RICHMOND PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS
If you have been injured due to the negligence of someone else, you have the right to pursue compensation for your damages. But the at-fault insurance companies will make you fight tooth and nail to get fair value for your personal injury claim. You will need the help of experienced Richmond personal injury attorneys to advocate for you, and to fight for you. Call Blaszkow Legal today for help anywhere in the Commonwealth!
Our team of attorneys, paralegals, and staff are well trained to investigate your case, find the evidence of your claim, explore your damages, and push the insurance companies for the compensation you deserve! Don't let the defense lawyers and insurance adjusters push you around - Get Justice with Joe, and call 804-762-0190!
7824 Shrader Road, Richmond, Va. 23294
Alexandria/Northern Virginia Office:
5270 Shawnee Road #102, Alexandria, Va. 22312
Richmond Personal Injury Claims
The term "personal injury" covers most incidents where some other person's negligence causes harm or damage to you, through absolutely no fault of your own. Negligence include inattention, recklessness, as well as carelessness. There are also times when people can be hurt because someone else fails to act, which is called an omission, or negligent act of omission.
Blaszkow Legal represents clients in a wide variety of personal injury matters. Some of the more common claims include:
Motor vehicle accidents. Because cars, trucks, and buses are such a huge part of our lives, the accidents that involve these vehicles also form the largest part of our personal injury practice. As long as you are not at-fault for the crash, we can help fight for you!
Premises liability claims. Cases of this nature involve being hurt on someone else's property because of negligence and their duty of care to you as an invitee or guest. Premises liability claims often involves slip and fall claims, accidents, parking lot crashes, and things of that nature. However, just because the accident happened on someone else's property, does not mean that they are automatically responsible. They have to have been negligent in order for us to pursue that case.
Wrongful death claims. Wrongful death cases are extremely intricate legal proceedings, and are more complicated than the average personal injury case. If you have lost a loved one due to someone else's negligence, you need to speak to an attorney right away to determine how best to pursue that claim. There are two different kinds of wrongful death claims: wrongful death lawsuits, and survival actions. This is not a distinction without difference. Contact an experienced Richmond personal injury lawyer right away.
Pedestrian accidents. Crossing the street can be extremely dangerous throughout the Richmond Metropolitan area. Unfortunately, a lot of drivers do not pay full time and attention to the roadway, and can hit innocent people who are crossing the streets in the crosswalk and obeying the pedestrian lights. Pedestrians are completely unprotected in these accidents, and it is vital that you contact an experienced Richmond pedestrian accident lawyer right away.
Bicycle Accidents. Bike riding is a great way to stay in shape, and get around downtown, but when a driver does not look and hits a cyclist, the injuries are usually severe. These accidents can include "dooring," or when someone who has parked/is parking opens the door without looking, causing a bike rider to fall.
The Statute of Limitations in Virginia Personal Injury Cases
Personal injury claims in Virginia are governed by Virginia Code 8.01-243. This grants all claimants the right to file a lawsuit for personal injuries - however that lawsuit must be filed within 2 years of the date of the accident/injury!
Warning! The two-year statute of limitations set forth in Virginia law is not the only time line that you have to worry about! Much depends on who your claim is against. For example, if the vehicle that turned right on red hit and you when you were crossing the street happens to be a city of Richmond Public Works vehicle, then there are other notice deadlines that you have to follow under the various tort claims acts.
If you do not "note" your claim in time, you give the other side legal arguments that they can use to attack your claim and deny it on procedural grounds. Bottom line, if you have been injured in Richmond, you need to talk to a Richmond personal injury attorney right away.
Contributory Negligence and Virginia Personal Injury Claims
Virginia is a jurisdiction that practices a law called contributory negligence. Contributory negligence is a legal doctrine that means that a person who is in any way responsible for the happening of their accident, cannot pursue a personal injury claim. This is sometimes called the 1% rule, because if a judge determines that the plaintiff is only 1% at-fault, it is a bar to recovery.
This legal doctrine gives insurance companies for at fault parties a great ability to attack our clients claims. Often, they will take advantage of unrepresented parties by asking to take recorded statements that they can ultimately use against the unwitting injured parties.
Never speak to an insurance company after a personal injury incident, because you never want to give them any information that they may try to use against you. Always contact an experienced Richmond personal injury lawyer first!
Determining Liability in a Richmond Personal Injury Case
In order to determine who is responsible, and who is at fault, it is important that we begin investigating right away. Our team will be set to work as soon as you become our client to prove your case, and establish your claim.
One of the first questions that we have to ask is: did the defendant have a duty to you? A duty of care is very important, because this is the legal standard that applies. If someone does not have a legal duty to you, then they cannot breach that duty. It is the breach of that duty that creates your personal injury claim. Let us explain:
Example: You go to a store that is open to the public, and as
you walk inside you slip and fall and get hurt because there
is a huge patch of grease just inside the door, that has
been there for hours and not cleaned up.
In this scenario, the store does owe you a duty of care, because you are an invitee. They have specifically asked you to come onto their property and buy from them. Their duty is to keep their premises safe for people that are coming and going. The breach of that duty, in allowing this grease to be there for prolonged period of time, is negligent, and we can then pursue a personal injury claim.
Example 2. A thief breaks into a hardware store after hours,
and while walking towards the cash register trips and falls over a
rake that's on the ground, and breaks a leg.
In this situation, the store did not have a duty of care to the burglar. This was not a trap that was set, the rake was merely part of the store that may have fallen, and the burglar got hurt. There is no duty of care in this case to such a trespasser. Without that duty of care, there is no personal injury claim.
Settling a Richmond Personal Injury Claim
All manner of personal injury cases, from car accidents to slip and falls to wrongful death cases, have the potential of settling for an amount of monetary damages, outside of court. Even if we have to file a lawsuit does not mean that the case will not settle. Any case can be settled at any time, right up until a jury walks back into the courtroom. However, it is important never to attempt to negotiate a case on your own, because the insurance companies are not required to tell you what you can and cannot claim.
The insurance companies work for their shareholders, not for you. Their job is to minimize your claim, and to pay you as little money as possible. If you are receiving a settlement offer from an insurance company, never accept it without speaking to an attorney. An experienced Richmond personal injury lawyer is going to be able to review the case, review the offer, and give you some guidance as to whether or not it is an appropriate settlement. 90% of the time, it is not.
Remember this: an insurance company has no duty to tell you what your claim is and may be, and they have no duty to tell you what the law is. Without an attorney, you are on your own!
When insurance companies make offers to unrepresented parties, they will often:
Overlook collateral sources, such as health insurance. They will offer to compensate you for your copays or deductibles, and won't tell you that your claim is for the full value of the medical treatment, not just what comes out of your pocket.
Ignore lost wages. If you have not properly documented your lost wage claim, the insurance company won't consider it, and they will not tell you how to document the claim. The less you claim, the less they have to pay!
Pressure you into accepting low offers because of potential issues. While contributory negligence does create issues in some cases, the insurance companies will not tell you what evidence can be developed that eliminates those allegations.
Withhold evidence. Insurance companies will rarely reveal the existence of camera footage or witnesses who hurt their claims, and they won't offer to share it with you. If they have the smoking gun, they aren't going to admit it, and want you to go away!
Once you accept an offer, and sign a settlement release, you have waived your claims against the tortfeasor, or at-fault parties. Never sign away your rights without legal guidance!!!
What you can claim from a Richmond personal injury case
The amount of money that you can claim is generally referred to as your "damages." This is a legal term that represents the full constellation of all of the ways that this injury impacted every aspect of your life. Damages fall into two categories - economic damages and non economic damages. The team at Blaszkow Legal is experienced in proving your case, and proving your damages. Some of the things that we can claim as part of our financial demand include:
Medical bills and expenses
Lost wages, including sick leave and vacation leave that is used
Pain and suffering
Future medical expenses
Future lost wages
Permanency of injury
How long does a Richmond Personal Injury Case Take?
The length of time that your case takes is going to be very fact specific. You can be sitting next to your best friend in the same car and be involved in the same accident, and still have very different claims. Much will depend on how you're injured, and how you are damaged. Your focus after being injured is to get the competent medical treatment that you need to get back to where you were before the accident. It is our job to investigate your claim, talk to the insurance companies, and fight for your rights.
Some people who are catastrophically injured will still be involved in their medical treatment while the case is being actively negotiated. But this is the exception, not the rule. Generally, we cannot fully evaluate your claim until your treatment is done. Medical treatment and expenses are one of the largest pieces of evidence that we can use to evaluate the value of your claim.
Call an Experienced Richmond Personal Injury Lawyer Today!
Don't let the insurance companies push you around! A personal injury attorney in Richmond is going to help you fight to get the fair value for your case, and get you all of the compensation that you deserve. We have an ethical obligation to you to do what is best for you - the other side does not. Remember that the insurance companies aren't on your side.
Joe Blaszkow and his team will work hard for you from the day you become a client to get you everything that you are entitled to. Call us now for a free consultation anywhere in Virginia! Let us help guide you through a complicated legal process, assess your options, and get you the compensation that you deserve.
Call Our Richmond Office for a Free Consultation: 804-762-0190
Get Justice with Joe!
If you have been hurt due to someone else's negligence, then fight for your rights, right now! Insurance adjusters and defense lawyers are working hard to minimize or deny your claim. Don't you deserve someone working just as hard, for you?
Call Blaszkow Legal today!
Serving Richmond, Midlothian, Henrico, Chesterfield, Glen Allen, Ashland, Mechanicsville, Chester, and beyond!