Car Accident Lawyer Alexandria, VA
You were following the rules of the road in Virginia, but the driver behind you decided to forget about their brakes – and now you’re in need of a car accident lawyer in Alexandria, VA. Fortunately, at the Law Offices of Ryan Quinn, PLLC, we understand your frustration – and we understand that you could be entitled to money in damages, too.
Car Accidents: More than Just a Headache
Car accidents are common, and there’s a high probability that you’ll be involved in at least one over the course of your lifetime (if you haven’t already). They can be a major headache, and they can disrupt your daily routine pretty severely: Not only are you unable to commute to work, but you’re also suddenly dealing with a frustrating maze of insurance, repairs, and possibly even medical bills.
Unfortunately, car accidents are a fact of life, and they’re more frequent than any of us would like to think. No two cases are alike, and as cars grow more and more high-tech, there are more and more variables to consider if you’re trying to determine the responsible party behind your accident. Maybe the other driver was texting, or distracted with their fancy infotainment system. Or maybe they took a more old-school approach to irresponsible driving: They could have been drunk or otherwise intoxicated.
When it comes to car accidents, securing compensation to cover for your injuries can be a challenge in itself – to say nothing of your physical recovery if you were injured. Whatever the cause, the bottom line is that you were involved in a car accident because of someone else’s negligence, and that’s a battle that nobody should have to fight alone.
What to do after you’ve been in a car accident?
Whether you are a new driver and old-school driver who has been driving for a long time, you may not know what to do with yourself after you are in a car accident. Some people are very lucky and they are never in car accidents until the inevitable happens. More than 6 million car accidents happen in the United States each year according to Highway Safety Administration, which means that you have slightly been in some kind of car accident in your life. Fender bender or a serious collision, it doesn’t matter, it counts.
After you have been in a car accident, there are some things you can do at the scene then afterwards to make the claims process easier for both you, your lawyer and the insurance companies to deal with. The easier these claims are to process, the more likely your claim is going to go through with less issue. An important thing to remember when filing insurance claims is that the insurance companies do not like giving out money, they’re aiming to keep money, not pay it out.
You should determine whether anybody was hurt, safety should always be the first thing on your mind. You should never ever leave the scene of an accident even if it was just a fender bender, and if somebody needs medical assistance and you are able to, you should call for medical assistance for them. At this point in the process, it doesn’t matter who was out all, just that everyone is safe and medically well and if they are not medically well they are taken care of.
You need to get yourself out of the vehicle if you are not injured and can do so, and on the off chance that your vehicle was not damaged severely and you are not injured and the wreck was just a minor one, you should drive your car to the side of the road so it will not stop the flow of traffic. Keep your hazard lights on and set up layers or emergency triangles to alert other drivers to slow down if you have them. However if the crash is severe you should stay in the vehicle where you are, and just wait for help to come to you. Even if you do not think that you are injured you should be extra careful when getting in or out of the car, because you may be shaken up and you could get even more injuries from not thinking straight.
You should contact the police, because reporting the accident is going to give you a police report to give to the insurance company that will help your side of the story if you are having trouble with your claims. You should take pictures if you are able, documenting and in paper, you should find witnesses if you are able.
The Myths About Car Accident Claims
After an accident, you may not know who to turn to. While asking for advice from friends and family can help, it can also bring awareness to many myths surrounding car accident claims. The myths often make a person hesitate to contact a car accident lawyer in Alexandria, VA. Given that most lawyers offer free consultations, you should never be afraid to show up to a consultation.
The following myths are easily disproven and should be ignored if you were injured in a car accident.
Insurance Companies Can Handle the Claim
Do not rely on the insurance companies to handle the claim. Keep in mind that insurance companies are for-profit businesses. They may want to pay you as little as possible. When you talk with an adjuster, be careful about what you say. The insurance company may be looking for anything against you to lower the settlement amount. Do not rely on the company to have your best interests.
On the other hand, lawyers are as invested in you winning your case as you are. You should have a lawyer before you begin negotiations with the insurance adjusters. Lawyers can ensure you do not take less than you deserve.
Attorneys Are Too Expensive
There is a common misconception that attorneys cost too much money to hire. Most people don’t know the difference between a criminal defense lawyer and a personal injury lawyer. Where criminal defense lawyers may charge by the hour, most personal injury lawyers do not. Most car accident lawyers work for a contingency fee. The lawyer receives no payment until after you receive your settlement. Generally, the lawyer receives about 30% of your settlement and only receives the amount if you win.
The Time Limit Is Too Short
In Virginia, you have two years from the date of the injury to file a claim. Sometimes a client will wait several months before considering filing a claim. You still have time, except for when it hits the two-year limit. There is one exception to the statute of limitations. If you had delayed symptoms or had a reasonable explanation for why you didn’t notice an injury directly following the accident, you may be able to extend the deadline to two years past the time you realized you had an injury. When you hire a car accident lawyer in Alexandria, VA, you no longer have to worry about missing deadlines. Your lawyer will help keep you on top of everything you need to do.
4 Steps to Take Directly After a Car Accident
When you get in your car to go to the store or visit a friend, you likely do not expect to get in an accident on your way there.
The time immediately after a crash is important since there are so many factors involved. Knowing what to do can help you stay calm and collected even if you are rattled by the experience.
1. Find a Safe Spot
Getting out of the way of other vehicles on the road and making sure you and anyone else around there stays safe is the first step to take. If it is possible to move your car out of the way, attempt to do that as well.
Taking the time to find a place off the road and away from any incoming traffic can allow you to catch your breath and think about what to do next. Calling a car accident lawyer in Alexandria, VA, like the Law Offices of Ryan Quinn, PLLC, can also be helpful in the hours after an accident.
2. Get Important Information
Discussing the crash with anyone else involved is important for practical reasons. You should ask for other people’s full names and phone numbers, so that you can contact them later on. In many cases, you may also need to exchange driver’s licenses and home addresses for insurance reasons.
Talking to other witnesses is important as well, since they likely saw the accident from a different angle and noticed something you did not. This kind of information may also help if you eventually contact a car accident lawyer in Alexandria, VA.
3. Take Pictures
Whether the mirrors of the car have broken off in the road or you notice scratches and scrapes all along the side of the vehicle, taking a photo of the damage is key. Having solid proof to show your insurance company about the amount and intensity of the damage is good for the future.
Saving these photos to show your car accident lawyer in Alexandria, VA, like the Law Offices of Ryan Quinn, PLLC, may be helpful as well.
4. Stay Calm
Leaving the crash area before the police arrive, even after getting photos, can lead to serious trouble. Instead, stay close to your car and talk with any other people involved in the accident to check to make sure no one is hurt.
Staying collected and relaxed while talking to a car accident lawyer in Alexandria, VA can help you plan what to do next.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
Car accidents happen for a variety of reasons. That said, a few are more common than others. Regardless of why they occur, the results can be devastating. Whatever the cause of your wreck, you want a car accident lawyer in Alexandria, VA, who will fight on your behalf. Here are some of the most likely reasons you could be involved in a collision.
It is against the law to operate a motor vehicle while intoxicated in all 50 states. What constitutes a violation of this rule, though, varies by region. For instance, different places have unique standards for limitations on blood alcohol content. Not only that, but there are varying laws on how officers may check for driver sobriety. Contact the Law Offices of Ryan Quinn, PLLC, for clarification of what’s lawful in Virginia.
Lack of attention is the most common cause of car accidents in America. This problem grew after smartphones became much more affordable and texting skyrocketed in popularity. Some drivers, especially teens, cannot resist the desire to pick up their phones while barreling down the highway. Push notifications from social media and other apps further increase the temptation to take one’s eyes off the road. Other activities, such as eating or fiddling with onboard controls, are additional risk factors. It only takes a split second for a wrong choice to end in disaster, thus requiring the services of a car accident lawyer in Alexandria, VA.
Some cities are a maze of roadways that resemble spaghetti. These locales often feature one-way streets that become death traps when drivers do not obey their mandates. It’s easy to miss a small sign, especially for visitors unaccustomed to such signage. Others may decide it’s worth the risk and head the wrong way down these roads regardless. When this happens, the Law Offices of Ryan Quinn, PLLC, may be necessary to untangle the legal aftermath of a head-on collision.
Vision can become compromised when it gets dark, especially as we grow older. Despite this, drivers may believe they have the same level of awareness they do when there’s abundant sunshine. This false sense of confidence can be a recipe for disaster. Nighttime pedestrians who do not wear reflective clothing or stay on civilian walkways may easily get injured. Since cars weigh thousands of pounds, it takes little impact for someone to sustain serious harm. Under such circumstances, the services of a car accident lawyer in Alexandria, VA, are highly recommended.
Understanding Driver Fatigue
Everyone drives when they’re low on sleep, but sometimes this fatigue becomes dangerous – and before you know it you’ll be looking for a car accident lawyer in Alexandria, Virginia.
Fatigued driving is more common than ever, and people still insist on getting behind the wheel when they didn’t get enough sleep. They might try a number of tricks to keep themselves alert and aware, but no amount of fresh air and loud music makes up for proper rest before hitting the road.
It’s important to recognize the signs of fatigue before it affects your driving ability. Read on to see how driver fatigue impacts yourself and others, and see how a car accident lawyer can help you if you’ve been involved in an accident with a fatigued driver.
What Causes Driver Fatigue?
While a lack of sleep is one of the leading causes, there are many other reasons you might feel fatigued when you’re driving. If you had a long day at work or were out doing some strenuous non-work activities (such as sports or even a lengthy get-together with friends and family) you might not be completely safe driving your car.
Of course, driver fatigue only gets worse if you’re dealing with a tedious commute. If your drive involves long stretches of highway or mind-numbing stop-and-go traffic, you might feel even more tired as the miles crawl past. Exhaustion and boredom are a dangerous combination. Make sure you pay attention to the warning signs.
What are the Most Common Symptoms?
As a car accident lawyer in Alexandria, VA can explain, driver fatigue presents a whole range of symptoms. One of the most dangerous signs of driver fatigue is a lack of sound judgment: You might be more prone to make dangerous decisions behind the wheel if you’re missing sleep or eager to get back home for some rest.
Have you ever been on a long commute and realized you couldn’t remember what happened to the last couple of miles? This short-term memory loss is another red flag, and it’s a clear indicator that you’re too tired to be driving. If you can’t remember what happened during the last few miles you were driving, chances are you aren’t alert enough to keep going.
Fatigue affects people in different ways. They might have slowed reflexes, or they might start swerving unsafely as their eyelids get heavier and heavier. When you take these symptoms and combine them with the operation of a motor vehicle, disaster can strike. Make sure you know how to prevent driver fatigue before heading out on your commute.
Preventing Driver Fatigue
It may seem obvious, but getting enough sleep every night is the best way to prevent driver fatigue. Unfortunately, in our high-speed world, sleep is a luxury many of us don’t have time for. While there’s no substitute for proper rest, you can also avoid heavy foods and certain medications that might make you feel drowsy.
Driver fatigue is dangerous, and there’s no reason to risk your health (or the health of others) by driving when you’re just too tired. Get in touch with a car accident lawyer in Alexandria, VA if you’ve been involved in an accident with a fatigued driver, and see how the Law Offices of Ryan Quinn, PLLC can help.
Reach out to the Law Offices of Ryan Quinn, PLLC
Determining who should be held responsible for your injuries after a car accident can be a difficult process, especially if you have to spend time in the hospital, physical therapy, or at home recovering. Fortunately, a car accident lawyer in Alexandria, VA can help you thoroughly investigate your case to see who should be held accountable for your injuries.
You might think your car accident is the end of the road, but in reality, it’s the start of a long, drawn-out battle. Insurance companies are notoriously slow to release a proper payment (they collect money on interest), and you might be left grasping at straws to stay afloat over the course of your recovery. A skilled car accident lawyer from the Law Offices of Ryan Quinn, PLLC can make all the difference.
At the Law Offices of Ryan Quinn, PLLC, we know how frustrating a car accident can be. We know how overwhelmed, burnt out, and completely lost you might be feeling. But fortunately, we also know the right way forward. Unlike other car accident law firms, we’re dedicated to providing personalized case management to each and every one of our clients – and that means guiding you through all the legal paperwork and difficult steps necessary to win the compensation you deserve.
Types of Psychological Injuries Caused By Car Accidents
When many people think about car accidents, they imagine physical injuries, like broken bones and head injuries. However, these accidents can also result in psychological injuries, including:
- Depression. It’s not uncommon for car accident victims to suffer from depression. For example, if you suffered severe physical injuries and can no longer perform normal activities, it might lead to depression. If you experience depression, it can lead to hopelessness, irritability, difficulty concentrating, and trouble sleeping.
- Anxiety. Getting into a car accident can also lead to anxiety in some people. Anxiety can be a major disruption in your life and cause nervousness, chest pain, nausea, dizziness, and other unpleasant symptoms.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder. Since a car accident is a traumatic event, it can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder in some. Common symptoms of this disorder include recurring flashbacks of the accident, paranoia, and avoiding things that remind you of the accident.
How to Deal with Psychological Injuries
Dealing with psychological injuries following a car accident isn’t easy. However, if you take the proper steps, you may be able to make a full recovery.
- Seek mental health therapy. If you’re suffering from emotional trauma after a car accident, it may be necessary to speak to a licensed mental health therapist. He or she can help you work through your emotional wounds and teach you healthy coping mechanisms. Your car accident lawyer in Alexandria, VA may be able to help you pursue compensation for mental health therapy.
- Lean on others for support. Too many people withdraw from others after a car accident. This can actually make things worse. Instead, lean on close family members and friends for support. Don’t be afraid to talk about your feelings with them.
- Remain physically active. If your physical injuries aren’t keeping you from moving around, try to stay as active as possible. Exercising can make your body release endorphins, which can improve your mood. Do exercises you enjoy, like walking, dancing or swimming.
- Get enough sleep. When you’re dealing with emotional trauma after a car accident, it’s even more important to get eight hours of sleep a night. Skimping on sleep can make you more irritable and anxious.
- Avoid alcohol. If you have psychological injuries from a car accident, having alcoholic beverages may help you relax initially. However, alcohol can be harmful to your mental health in the long run.
When a victim is injured in a car accident, their injuries are visible in most cases. Fractured bones, lacerations, burns, bumps, and contusions usually have visible symptoms that indicate that person has suffered an injury.
But an Alexandria, VA car accident lawyer knows that accident victims often suffer another type of injury that is not always so visible – emotional trauma. Many victims suffer both psychological and emotional injuries in crashes that can linger for months following an accident – or even years. A victim may suffer from anxiety, depression, flashbacks, nightmares, and other emotional issues that can have a major impact on their life, affecting their ability to work or even their ability to complete day-to-day chores.
If you were involved in a car accident that has left you with emotional and physical injuries, you may be able to pursue damages in a car accident lawsuit.
Accident Trauma Symptoms
According to national studies, approximately 40 percent of all car accident victims suffer some post-traumatic stress disorder because of the crash. Even if the victim did not suffer serious physical injuries, the emotional impact can be depilating, especially if the victim witnessed another victim’s death or severe injury in the accident. An Alexandria, VA car accident lawyer knows that the following are some of the more common symptoms that a victim may be dealing with some emotional trauma from the crash:
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Panic attacks
- Mood swings
- Loss of appetite
- Insomnia or hypersomnia
- Depressed mood
- Compulsive or obsessive behaviors
- Chronic fatigue
Damages from Emotional Trauma
In order to be compensated for emotional trauma from a crash, the victim must have suffered damages – or losses – because of that trauma. For example, if the victim sought out mental health treatment, the cost of that treatment would be damages they could pursue. This also applies to any loss of income if the victim was unable to work because of the trauma.
However, a victim must be able to prove that they were or are still suffering emotional trauma. The best evidence of this is an evaluation by a medical health professional with can evaluate the victim’s symptoms and make a diagnosis, such as PTSD, depression, anxiety, etc. The cost of this diagnosis, treatment and any medications would also be included in the car accident lawsuit.
If you have been injured in a car accident, a car accident lawyer in Alexandria, VA can help you understand what type of financial compensation you may be entitled to by evaluating your case. Your lawyer can also help you collect evidence of any medical and psychological problems you suffered as a result of the crash, as well as evidence of any other damages you may be able to pursue.
Don’t hesitate – reach out to a qualified car accident lawyer in Alexandria, VA, and see how the Law Offices of Ryan Quinn, PLLC can help you today.