You Have Questions, We have answers.

After an accident, you may have many questions. Do I have a valid personal injury claim? Will I have to go to court? How much will hiring an attorney cost? Below, we answer some of the most frequently asked questions about legal representation.

Do I need a personal injury lawyer?

Whether you need to formally hire a lawyer will come down to the specifics of your case, and that decision should be made after a full discussion of what happened and how you are recovering.If you have been hurt by someone else’s negligence, it is important to talk directly to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. The other side and their insurance company will be working on their investigation and defense immediately. Make sure to get a free consultation of your own right away as well.

Can i afford a lawyer?

I don’t charge for consultations to discuss potential cases. I don’t charge any up-front costs, hourly rates, nor require clients to pay any case costs to move their case forward. I charge a contingency fee, which means I am only paid if, and when, I receive a settlement on your behalf. Don’t let a fear of costs prevent you from seeking legal advice for your personal injury claim. Set a free consultation by phone, text, or email.

How do i choose a personal injury lawyer?

Start with some basic research into prospective lawyers. Do they seem knowledgeable about the issues you’re facing? Do they seem compassionate? Will they be responsive? Can they break down and explain, in everyday terms, the legal battle you face ahead?​

Most importantly, call and talk to them about your case. Interview them. Ask them all the questions you have about this unexpected interruption in your life. Do they listen and respond to your concerns?

There are a lot of options when it comes to a personal injury lawyer. The only way to find the right one for you is to talk to them and find out if they are going to be able to help you through your time in need. To talk to me about how I can help, set a free consultation by phone, text, or email.

how much is a personal injury case worth?

This is one of the most common questions from potential clients and also one of the more difficult questions to answer with any specifics, especially early in a case. Many factors play into an eventual settlement or verdict: the full extent of injuries, the impact of those injuries on a person’s life, the amount of medical bills paid and still owed, the length and type of treatment involved, whether any long-term or permanent injury or impairment is involved, the amount of lost wages in the past and ability to earn income in the future, and the amount of assets and insurance available to compensate you, the injured party.​

It’s easy to see case results advertised on TV, radio, or the internet, or hear directly from someone who had a personal injury case, and create certain expectations. Keep in mind that two seemingly similar cases can have significantly different settlement values when, for example: one case involves large medical bills owed by an individual and the other case involves medical bills paid by health insurance; one person’s injury heals with minimal treatment but someone else’s similar, but slightly more severe, injury requires extensive treatment to recover; one case involves treatment that fully cured an injury while the other case had the same treatment that leaves a permanent impact on the person’s quality of life.

How long does a personal injury case take?

A personal injury case can take anywhere from a few months to multiple years to resolve. “How long will my case take” is one of the first questions that almost every potential client has, and also one of the most difficult to answer with any specificity. Every case has its own facts and issues that can cause it to last longer than expected, or help it resolve quickly. In cases that settle without a lawsuit, a typical range is between four to nine months; if a lawsuit is needed, cases tend to take between one and two years to resolve.

In most cases, negotiations don’t start until medical treatment is complete. A case involving injuries that get better after a couple primary care visits will typically take much less time to resolve than a case with an injury that requires specialist care lasting many months.

However, medical treatment is not the only factor in how long a case takes. The other party and their insurance company might refuse to pay for certain medical treatment, or claim that they are not at fault for causing an injury. When that happens, the case might need to go into a lawsuit which can significantly lengthen the time it takes to resolve.

If you have questions about how long your potential case might take, set a free consultation by phone, text, or email and we can talk more your specific issues.

If I File A Lawsuit, Do I Have To Sue The Person That Hurt Me Or Can I Sue Their Insurance Company

In Texas, lawsuits are against the person or company responsible, not directly against the insurance company that is ultimately responsible for paying a settlement.

A common question I have heard from clients and potential clients is whether a lawsuit is filed against the other person or company, or whether it can be filed against their insurance company. People are sometimes weary of filing a lawsuit against another person and would prefer to file a lawsuit against an insurance company. In Texas, however, the law requires the suit to be filed against the responsible person, then the insurance company takes over from there by paying for the defense attorney and any settlement up to the insurance policy limits.

To talk more about the process, set a free consultation by phone, text, or email.

If I file a lawsuit, will I have to go to court?

Even after a lawsuit has been filed, it is very rare for a client to have to step foot in a courtroom. In a lawsuit, lawyers are in constant contact with the court by filing documents, and by attending conferences and hearings. However, the injured person themselves only really sees the inside of a courtroom if the case goes to trial, which is very rare. In the Texas court system’s fiscal year 2018 (September 2018–August 2019), only about 1% of civil lawsuits were resolved by jury trial.

How do i pay these medical bills i received for treaing my injuries?

After you have been hurt because of someone else’s negligence, an unexpected ambulance or ER bill can add insult to injury. The other side’s insurance rarely, if ever, will pay for medical care without you signing away the right to bring any future claims for all known and unknown injuries. That means you have one chance to get all the medical care you need and have it paid for by the responsible party.​

I have consulted with potential clients who agreed to a quick settlement in order to pay an ER bill, then were on the hook themselves for the bulk of additional treatment that they needed. Don’t let a short-term worry over a medical bill lead to a quick settlement that could risk your long-term recovery. Set a free consultation by phone, text, or email to talk more about your options.

​If your injuries are from a car crash, review your own policy for Personal Injury Protection or Medical Payments coverage. These types of coverage on your own policy could help pay medical bills or lost wages while you negotiate your case with the other side’s insurance, taking away an urgency to settle your case against them.​

If your injury happened on someone else’s property, there could be Medical Payments coverage on a business or homeowners policy that could help pay your medical bills before needing to negotiate under the liability portion of the policy.

what if i can't afford to miss work to go to appointments?

It can be difficult to have an injury magnified by lost time at work because of a need to go to medical appointments. In a personal injury settlement, you generally have one chance to resolve all claims against the other side – all past and future medical bills, all past and future lost wages, and all past and future compensation for impairment and disruption to your life. Missing necessary medical appointments in the days and weeks after an injury can harm the chances of getting a full and fair recovery from the other side’s insurance company.I

f you were injured in a car crash, check your personal auto policy for PIP (Personal Injury Protection) benefits. PIP will pay you for lost wages after a crash up to the amount of benefits you paid for with your premium.

The most important thing to do after an injury is to get the medical care you need to get back to feeling like yourself. Don’t delay important steps to a long-term recovery

how do i get medical treatment that i can't afford?

After an injury, people tend to not quite feel like themselves for a while. Body parts hurt and range of motion is restricted, headaches or a general brain “fog” make it tough to gather and express your thoughts, bills are coming in the mail, and an inability to work regular hours (or at all) all throw off your daily routine. The most important thing after an injury is getting all of the medical care you need to start feeling like yourself again.​

The other side will rarely, if ever, will pay for medical care without you signing away the right to bring future claims for all potential injuries, including those that could still get worse or have not even fully developed yet. That means you have one chance to get all necessary medical care, and have it paid for by the responsible party.​

If you don’t have health insurance—or even if you do, but are concerned about high costs of co-pays, deductibles, and co-insurance—it can be challenging getting the healthcare you need after an injury. It’s no secret how expensive medical care is, particularly specialist appointments and advanced imaging. Ambulance and ER bills can cause shock and a fear of racking up additional bills for more treatment that is still needed. There are multiple ways to get necessary treatment without putting your financial well-being at risk. Don’t put off medical care that you need because of the cost. Set a free consultation by phone, text, or email to talk more about those options.​

Aside from relying on the other side to pay for medical treatment, if your injuries are from a car crash you should review your own policy for Personal Injury Protection or Medical Payments coverage. These types of coverage on your own policy could help pay medical bills or lost wages while you negotiate your case with the other side’s insurance, taking away an urgency to settle your case against them.

If your injury happened on someone else’s property, there could be Medical Payments coverage on a business or homeowners policy that could help pay your medical bills before needing to negotiate under the liability portion of the policy.

What if i need more medical treatment after my case settles?

If you settle your case, you are almost always on your own for the cost of medical care needed from that point forward (either directly or with the help of health insurance). The other side’s insurance company typically makes one lump sum payment for all damages, including all past and future medical care that may be needed. This makes patience with the process very important – injury victims need to either (1) complete all necessary medical care before settling a case, or (2) have a clear understanding of the likely future care that will be needed, so that the future treatment is accounted for in a settlement.

Should I give a recorded statement to the insurance company?

If you have started the claims process on your own (or even if you have not taken any action yet), the other party’s insurance company might try to get an early statement from you as part of their investigation. Sometimes they will simply ask for basic facts about what happened. Other times they will ask for a more formal “recorded” statement, where the insurance company records the call and the adjuster goes through a thorough script of yes/no and open-ended questions. Before talking to an insurance company (or talking to them again), consider discussing your rights and options with a personal injury attorney.

Any time you talk with the other side’s insurance company, know that their job is to protect themselves and their insured—not you. You may have heard the famous phrase “anything you say can and will be used against you.” While that phrase is part of the rights expressed by police during an arrest, the concept is the same in what the other side’s insurance company is trying to get from you.

Insurance companies’ processes are refined by legal departments and experienced adjusters. These processes are then implemented day-to-day by adjusters who are highly trained to get what they need and who spend their entire working days doing just that. Make sure you are prepared and have considered having someone in your corner before talking with an insurance company. If you would like to discuss the specific facts involved in your case, set a free consultation by phone, text, or email.


What is the law in Virginia regarding DUI?

Driving under the influence with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or above is illegal in Virginia. This law doesn’t just apply if you’re driving. You can still be charged for a DUI if you’re found turning on the ignition while above the legal limit. Additionally, DUIs are not exclusive to driving on public roads, so the law still applies regardless of where you’re driving in Virginia.

If found operating a vehicle on private property above the legal limit, Virginia law still states that you can be charged with a DUI. Taking Virginia’s DUI law seriously can mean the difference between your personal freedoms and time behind bars.

Do I have to take a breathalyzer test?

Yes, if you are caught driving under the influence in Virginia, you are legally obligated to consent to a breathalyzer. Virginia has an “implied consent” statute regarding a breathalyzer test which means a person operating a motor vehicle is deemed to have consented to a breathalyzer by simply turning on the ignition while in the driver’s seat.

If you’ve been pulled over and are suspected of driving under the influence, it’s against the law to refuse a test. If you refuse and do not have reasonable grounds to do so, your refusal could be used against you in court, and, depending on your prior driving record, you could be punished separately for your refusal.

How will multiple DUIs affect my case?

Virginia takes DUIs very seriously. As such, there are significant penalties for repeat offenses. For example, if you’re convicted of a DUI within five years of a previous DUI, the fine increases from a mandatory minimum of $250 to $500 in fines, and the jail sentence increases from no minimum to a minimum of one month; twenty days of which cannot be suspended.

A person convicted of three DUIs within ten years can be found guilty of a felony with heavy fines and jail sentences. That being said, there are nuances to every case, so hiring an experienced attorney can significantly impact your case’s outcome.

Does it matter what my blood alcohol level is?

Yes, in Virginia, your sentence changes the higher your blood alcohol concentration is. For example, if your BAC is at least .15, the court is required to sentence you to at least five days in jail. If your BAC exceeds .20, the mandatory jail time increases to ten days. The change in blood alcohol concentration also changes the sentence in subsequent offenses.

Criminal Proceedings

I’ve been arrested in Virginia. What happens next?

Two things will most likely happen after being arrested. The first is if you’ve been released on bond after being arrested, you’re allowed to return to your everyday life while you wait for further instructions about when to appear in court for an arrangement.

The second option is a bit more serious. Your next day in court will be your trial date if you’re accused of a misdemeanor. If you don’t make bond, you will not be able to leave and will be held until your trial date. If you’re accused of a felony, a preliminary hearing will be held in General District court.

What happens at an arraignment in Virginia?

In Virginia, your first appearance in court after being accused of a crime is called an “arraignment.” During this appearance, you’ll be informed of the allegations against you, and the court will make sure that you understand the allegations and accusations that have been made against you.

At your arraignment, you have the opportunity to say whether or not you want to be represented by a lawyer. If you want legal counsel but are unsure whether you’ll be able to afford it, you can request the court to appoint a Public Defender to represent you. Lastly, you’ll be informed of your next court date.

However, in some Virginia courts, your arraignment is used for you to plead either guilty or not guilty, as some arraignments are scheduled to take place immediately before the trial is expected to begin.

What happens at a bond hearing in Virginia?

After being arrested and charged with a crime in Virginia, it will be determined whether or not you will receive bond or, as it’s commonly referred to, bail. Most likely, if you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor, you’ll simply be told when your hearing is. This means you won’t have to worry about bond since you won’t be booked. 

However, if you’ve been arrested for something above the classifications of a misdemeanor, you’ll stand before a Magistrate while they make a bond determination. At this point, you might be released on your own recognizance, unsecured bond, or secured bond. During this time, you might also be denied bond.

What are the different types of bonds in Virginia?

There are three types of bonds in Virginia:

No amount of money is set for bond. The court trusts that you will appear on your own accord on the court date, attend all your hearings, and commit to all pretrial obligations. You’ll be released without any kind of requirement.

Unsecured bond: A bond amount is set that must be paid if you do not comply with the obligations that the court set. So, if you don’t show up for hearings and don’t comply with the requirements set for you, you’ll have to pay the set bond amount.

Secured bond: This bond must be paid in order for you to be released before your day in court. You can either pay this money yourself or if the sum is too much for you to pay at once, you can hire a bail bond company to pay your bond for you. After paying bond, you’re still expected to comply with the obligations set by the court.

What if I don’t make bail?

In Virginia, you have the opportunity to appeal a bond hearing to the Circuit Court. The appeal must be noted soon after the lower Court denies the bond. If you are held without bond, you will remain incarcerated until you go to trial.

Since bail is typically granted with conditions if you fail to meet the list of obligations set for you by the judge at your bail hearing.

What’s a preliminary hearing?

In Virginia, a preliminary hearing is held for felony cases in the General District Court. The purpose of a preliminary hearing is for the Court to determine whether there is probable cause that you committed the crime. If the Court finds probable cause, they will certify the case for trial at the Circuit Court. The court will dismiss the case if it does not find probable cause.

The preliminary hearing may give you a good insight into the Commonwealth’s strengths and weaknesses regarding your case. Rarely is it appropriate to waive your right to a preliminary hearing; however, there may be times when it is appropriate and even crucial to waive that right.

What do I do if my constitutional rights have been violated?

If you suspect that your constitutional rights have been violated, you have the right to appeal or request a new trial. From the right to remain silent to the right to a speedy trial, your Constitutional Rights are to be respected no matter what charges you are facing. The consequence of a Constitutional violation can range from the exclusion of evidence to a complete charge dismissal.

Can I have my sentence reconsidered?

Potentially, yes. Virginia law allows you, as the defendant, to request your sentence be modified at any time as long as you’re being held locally. A provision in the Virginia Code allows for an individual’s sentence to be reconsidered as long as that person has not been brought to the Department of Corrections. When reviewing a person’s sentence, the court will consider several factors, so it’s important to prepare thoroughly before asking the court to reconsider your sentence. 

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