Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Injury

At Larry King Law, we offer experienced representation from a Newport News personal injury lawyer who handles each case and has nearly 40 years of experience. We can use whatever method necessary to accomplish a favorable outcome to your case. Your case may call for the inclusion of paralegals, legal secretaries, investigators, experts, or several attorneys.

We have the resources to provide the high-quality representation you require. Our firm offers attentive assistance to clients by phone, e-mail, or in person. Most questions can be answered during regular office hours. If an emergency occurs, do not hesitate to contact us after hours or reach out to us through our virtual law office for secure client access. Read through the following questions and answers to get started.

Can you tell if I have a claim after my first visit?
It depends on the various factors of your case. In order for us to develop a comprehensive evaluation of your case, we will need to investigate the facts and circumstances involved in the accident. Initially, you can provide us with a complete statement that includes information about your injuries and medical treatment. In addition, you should provide us with the names, addresses, and numbers of all individuals involved. Once we have the necessary information, we can assess the merits of your case.

How often should I stay in contact with you?
During each phase of your case, we encourage our clients to contact us at any point. You can call us whenever you have a question or need immediate assistance with an aspect of your case. Contact us at least once per month to keep us informed regarding your health and all other matters of your case.

What must be proven in order for me to obtain compensation?
In order to obtain compensation for your injuries, you must be able to prove several factors. You must prove that a person breached a legal duty to you and that your injuries were a direct result of that person's misconduct. What must specifically be proven depends on whether it is a personal injury, premises liability, defective product, or wrongful death claim.

What is liability?
Liability means that another individual breached his or her legal duty to you and, as a result, is now legally responsible for your injuries. Liability may involve legal allegations of negligence, intentional torts, implied warranty, or strict liability. An evaluation of possible legal defenses, such as contributory negligence and assumption of risk, will be needed to prove liability. A professional assessment must be made of all available facts as they relate to applicable laws. Until a case is resolved, and as an investigation continues, evaluating liability is a continuous process. Conclusions regarding the defendant's responsibility may change as more information is received.

What are damages?
In addition to proving that someone breached a legal duty to you, you must prove that there is a direct connection between the accident and the injuries you sustained. Damages are the result of the accident, both physical and legal, consisting of injury to person or property. Damages may include actual and projected medical charges, lost earnings, psychological injury, permanent disability, economic loss, and pain and suffering. In addition, damages can include aggravation of pre-existing injuries. Your treating doctor(s) must be able to clearly testify with a reasonable degree of medical certainty that your injuries were caused by the accident.

Can I trust the insurance companies?
Insurance companies are businesses. They are focused on the bottom line. Each personal injury victim is merely viewed as a potential expense, which means that the interests of the victim and insurance company are at odds. The defendant's insurance company, lawyers, and investigators will aggressively work to counter your personal injury claim. The insurance company will likely contact you through various methods. Do not discuss your case with anyone, including the insurance company. Instead, hire our firm to speak with the insurance company on your behalf.

What should I do about my injuries?
Give careful attention to your injuries by obtaining medical attention at once. You may be unaware of the severity of your injuries initially, which is why you should see a doctor. You may recover from your injuries or be permanently disabled. Do what is required to reach maximum medical improvement by following your doctor's instructions. Disclose all medical information to your doctor and tell him or her everything about the pain, discomfort, symptoms, and problems you are experiencing. You should also document all problems for future reference.

What is the value of my case and am I guaranteed a recovery?
As your case develops, we can attempt to project what would be a fair settlement. In addition, we can pursue an advantageous settlement for you. Even if everything is done to promote your interests, the projected outcome may not occur. Reasons for this differentiation are numerous, including that judges or juries can make mistakes, errors, incorrect decisions, or simply differ in interpretation regarding aspects of your case. Once we complete our investigation, we can better estimate the possible extent of the defendant's liability. With our representation, you can optimize your chances of obtaining a successful result.

What is the process of negotiating with the insurance company?
After determining the relative merits of your claim and the extent of your injuries, both physical and monetary, we can attempt to reach a negotiated settlement, which may involve a discussion with the insurance adjuster. We begin this process by sending the adjuster a document called a "demand letter," which includes a summary of your medical bills, lost wages, reports from doctors, and a demand for compensation. The insurance company is then given several weeks to review our demands as we await their offer of settlement. If the insurance company fails to offer a fair settlement, we can file suit.

What is a lawsuit and how much should I pursue?
If we are unable to resolve your case through negotiations and believe further action is justified, we can bring a lawsuit on your behalf. A civil lawsuit begins when a document called a "motion for judgment," which states the particulars of your claim, is filed in court. The document includes a description of the parties, the essential facts of your claim, the nature of your injuries, the legal theories of liability, and the request for damages. The defendant is then given an opportunity to file a response called an "answer and grounds of defense."

What is discovery?
Discovery is the legal means by which the parties obtain information from one another. Parties involved in a case are generally entitled to all information not legally privileged that is designed to lead to relevant evidence. Discovery rights can be restricted if deemed by the court to be abusive, burdensome, or oppressive. The process of discovery can take many months or longer in complicated cases.

What is a subpoena duces tecum?
A subpoena duces tecum is used to compel parties in a case to produce relevant documents and items. Information that can be subpoenaed may include medical records, financial records, or police reports.

What are interrogatories?
Interrogatories allow parties to ask a limited number of written questions of other parties. You may be required to answer the defendant's interrogatories accurately within 21 days of receipt. In the same manner, the defendant will be required to promptly answer your written questions. This will often be the first opportunity to learn the defendant's version of the accident.

What are depositions?
Deposition is a method of direct questioning while under oath before a court reporter of parties or witnesses. Deposition is a very important part of your case.

What is a trial?
If your case cannot be fairly settled, your alternative is a trial. Trials are formal proceedings conducted in court. The purpose of trial is to reach a decision based upon the facts and applicable laws. During trial, the parties involved attempt to persuade the court or jury (trier of fact) of the validity of their position by presenting evidence, as well as legal and factual viewpoints. Evidence may include witnesses, documents, reports, and exhibits. If a jury is the trier of fact, the judge conducts the proceedings and determines issues of applicable law and the admissibility of evidence. The plaintiff in all civil cases has the burden to persuade the trier of fact on the issues of liability and the amount of damages. If a jury is not persuaded, they dismiss the case. If a jury is convinced, then they award damages that they consider appropriate.

How long will it take to resolve my claim?
The duration of your case depends largely on the nature and course of your medical treatment. We will not settle your case until we are reasonably certain of the full nature and extent of your medical condition. Once this becomes apparent, we will attempt to negotiate your claim. If negotiations are unproductive, we can pursue litigation. In either case, our goal is to obtain the optimum results consistent with the merits of your case.

Should I keep any records?
Yes. You should keep a system for recording the expenses incurred with your claim. Medical expenses are a significant part of your lawsuit, so it is important that you keep strong records. You may need to also keep track of your finances. Our firm can keep track of your legal expenses, which may include:

  • Costs of filing
  • Service of process
  • Investigation
  • Reports
  • Depositions
  • Witness fees
  • Jury fees

Legal Guidance from Our Newport News Personal Injury Attorney

As you pursue just monetary compensation for your personal injuries, you will likely have many important questions that are specific to your case. Although we have provided a number of answers regarding general personal injury questions, you should ask all questions pertaining to your circumstances. Do not hesitate to schedule a free case evaluation with our firm if you are in need of further answers. Contact our Newport News injury lawyer today for the legal guidance you need and deserve.

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We are centrally located to all cities and counties comprising metropolitan southeastern Virginia. This includes, in part, Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Portsmouth, Chesapeake, Hampton, York County, James City County, Gloucester County, Mathews County, Newport News, Surry, West Point, Suffolk, Smithfield, Isle of Wight County, New Kent County, and Williamsburg. We have handled cases throughout Virginia.