This answer depends on a variety of factors, but in summary, the injury-causing accident must be the result of the wrongful act of another person or company. According to the Virginia Contributory Negligence law, in most circumstances if you are at all responsible for the accident or injury, you cannot recover. That being said, you should not necessarily trust the opinion or advice of an insurance company or claims adjuster as to whether or not you are at fault or contributed to the accident, as they may not (and likely do not) have your best interests in mind. Contact an attorney who specializes in personal injury or wrongful death law to make this determination.
Though very common, this is a difficult question to answer at the beginning of a case. Each case is different, involving multiple factors, many of which may be unknown at the time of your injury. In short, these types of cases are designed to compensate you for damages (physical and financial) you have suffered. The amount of compensation depends on factors such as: severity of the injuries and whether they were permanent or disfiguring; if a hospital stay was required; the amount of time (and/or pay) lost from work; the amount of your past and future medical bills; whether or not surgery was required; and/or available insurance coverage. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you determine the relevant specifics of your situation and estimate the potential value of your case.
The amount of time you have to make a claim from the date of the accident/injury depends on where the accident happened and the type of claim you are making. In Virginia, it is generally 2 years from the date of the injury, however there are some governmental claims that must be brought within a year. In the District in Columbia, it’s usually 3 years from the date of injury. In Maryland, it’s typically the same. However, there are exceptions, and you should contact a trial lawyer who specializes in personal injury or wrongful death cases in order to determine how long you have to file a claim.
If an insurance company is not treating you fairly, or you are unsure how to handle your claim, you should consult an attorney specializing in personal injury. Statistics have shown that those who retain an injury lawyer make a substantially larger recovery from insurance companies than those who do not. If you have questions about the specifics of your case, we encourage you to contact us for a no cost, no obligation consultation. If we are unable to assist you with your case, we can likely refer you to an attorney who can. If your situation is one that can be handled without an attorney, we will let you know that, as well.
Unlike larger firms that handle a large volume and a variety of cases, we specialize in serious personal injury, wrongful death, and constitutional law cases. It’s all we do. Rather than take on thousands of cases as some firms do, we take on very few, offering our clients personal time, attention, and dedication. You will never be just a “number” or “case” to us, and you will enjoy direct communication with your lawyers. In some larger firms, clients often communicate only with the attorney’s staff (paralegals, secretaries, etc.), sometimes receiving no information directly from their attorney. In contrast, our attorneys provide open communication and compassionate representation, treating you as a person, not just a case.
We concentrate solely on serious personal injury, wrongful death, and civil rights cases in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. Though our cases vary widely in detail, we represent clients seriously injured due to the negligence of another person or company. We also represent the families of people who have died as a result of the negligence of another.
Our practice areas within the fields of personal injury and wrongful death are extensive, including, but not limited to:
Our attorneys handle cases throughout Virginia, and in D.C. Attorney Jonathan Halperin is also licensed in Maryland. We are based in Glen Allen, Virginia, but will also come to you if your injuries or circumstances prevent your ability to travel.
No. Your initial consultation with a licensed attorney will not cost you anything and carries with it no obligation.
Unlike some larger firms, if you are a client of the Halperin Law Center, your attorney will be directly available to you. Though experienced, compassionate staff will also be available to assist you, your attorney will keep you informed and engage personally in necessary communications with you.
Each case and client are different, so we address each one in a unique process tailored to achieve maximum results, but there is an overall process you can expect. First, you will consult with an experienced attorney. If you choose to work with us and your case fits our expertise, the attorney will send you a letter confirming we represent you and providing you with contact information and other helpful information. We will then request your medical records and bills, lost wage information, police reports, investigative or incident reports, photographs, etc. We will speak to witnesses, conduct investigations as needed, and ensure all relevant evidence is preserved. As you continue your medical treatment, we will continue to collect medical records and bills until you have completed treatment and have been discharged from care by your doctors and other medical providers.
We will then speak with you to obtain information not contained in the records, such as details on how your injuries impacted your daily and family life. Once we have all necessary information, we will evaluate your case for settlement, and recommend to you a settlement value for your case. We will then compile all of the available information and documents and submit a thorough and detailed demand letter (with your records, bills, lost wage information and any other relevant documents or photographs) to the defendant’s insurance company for evaluation. We generally tell clients to expect to wait at least 30-45 days before we receive an offer on their case from the insurance company. It does not take that long for them to evaluate each case, but they place them in line for review based on the order in which they are received. It is possible that we may receive an offer in less than 30 days, but if a specific adjuster has a backlog or your case is particularly complicated, it could be 60 days or more.
Once the defendant’s insurance company makes their initial offer, your attorney will call you to discuss it and how to move forward. They will negotiate back and forth to reach a settlement that is fair (compensating you fully). If a fair settlement cannot be reached and you would like to move forward, the attorney will prepare, file and serve a lawsuit on the defendant(s).
The litigation process begins with the filing of a “Complaint,” which is the filing of a lawsuit in court. After the filing of the suit, both sides exchange discovery requests, which are questions and document requests regarding the accident, your health and your history. With your help, we will put together the answers and send them to defense counsel. Depositions of all parties, your doctors and any witnesses may also be scheduled before trial. A deposition is like an interview, where the attorneys ask the witness questions under oath and a court reporter is present to make a record of everything that is said. Depositions are used by both sides to gather information about what happened, who was hurt, how badly they were hurt, etc.
Regardless of the course of your particular case, the attorneys and staff of the Halperin Law Center will be with you through this difficult time to simplify the process for you. Let us focus on preparing and resolving your case while you focus on healing and getting back to your life as it was prior to the accident.
The length of each case varies depending on the nature of the injuries, type and facts of the case, type of defendant, the particular court where the lawsuit is filed, and who the insurance carrier is. In short, it could be months for minor injuries, or over a year for more serious injuries, depending on the circumstances. Medical malpractice, product liability, and some civil rights cases often take longer due to the amount of investigation involved and the need for expert witnesses.
No, not necessarily. Again, because each case is different, it is generally not possible to decide for certain at the beginning of the case whether or not a lawsuit will be necessary in your particular situation. It will depend on many factors, such as whether the defendant admits liability, and whether or not they question your injuries. Also, though you may have to file a lawsuit, you may settle before trial, for example by attending non-binding mediation with the defendant(s). Though complicated, you will be led through the process by an experienced, communicatory attorney and staff. The vast majority of cases are settled prior to a trial.
While we are investigating, processing and possibly litigating your case, the Halperin Law Center will advance all of the necessary case expenses for you. When your case settles or we reach a trial verdict in your favor, those necessary expenses will be deducted from your recovery. You will not have to pay case expenses up front.
We accept cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning we are paid a percentage of the amount we recover for you, plus reimbursement of necessary expenses and costs. Of course, the initial consultation with your attorney is complimentary. If we do not make a financial recovery on your behalf, you do not have to pay any fee.