today to discuss what options you may have to pursue recovery. The Five Steps You Should Always Take If You Are Wondering What to Do After a Car Accident in Virginia Navigating the aftermath of a Virginia car accident can feel overwhelming.  Unfortunately, nobody has the ability to anticipate when an accident might occur. However, by being prepared and knowing what steps to take, you can reduce some stress in the event you ever are involved in an accident. Here are the 5 steps you should be prepared to take after involvement in a motor vehicle accident on Virginia roadways. 1. Pull Over and Check for Injuries Your safety and that of your passengers should always be your first priority. Thus, the first thing you should do if at all possible is pull your vehicle over. Failure to do so can sometimes result in further damage or injuries to you and others.  Especially after an accident on the highway or a busy road, where oncoming traffic may not have sufficient time to react, it is imperative that you get your vehicle out of harm’s way. Once your vehicle is in a safe place, check yourself and your passengers for any severe or life-threatening injuries. If there are any such injuries, call 911 immediately to get an ambulance at the scene as soon as possible.  And no matter what, never leave the scene of an accident. Even if you do not notice any injuries or you believe that there is little to no property damage, leaving the scene of an accident can constitute a hit-and-run, which can only make matters more complicated for you moving forward.  2. Contact the Authorities Regardless of whether you notice any injuries after your accident, you should still contact the authorities and report the accident.  While contacting the authorities might feel intimidating, doing so can actually be a great benefit to your potential legal claim moving forward. When you report an accident to law enforcement, they will create a formal accident report. This accident report will likely include:  Names of the parties involved,  Names of the parties’ insurance carriers,  Types of vehicles involved in the accident, and Opinions regarding the cause of the accident. All this information can be extremely useful in proving who was at fault in causing the accident. It can also provide valuable information regarding the actual parties involved and whether and to what extent they may carry liability insurance.  However, it is more than just a good idea to contact the authorities after your Virginia car accident. In fact, doing so may be required.  Under Virginia law, the driver of any vehicle involved in an accident must report the accident to law enforcement immediately if it results in injury to or death of any person. Failure to do so constitutes a Class 4 misdemeanor. Thus, even if you are uncertain whether an injury or death has occurred, it is best to call law enforcement to the scene just in case.  3. Gather Any Relevant Evidence Available at the Scene Even after you do call law enforcement, it may be worth taking steps to collect certain information on your own before they arrive. Often, some of the best evidence is available right at the scene in the minutes immediately following the accident.  If you are able to do so, try to gather some of the following evidence and information:  Photos of the scene,  Names and insurers of parties involved, and Names, contact information, and statements of any witnesses to the accident.  Often, collecting this information can lead to valuable evidence in support of your claim.  4. Seek Immediate Medical Attention It is crucial to seek medical attention as soon as practicable after your Virginia car accident. Even if you do not notice any severe pain, some accident victims experience shock and do not feel their injuries until later. In other cases, injuries may be internal and not visible to the naked eye.  Additionally, diagnosis and treatment by a medical professional can be used to determine and calculate what monetary damages you may be entitled to recover. Thus, it is always important to get checked out by a medical professional just in case.  5. Contact a Virginia Car Accident Attorney Lastly, you should always consider contacting an attorney after a car accident.  People often wonder whether hiring an attorney is actually helpful. Many accident victims attempt to navigate the car accident claims process on their own in an attempt to save money.  In reality, hiring a car accident attorney can be a great way to not only save money but also maximize your potential recovery moving forward. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you gather evidence, negotiate with opposing parties and insurance companies, and prepare to take your case to trial when a settlement is not possible.  In short, contacting a Virginia car accident attorney is one of the best things you can do for your case. So if you’re wondering what to do after a car accident in Virginia, don’t forget to take this step. Looking for More Information on What to Do After a Car Accident in Virginia?  Look no […]

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Car Accident

How Much Will a Car Accident Lawyer Cost Me (in Virginia)

Experienced Car Accident Attorneys Discuss the Question: How Much Does a Car Accident Lawyer Cost? In Virginia, you have the right to pursue monetary compensation for injuries you suffered in a car accident caused by the wrongful acts of another. Indeed, you will want to get the most money possible for any settlement, and you should. After suffering painful and debilitating injuries that have kept you out of work and left you in dire financial straits, the desire to make the other person pay for your loss is perfectly natural.  A larger settlement will not make your physical and emotional pain go away, but it will make your life a little easier. You may think that one way to get the most out of your settlement is by handling the claim yourself instead of hiring a lawyer. If that is the case, you need to ask the top Virginia car accident lawyer; how much a car accident lawyer costs in Virginia? The answer might surprise you. Virginia Car Accident Lawyers Explain Fees Lawyers have three options when charging fees for their services. Depending on the attorney’s practice area, level of expertise, and other factors, an attorney can charge an hourly rate of $250 or more. Attorneys who charge hourly rates take a retainer from their clients and then charge down that retainer for costs and fees at the end of each month. Alternatively, lawyers can charge a flat fee for services. Either of these options means that you must dig into your pocket and pay for a lawyer’s services with your hard-earned money.  Virginia car accident attorneys charge their clients on a contingency fee basis. In its simplest terms, the fee is contingent upon you winning a settlement from the case. The lawyer does not get paid if you do not win your case. Therefore, they have an incentive to fight to protect your rights. Advantages of a Contingency Fee Arrangement The contingency fee arrangement is advantageous to you and your attorney. This benefits you because you do not have to spend any money out of pocket to hire an attorney. You and your attorney agree on the contingency percentage. Your attorney will deduct the fee from your settlement.  Additionally, a top-notch Virginia auto accident lawyer will advance your litigation costs. That means you do not have to pay out of pocket for: Filing fees,  Medical records duplication fees,  Deposition fees,  Transcripts, and  Expert witness fees.  Your lawyer will explain that the costs associated with pursuing a car accident claim may be necessary to spend in your situation so that you could make a more persuasive claim. You would have to pay these costs if you represented yourself. Contingency fees also act as an incentive to your attorney to do everything in their power to maximize your award. In other words, they make more money if you win more money. Furthermore, your attorney does not have to worry about billing you for services rendered. As a result, your attorney can focus more on building a strong case for you. Contingency fees ultimately promote justice. Contingency fees allow accident victims to have the services of a passionate Virginia car accident lawyer regardless of their net worth. Without these arrangements, injured people who do not have enough money to hire a lawyer might not pursue a claim for damages. Remember, justice is for everyone and not just for those with money. Other Issues to Consider If You Are Concerned About How Much Does a Car Accident Lawyer Cost in Virginia An exceptional Virginia car accident lawyer knows how to get the largest settlement for you. Getting the largest settlement for you obligates your attorney to: Gather all of the evidence available in your case including, photographs, accident reports, witness statements, and other evidence from the accident scene; Interact with the other driver’s insurance company on your behalf (they cannot speak to you if you have a lawyer); Review all your evidence with you; Retain expert witnesses if necessary;  Negotiate a settlement for you;  File a case in court if a just settlement is not reached; Ensure you comply with the statute of limitations; and Ensure that all your medical bills and other costs from your accident are paid from the proceeds. The best Virginia car accident lawyers take the time to ensure that you and your family receive the care you need. We want you to return your life to the way it was before your accident. Without an exceptional car accident lawyer from Virginia, you would have to worry about all these issues on your own while trying to get your life back on track.  Contact Experienced Car Accident Lawyers from Virginia Today At River Run Law, we proudly serve our clients’ best interests. We want every person victimized by the wrongful actions of another to experience justice. Call our firm today at 804-889-0500 or visit our website to schedule a free consultation. We would be happy to answer all questions,  including, How much does a car accident lawyer cost in Virginia? Let us help you win a just and fair settlement for your Virginia car accident claim.

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Car Accident

When Should I Consider Hiring a Lawyer After a Car Accident in Virginia?

Speaking with a Highly Qualified Car Accident Lawyer Right Away Will Give You the Best Chance of Winning With so much information available on the internet, it might be easy to assume that you could learn how to handle your car accident claim. You might even wonder, Should I hire a lawyer after a car accident in Virginia? Car accident claims can be very complicated. You could miss something important and give up valuable rights without even realizing it. Hiring an experienced and well-qualified Virginia car accident lawyer as soon after your wreck as possible is the first step to recovering financial compensation. A reputable and accomplished Virginia auto accident lawyer will understand how to protect your rights. Your lawyer is the only person who has your best interest at heart. You cannot trust an insurance company to do the right thing for you and your family. When Is the Best Time to Hire a Lawyer After a Car Accident in Virginia? The hours and days right after a car crash can be very confusing. That is understandable. A short time ago, you were driving along minding your business, probably thinking about a million different things at once. Out of nowhere, a negligent driver slams into you and radically changes your life.  Now, you must deal with a mountain of medical bills, car repair bills, and lost wages on top of your life’s other expenses. You never planned for this, and you certainly do not deserve it. Therefore, It is perfectly natural to wonder what is going to happen to you in these circumstances.  At this point, you might wonder, Should I hire a lawyer after a car accident in Virginia?  Taking the Wrong Path Could Lead to Financial Disaster You face a tough choice. You know you need to get back on your feet again financially. On the other hand, you might need to continue with medical treatments instead of returning to work. The money is going out of your wallet faster than it is coming in. So what do you do? Insurance companies know when to strike. The other driver’s insurance company might offer you a quick settlement. The offer may be enticing. It is undoubtedly hard to resist. In your moment of vulnerability, you might decide to accept the low-ball offer the negligent driver’s insurance company offered you.  On the other hand, you know that hiring a lawyer might take longer for the case to settle. But hiring a lawyer to represent you after a Virginia car accident is the best way to protect your rights. Hiring a Virginia car crash lawyer will give you the best chance to win a just and fair settlement.  Accepting a Quick Settlement Could Be Disastrous for You You could lose valuable rights if you agree to a quick settlement. The insurance company will have you sign a waiver of future claims before you receive your settlement check. You cannot go back to the insurance company and demand more money if you released them from further liability. You need to consider what would happen if you took the quickest settlement and released the insurance company, only to find out later on that your injuries never healed completely. Who will you turn to if you need surgery after you accepted a quick and easy resolution without having a dedicated Virginia car wreck lawyer look at your case first? If you did not have an experienced Virginia auto accident attorney review your case, how do you know you received a fair settlement? What will you do if you waived your rights?  Handling the Claim Yourself Does Not Save Money You may think representing yourself and saving money on lawyers’ fees might be the best way to maximize your financial award. It is a good idea in theory. However, the results are quite different in reality. When you hire a Virginia car wreck lawyer to represent you, you have an unwavering advocate who works only for you. Your lawyer has a duty to act in your best interests.  An insurance company’s representatives cannot act in bad faith toward you by lying, misleading, or misrepresenting your claim’s value. But insurance companies have no duty to protect your best interests. Dealing directly with the insurance company is not the same as having a dedicated accident lawyer from Virginia handle your claim. Hiring a lawyer is no guarantee that you will win. But you can rest assured that you will be in a much better position if you have a lawyer protecting your rights after a Virginia car crash.  What a Virginia Car Accident Attorney Can Do for You and Your Family If you are still asking, Should I hire a lawyer after a car accident in Virginia? you should consider what a car accident lawyer will do for you. A car accident lawyer understands what evidence is available and how to gather it. Without a lawyer acting on your behalf, you would have to track down the evidence to make your claim. Remember, you have the burden of proof if you pursue an auto accident claim. The insurance company does not have to disprove your case. Instead, you must prove it with concrete evidence. Here are some other tasks a lawyer would perform for you: Interview you and the witnesses involved; Gather physical evidence like photographs and surveillance footage; Assemble your medical records; Retain expert witnesses to testify about the crash, your injuries, and your future expected losses; Negotiate with the other driver’s insurance company; Apprise you of all developments in your case; Help you understand the relevant law, including ensuring that you satisfy the statute of limitations; Field all inquiries from insurance companies; and Take your case to trial if necessary. These are just some of the numerous responsibilities a Virginia car accident lawyer undertakes when you engage their services.  The Virginia Car Accident Lawyers at River Run Law Can Help You Maximize Your Financial Award The only person who could answer the question, Should […]

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Wrongful Death

Virginia Wrongful Death Law: How to Bring & Win a Lawsuit

Losing a loved one is hard enough without feeling like someone’s to blame. When you’re sure another person is at fault, it makes you want to do something. You want to act—hold them responsible. Sometimes you can. If there’s evidence the other person involved acted carelessly or malicious—or failed to act when they should have—the law might give your family a legal claim. It’s best to talk with a Richmond wrongful death attorney about the possibilities. Our team at River Run Law is ready to listen to your story. Once we get to the heart of the matter, we can advise you and your family on what you could do next. We make sure you’re informed so you can make the right decision for your family.  Does Your Family Have a Valid Claim? The Virginia wrongful death statute dictates when surviving relatives have a legal claim. Under the Code of Virginia § 8.01-50, if a person’s death is caused by another individual’s or business’s wrongful act, neglect, or default (failure to act), and if that incident would’ve given the person a legal claim had they lived, then the individual or business can be for liable damages. A quick way to think about it is to ask yourself: Would my relative have had a personal injury claim if they lived? If so, then your family may have a wrongful death claim. Common Fatal Accidents We often represent families after deadly: Car accidents, Motorcycle accidents, Truck accidents, Pedestrian accidents, Dangerous property accidents (premises liability), and Workplace accidents. Whatever type of incident caused your loved one’s death, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re here to answer your questions about what to do next. The Lawsuit Is About You It’s important to distinguish between a survival claim and a wrongful death claim. A survival claim is a legal claim your loved one had that survived their death. If they didn’t pass away immediately, then they incurred damages that could be recovered in a personal injury claim. Compensation in a survival claim is about what your relative suffered. A wrongful death claim is about what you and your other relatives are suffering. It’s about your financial and emotional injuries. Can You File the Lawsuit? We highly recommend you talk with a lawyer before pursuing a wrongful death claim. You have to follow the legal process correctly; otherwise, you’ll waste time and money. Not just any family member can file this lawsuit. The personal representative of the decedent’s estate has to do it on behalf of loved ones. If you lost your spouse, parent, or child, the personal representative might be you. Or the will or probate court might have named another relative or attorney the representative.   Because only one person can file the lawsuit, it’s important to talk with your relatives. You want to be on the same page about whether to move forward with a legal claim. If you believe in filing a claim, but the personal representative refuses, give us a call to talk through your options. How to File a VA Wrongful Death Lawsuit It’s best to have a lawyer handle filing the lawsuit. First, our team thoroughly investigates the fatal accident. If you have any hope of winning compensation, you need proof of the other party’s liability. Gathering and evaluating evidence is a crucial step. When we’re ready to file, we’ll draft the complaint, which is the paperwork that states what your legal claim is, who it’s against, and your damages. We’ll determine the right place to file a lawsuit, which may be the county where your loved one lived. You can’t file just anywhere. You have to bring a case in a court with jurisdiction over the matter. The next step is serving any person or business we named as a defendant. They have to receive formal notice of the complaint. Then, they have a chance to respond. From there, your case moves forward in earnest.  What Happens After You File? Each side gets to use discovery to learn more. Discovery is the process of exchanging information through several legal tools, like depositions, interrogatories (questions), admissions, and requests for the production of documents. Throughout this process, we continue to prepare for trial, whether or not we think a settlement is likely.  What to Expect from the Lawsuit Code of Virginia § 8.01-52 says a jury or court can award damages that are fair and just and may include compensation for: Your sorrow and mental anguish over losing your loved one’s society, companionship, comfort, guidance, and advice; Compensation for the loss of the decedent’s income, services, protection, care, and assistance; Medical expenses for the injuries that led to the decedent’s death; Reasonable funeral expenses; and Punitive damages if the at-fault party is guilty of willful or wanton conduct or recklessness that displays a conscious disregard for the safety of others. The compensation you receive under three and four are apportioned among the creditors who provided medical, burial, and funeral services or those who paid the expenses on the deceased person’s behalf. It doesn’t get spread out between the surviving family members. Who Receives Compensation Virginia’s wrongful death law defines who gets compensation from a settlement or court award. The damages are usually distributed among the surviving spouse, children, and grandchildren from any deceased child. But it gets a bit more complicated. Parents may receive a part of the award if, during the previous 12 months, the decedent provided them with financial support or services for necessities. If there are no spouse, children, or grandchildren, then the compensation is awarded to the parents and siblings or any other relative dependent on the decedent. If the decedent left behind a spouse and parent(s), but no children or grandchildren, then the spouse and parent(s) divide the award. If your lawsuit goes to trial and a jury decides, it also specifies beneficiaries and distribution of the damages. But first, funds go to the personal representative responsible for paying court costs, attorney fees, and certain creditors. […]

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Car Accident

Step by Step: How to Report a Car Accident in Virginia

You’re in a car crash for the first time, and now, you have to figure out what to do. Before this, you might’ve heard about the general process. You tell the police and your insurance company, right? Yes. You have to report the accident to authorities. Then, it’s usually best to let your insurer know. Reporting the accident might seem like an unnecessary, bureaucratic step. But it’s more than that. It’s the start of building a claim for compensation. That’s important when you’re hurt and have medical bills due.  A Brief Overview Here are the essential facts you need to know: Do I have to report a car accident? If the crash caused property damage, injury, or death, yes. Report it. How do I report an accident? Call the police. The officer who comes to the scene will investigate and file a police crash report. What if the police don’t come to the scene? You can report accidents to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Do I need to tell my insurance company? We recommend you do, yes. If you don’t, you might lose the right to use your policy. Read on for more answers to your questions.  Do I Have to Report a Car Accident in Virginia? Virginia law requires motorists to report most accidents. To start with, you’re required to stop after a collision. Under Virginia Code Section 46.2-894, any driver involved in an accident that causes injury, death, or property damage has to stop close to the scene. You have to help anyone who needs it and exchange information. It also says to report your name, address, driver license number, and vehicle registration number to local or state police. Failing to stop at an accident (hit and run) leads to Class 1 misdemeanor or Class 5 felony charges. What if you know about a hit and run? If you are at least 16 years old and were in the car when someone didn’t stop after an accident, you have to report the crash to the police, based on Section 46.2-895. Take a look at Section 46.2-371 too. It says a driver of any vehicle involved in an accident that causes injury or death must immediately tell a law enforcement officer. Practically speaking, that means calling 911 right after the crash. Failing to report an accident to the police is a Class 4 misdemeanor. Section 46.2-372 says anyone involved in an accident involving injury, death, property damage, or an uninsured driver has to make a written report. You can see there are several laws about reporting accidents to the police. If you were part of a crash, assume you need to report it.  What About Minor Accidents? There’s a lot of confusion about whether to report minor accidents only involving property damage. In these situations, Virginia law doesn’t require a report. You typically don’t need to report an accident that doesn’t involve injury or death and that caused property damage worth less than $1,500. You also don’t have to report accidents that took place on private property. We recommend you make a report anyway. You can call the police’s non-emergency number and ask for an officer to come to the scene and make a report.  Do I Make the Report Myself or Do the Police Do It? You’re probably wondering whether you have to make a report after being in an accident, calling 911, and talking with the police at the crash. The answer is no. The police officer does it. Under Section 46.2-373, any officer who investigates a crash involving injury, death, or property damage worth at least $1,500 has to complete a written report within 24 hours. You’ll have to make a report if the police don’t respond to the crash. This can happen for minor accidents on private property. The police might decline to come out even if you call. Report the crash to the DMV by submitting an accident report (FR200) an information request form (CRD-93), and $8.00.  How Long Do I Have to Report? You should report the accident as soon as possible. Don’t wait weeks unless you’re dealing with catastrophic injuries. Our best advice is to inform the police within 24 hours if they didn’t come to the crash scene. See a doctor and get home safely first. Then make your report. How Do I Get a Copy of the Police Crash Report? You can complete an information request form and pay $8.00 for a copy. You can request a copy from the DMV by mail, fax, or in person. Why Is a Police Report Important? First, it’s important because the law requires it. If you don’t report an accident when you’re supposed to, you might face criminal charges. Second, an accident report is often an important piece of evidence during an insurance claim, workers’ compensation claim, or personal injury lawsuit. Once you report an accident to the police, an officer investigates. The officer gets each driver’s story and might talk with witnesses and take photos. They might give one or both drivers a ticket. After the initial investigation, the officer completes the police crash report and files it with the DMV. The crash report sets out the basics of what happened, which can protect you from the other driver trying to lie or say the crash was your fault. It becomes a key piece of evidence in proving the other driver was negligent.   Do I Have to Report a Crash to My Auto Insurance Company? Whether or not you should report an accident to your insurer depends on a few factors. If it was a minor fender bender with no injuries, you might choose to keep it to yourself. It might be cheaper to pay to repair your car yourself instead of paying your deductible and possibly experiencing higher premiums in the future. But for anything more serious, we highly recommend you tell your insurer. It doesn’t matter who was at fault for the crash. Even if you expect to […]

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Pedestrian Accident

What Should You Do If You or a Pedestrian Is Hit by a Vehicle in Virginia

If you are in an automobile accident with another vehicle, you may be generally familiar with how the claims process works. However, do you know how it works if you are a pedestrian? What do you do if you get hit by a car while walking in Virginia? Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents are a common problem all around Virginia and the rest of the country. If you sustained injuries as a pedestrian, you need a skilled Virginia pedestrian accident attorney who can help. What to Do After a Pedestrian Accident in Virginia If you are a pedestrian in Virginia and struck by a vehicle, it’s crucial to remain calm. If you don’t, you could further injure yourself or make a mistake that could jeopardize your claim.  After a pedestrian accident, you want to get yourself to safety. You need to protect yourself and get out of the way in case more vehicles are coming. Call the Police You should call the police right away, even if you think your injuries are only minor. After an accident, your adrenaline is running high. That adrenaline could mask your injuries, so you may not realize how seriously you are hurt. A police officer needs to come to the scene and take a report. This report will also be critical in your injury claim.  Gather Information Make sure to exchange information with the driver of the vehicle. You need to get their name, address, phone number, driver license number, vehicle make and model, etc. If there are any witnesses present, be sure to get their contact information as well. Take Pictures Try to take photos of the scene of the accident if you are not too severely injured. You can never have too many pictures of the crash scene, the vehicle, your injuries, etc. These photos could wind up being very useful in your future Virginia personal injury claim.  Get Medical Attention If you are not transported from the scene via emergency response personnel, you should still get medical treatment right away. You may have injuries that are more serious than you realize. Internal injuries may not be visible, which is why you need to see a medical provider as soon as possible. Plus, you will need supporting medical documentation to present as evidence in your accident claim. Contact an Attorney Next, you should contact a Virginia pedestrian accident attorney. If you suffered severe injuries, you need someone who can review your case and let you know whether you have a valid personal injury case. What Is the Average Settlement Amount of a Pedestrian Accident in Virginia? Unfortunately, there is no set amount or average for a pedestrian accident settlement. Your claim value will depend on a variety of factors. The reason is that no two cases are the same. Each accident has different circumstances and different injuries. Factors that influence the amount of your potential claim value include: Type of injuries, Severity of injuries, How long it took for your injuries to resolve, Your prognosis, Disability or disfigurement, Loss of earnings, Whether you could return to work again in the same capacity, and Pain and suffering; If you suffered injuries in a pedestrian accident in Virginia, you need an attorney who can help you fight for the maximum compensation you are owed. Pursuing a claim for damages can be complicated, especially if your injuries are severe. Don’t let the insurance company take advantage of you. Instead, let the experienced legal team at River Run Law help. Common Types of Injuries in Virginia Pedestrian Accidents Pedestrians have no protection from vehicles and potentially very little time to escape if they see an accident is about to happen. Many pedestrian accidents involve severe to catastrophic injuries. Even low-speed collisions can result in devastating injuries. Some of the more common types of injuries we see in Virginia pedestrian accidents include: Severe lacerations, Significant bruising, Torn ligaments, Broken bones, Internal bleeding, Organ damage, Dental injuries, Facial injuries, Psychological trauma, Spinal cord damage, Traumatic brain injuries, and Wrongful death. The extent of a victim’s injuries will depend on many factors. These factors include impact points on the body and vehicle, the force of the impact, how fast the vehicle was traveling, and where the victim landed after the accident. How Do Virginia Pedestrian Accidents Occur? There are countless ways a pedestrian could be injured in an accident. Some of the most common causes of Virginia pedestrian accidents include: Distracted driving, Driving under the influence, Texting and driving, Poor visibility in the area, Violating a traffic law, or Exceeding the posted speed limit. In limited scenarios, a vehicle defect can contribute to the accident. For example, a driver’s tire may blow out, causing them to lose control, or their brakes may fail when they try to stop at a traffic light. Types of Damages Available in a Virginia Pedestrian Accident Understandably, potential clients want to know what type of compensation they might get in a personal injury case. Depending on the circumstances of your case, possible damages may include: Medical costs to date, Future expected medical expenses, Lost wages to date, Pain and suffering, and Future loss of earning capacity. In minimal cases, you could be eligible to receive punitive damages. These are damages that are intended to punish the defendant, not compensate you as the plaintiff. They are allowed in Virginia personal injury cases in select scenarios. You can receive punitive damages only if you can show the defendant acted with willful and wanton disregard for your rights or acted with malice. If a defendant’s conduct doesn’t qualify for punitive damages, you can still collect for the other damages provided you are not at fault. If the victim passes away, individual family members may have the right to bring a wrongful death claim. Damages in a wrongful death claim can compensate surviving family members for their losses, such as loss of companionship and financial support. Proving Fault in a Virginia Pedestrian Accident Virginia is one of only a few […]

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Wrongful Death

Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Claim in Virginia?

If you have lost a loved one due to the wrongful actions of another, you may have a valid wrongful death claim. However, not all people can bring such a claim under Virginia law. Thus, it is important to know who can bring a wrongful death claim in Virginia.  In this article, we will discuss what constitutes a wrongful death and who can bring a claim. In doing so, we hope to provide you with valuable information as you work through the death of your loved one.  Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult experiences you will go through in life. But know that there are things you can do to help you recover.  The wrongful death lawyers at River Run Law want to help. Read on for more information about wrongful death claims in Virginia, and contact our team to see what we can do to help you recover.  What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?  Under Virginia law, a wrongful death occurs where someone’s death is caused by the wrongful act, neglect, or default of a person or corporation. Virginia law further states that a wrongful death claim is proper if the injured party would have been entitled to bring a personal injury action had he or she survived.  However, because the injured party has died, a wrongful death action provides a right of recovery and a way to hold accountable the party responsible for the death.  Now that you have an idea of what exactly a wrongful death action is, let’s go into more detail on who can bring a wrongful death claim in Virginia.  In Virginia, Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Claim? Only certain family members may benefit from a wrongful death claim on behalf of the deceased. Virginia law refers to these family members as “statutory beneficiaries” under Virginia wrongful death law.  Virginia Code section 8.01-53 details the family members who can benefit from a wrongful death claim and in what order they are permitted to do so. The statutory beneficiaries who may bring a wrongful death lawsuit include:  The surviving spouse of the deceased;  Any children or grandchildren of the deceased;  Surviving parents and siblings or any relatives who share the deceased’s household; and Any other surviving family member who is entitled to inherit the deceased’s estate under Virginia intestacy laws.  The surviving spouse has the first priority when it comes to filing a wrongful death lawsuit. However, if there is no surviving spouse, the next claim of right belongs to the child(ren) of the deceased. Then, if the decedent had no surviving spouse or children, the parents, siblings, and other surviving family members of the decedent hold the next claim of right to file a wrongful death suit. While these statutory beneficiaries are the ones who will recover compensation in a wrongful death action, Virginia law requires that the personal representative of the estate bring the lawsuit. The decedent will typically name their personal representative through his or her will. Alternatively, however, a judge can name a personal representative who will bring the lawsuit.  What Do I Need To Prove A Wrongful Death Claim? Code of Virginia section 8.01-50 addresses the requirements for filing a wrongful death claim in Virginia. Under Virginia wrongful death law, you must be able to prove that: A person died because of the wrongful act, neglect, or default of another; If the deceased had not died, they would have been entitled to bring a personal injury claim caused by another’s negligence; and The resulting death would not have happened but for the wrongful act or negligence of another party. These elements can often be difficult to prove. However, that does not mean recovery is impossible by any means. At River Run Law, we know what it takes to prove a wrongful death case, and we will fight to do just that.   What Can I Recover in a Virginia Wrongful Death Lawsuit One of the benefits of a Virginia wrongful death lawsuit is the ability to recover monetary compensation in the aftermath of losing your loved one. This compensation is referred to as your legal “damages.”  While no amount of compensation can bring your loved one back to you, these damages can be extremely helpful to you in recovering from their loss.   Examples of damages for which you can recover in a wrongful death action in Virginia include compensation for: Sorrow, mental anguish, and solace;  Loss of income of the decedent,  Loss of services, protection, care, and assistance provided by the decedent; Expenses for the care, treatment, and hospitalization of the decedent related to the injury that resulted in their death; and  Reasonable funeral expenses.  Additionally, in some cases you may be entitled to “punitive” damages. Virginia courts may award punitive damages in rare circumstances to account for willful, wanton, or reckless conduct that “evinces a conscious disregard for the safety of others.” Calculating the amount of damages you are entitled to in a wrongful death case can be extremely complicated. The total sum will often be determined by a number of factors that can be difficult to ascertain and prove.  If you have questions about how much you may be entitled to recover, contact an attorney to discuss your case in more detail. Consult A Virginia Wrongful Death Attorney Today If you have lost a family member at the hands of someone’s wrongful or negligent actions, it is time to fight for the justice your loved one deserves. A wrongful death lawyer can help you do just that.  An experienced Virginia wrongful death attorney can help you assess your claims, determine the strength of your case, and fight to hold the responsible party accountable and get you the compensation you need and deserve. To discuss your case with an experienced wrongful death attorney, contact River Run Law today. We offer a no-cost, no-obligation consultation to review your case and get you the legal assistance you need. You will never owe us any legal fees unless and […]

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Car Accident

How Long Do You Have to File a Car Accident Insurance Claim in Virginia?

Being involved in a car accident can be a traumatic and stressful experience. Between property damage, potential injuries, and all the commotion, dealing with the aftermath of a collision can be tough to process. Involving insurance and the claims process can further complicate matters.  If you have sustained personal injuries or property damage, you may need to file an insurance claim to get the compensation you need to recover. But a question many people have is, How long do I have to file a car accident insurance injury claim in Virginia?  We’ll answer this question and more in the article below. But if you have any questions at all about the car accident insurance claims process in Virginia, contact our car accident attorneys today. We can discuss your case with you and help you determine whether and how to file your car accident insurance claim.  Important Steps to Take After Your Virginia Car Accident After your Virginia car accident, it is important to take certain steps. Doing so can help protect you, your passengers, and your rights moving forward. Additionally, it can help improve your chances of getting the financial compensation you are entitled to.  If you or a loved one is involved in a car accident in Virginia, you should take the following steps as soon as practicable if you are able to do so:  Pull your vehicle over to the side of the road out of harm’s way; Check yourself and any passengers for injuries;  Call 911 and report your accident;  Get contact and insurance information of any other parties involved in the accident;  Report the accident to your own insurer; and  Contact a car accident attorney to see if there are any additional steps you should take moving forward.  Failure to take these steps can potentially cause further harm and reduce your rights. So make sure to take these steps as soon as possible after involvement in a car accident in Virginia.  Reporting Your Car Accident in Virginia Reporting your accident is an important step in the aftermath of a Virginia car accident. But when do you have to report your accident? And how do you do this?  When to Report Your Virginia Car Accident After your car accident, it is important that you report the incident to authorities as soon as practicable. In fact, this may be required depending on the facts and circumstances surrounding your accident.  The State of Virginia requires you to report your car accident to State police or local law enforcement within 24 hours if the accident results in any of the following: Injury,  Death, or  Property damage. As you might expect, the majority of car accidents involve one of these circumstances. Thus, it is crucial that you contact the police when you are involved in a car accident in Virginia.  How to File a Car Accident Report in Virginia If your accident meets one of the above criteria, you must report your accident. Such a report must include your:  Name,  Address,  Driver license number, and Vehicle registration number.  Providing this can make the exchange of information easier and can help to simplify the claims process moving forward.  Additionally, it is important to note which people you need to share the report with. The above information must be provided to:  The state police or local law enforcement agency investigating the accident; Any person struck or injured in the accident;  Any driver or occupant of another vehicle that was struck; and  The owner or custodian of any damaged property.  Failure to comply with Virginia post-accident laws can result in either a misdemeanor or even felony charge. Thus, it is imperative that you know and understand these requirements and take precautions to ensure that you comply.  How Long Do You Have to Report a Car Accident to Your Insurance? In addition to reporting your accident to local authorities, you should report it to your insurer. The precise length of time you have to do so will vary from insurer to insurer and policy to policy. However, you should make sure to report your accident as soon as possible. Many insurers will require you to report your accident soon after it happens, frequently within 30 days. But after you report your accident, you may also need to file a claim, which is another thing entirely. Make sure to do this as soon as possible too.  Some policies may set specific timeframes in which you must file a claim. Other policies may not set a timeframe at all. Thus, make sure to review your insurance policy to ensure that you follow the applicable timelines and requirements.  Statute of Limitations for Car Accidents in Virginia If you cannot resolve your claim with the opposing party or insurance company directly, you may need to consider bringing a lawsuit. But before filing your lawsuit, it is important to be aware of the statute of limitations for car accident claims in Virginia.  The statute of limitations gives you a certain amount of time following your accident to bring your lawsuit. Under Virginia law, the statute of limitations for bringing your claim or claims depends on the type of accident and extent of damage or injuries incurred.  If you are seeking compensation for injuries caused by the accident, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. On the other hand, if you are seeking compensation for damage to your vehicle resulting from the accident, you have five years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit.  If you have questions about whether and when you should file your claim, contact a Virginia accident attorney to discuss your case.  Consult a Virginia Car Accident Attorney Today The aftermath of a car accident can be a complicated and time-consuming process. But you don’t have to navigate this process alone. A Virginia car accident attorney can help you evaluate your claims, negotiate with insurers, and fight to recover the compensation you are entitled to. The personal injury […]

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