How does an accident personal injury lawyer get paid?

When you need to hire a personal injury lawyer, one of your main concerns is likely what it’s going to cost. You know you need representation, but you may not know what to expect, especially if this is your first time hiring one.

It’s important to know the reasons why you would need a personal injury lawyer as well as how the process works and how they get paid. Let’s dig deeper to see how things work.

Why should I hire a personal injury lawyer?

Before you worry about how a personal injury lawyer gets paid, you should be certain that you have a personal injury case.

Here are the types of cases that personal injury lawyers will take on:

  • Car Accidents
  • Truck Accidents
  • Motorcycle Accidents
  • Burn Injuries
  • Pedestrian Accidents
  • Dog Bites
  • Slip and Fall

If your case falls into one of these categories, then you may have a personal injury case on your hands.

What does an attorney consultation cover?

If you suspect that you have a personal injury case, it’s time to call for a consultation. When you have a consultation with a personal injury lawyer, your meeting will confirm whether your case has merit. It’s also your chance to evaluate the attorney and whether you want them to take on your case. Consultations are usually free, but you should always ask before making your appointment.

During the consultation, you should ask your personal injury lawyer several questions to decide whether you want them to represent you.

These questions can include:

  • Have you tried any personal injury cases similar to mine?
  • How much time can you devote to my case?
  • Who will be handling my case?
  • How long have you been practicing personal injury law?
  • Do you try to settle a case or do you always go to trial?
  • Are you a member of any legal organization?
  • How long does it take for cases like mine to resolve?
  • Do you foresee any problems with my case?

Once you have the answers to these questions, you can then move on to discussing payments.

How does a personal injury attorney get paid?

Typically, personal injury lawyers only get paid by winning cases in court or by settling out of court.

If a personal injury lawyer wins the case, they will take a percentage of the final settlement or from the final verdict at trial. When you decide to be represented by a personal injury lawyer, you will be asked to sign an agreement that states you will pay a certain percentage.

If you don’t win the case and you don’t receive any money from the case, you will not owe any lawyer’s fees. Again, be sure to verify this with your lawyer.

The percentage owed to the personal injury lawyer will vary from state to state. The amount usually ranges from 1/3 to 40% of the settlement amount.

When a case is won or a settlement is reached out of court, the check is usually sent to the lawyer. The lawyer will then deduct their fees and expenses. The remainder will get sent to the client. It’s important to realize that fees and expenses are not the same.

Any fee is an amount that is charged to the lawyer for their time. In many cases, fees are based on the total settlement and then the costs are taken off after the fees are subtracted. When you have your consultation, it’s important to go through fees and expenses and how things are going to be paid.

Expenses cover out-of-pocket amounts that the lawyer covers before any settlement is reached.

Costs and expenses in a personal injury court case may include:

  • Court costs such as deposition fees and filing
  • Investigator fees or expert witness fees
  • Research service fees
  • Office expenses such as faxes, postage, or copying
  • Trial exhibit preparation
  • Medical and police reports
  • Legal research costs
  • Travel costs

Contingency Fees

Some lawyers will charge contingency fees based on a tier. The tier depends on how far the case goes before it’s over. If the parties of the case settle before filing the lawsuit, the fee is lower than if the case goes to trial.

However you decide to pay your personal injury lawyer, it’s important to get everything in writing. This way there are no surprises once the case is over or is settled.

Contact Olmstead & Olmstead Personal Injury Lawyers for Your Personal Injury Case

If you think you have a personal injury case on your hands, contact the offices of Olmstead & Olmstead, P.C. You can schedule a free consultation to discuss your personal injury case. During the meeting, we will review your case and answer any questions you may have.

It’s important to bring the following items to your first consultation:

  • Medical records
  • Receipts
  • Any correspondence with the other party
  • Police report
  • Insurance policy information
  • Pay stubs (if your injury has forced you to lose time from work)

Bringing these types of documents with you will help the consultation go more smoothly and for us to get a clear picture of your case. During this time, we will ask you questions about your injury. Its important to know that this information will not be shared with anyone.

Olmstead and Olmstead, PC

At Olmstead & Olmstead, we do not charge fees unless you receive money for your damages. Our team has decades of combined experience to help you get the results you are seeking.

Call us today at (703) 361-1555 to schedule your first appointment or contact us online. We will review your case and answer any questions you may have. We will also go over the payment process in detail so that there are no surprises at the end of your case.

If you have a personal injury case, let us help you get the compensation you deserve.

A car after it was in an accident

How Do Car Accident Lawyers Work?

Car accidents are scary. Even at low speeds a collision can cause tremendous damage and loss of life. If you have been in a car accident, one of the big questions on your mind is, how am I going to pay for all of this? This is when you might consider turning to a car accident lawyer. But how do car accident lawyers work?

What Is A Car Accident Lawyer?

If you have been involved in a car accident you may want to seek compensation. Especially if the accident left you with life altering injuries, medical expenses, property damage, or psychological harm. You may also want to seek compensation if the accident resulted in the death of a loved one. Car accident lawyers specialize in these types of cases.

Car accident lawyers like the ones at Olmstead & Olmstead, P.C. can handle cases involving all types of vehicles. These might include trucks and SUVs as well as passenger and commercial vehicles. They will be familiar with many different types of accidents, including:

  • Rear-end collisions
  • Head-on collisions
  • Side-swipe crashes
  • T-bone accidents
  • Left/Right turn accidents
  • Intersection collisions
  • High speed crashes
  • Distracted driving
  • Drunk driving

However, sometimes the case is not so straight forward as the scenarios listed above. Your case may involve multiple at-fault drivers, or has left you with permanent and debilitating injuries. In these instances it is especially important to hire a lawyer who specializes in representing these kinds of cases. 

When Should I Get A Lawyer?

You should hire a car accident lawyer as soon as possible, usually within a week or two of the accident. If you wait any longer you run the risk of missing important deadlines to file your claim. An experienced car accident lawyer will know these deadlines and help you fill out all the necessary paperwork. Your lawyer will also help you avoid costly mistakes you might make when trying to handle the case on your own. Depending on the complexity of the case or the severity of your injuries, it can take months or even years to reach a settlement. So the sooner you hire a lawyer, the better.

What Does A Car Accident Lawyer Do?

You have decided to hire a lawyer, but how do car accident lawyers work? What exactly do they do? An experienced car accident lawyer will help in the following ways:

  • Communicate with the other driver’s insurance company
  • Collect evidence of liability
  • Collect evidence of damages
  • Negotiate with lien holders
  • Negotiate a settlement

Dealing with the aftermath of your accident is stressful enough. Your lawyer will take over communication with the various companies and individuals involved in the case. They will save you time, money, and stress while handling your claim.

Communication with the Insurance Company

Depending on when you retain a lawyer, they can help you file your claim. If you have already filed your claim, the lawyer will take over communication with the other driver’s insurance company. Insurance companies are notorious for trying to deny accident claims. Their reasoning for why they denied your claim can sound pretty convincing. Your expert car accident lawyer will be familiar with these tactics and how to counter them. They can help cut through the noise to ensure you receive appropriate compensation.

Collect Evidence of Liability

No one wants an at-fault accident on their driving record, so usually both drivers will claim they did not cause the accident. Even if the other driver admits fault you may still need to present proof that they were at fault to have your claim paid out. This can be a tricky process if you are not familiar with car accident forensics. Your lawyer will collect and analyze the following evidence to support your claim:

  • Police reports
  • Eye witness statements
  • Physical evidence from the scene
  • Skid marks, debris, etc.
  • Angles of impact
  • Video or camera footage

If needed, your lawyer can also request further vehicle data or get expert testimony to prove liability. If you are not able to reach a settlement, knowing all evidence you may rely on in court is admissible will save you a lot of headaches.

Collect Evidence of Damages

To justify the amount of compensation you are asking for you will have to prove damages. This will include all documentation relating to your injuries and medical bills. Even though these documents are technically yours, it can be a hassle to get a hold of them. For any number of reasons, it can take endless calls to the records department to get your information sent over. And even then the records may be incomplete. Because your doctor likely is not an expert in accident claims, they may  not have stated in your records that your injuries were a direct result of the accident. They also may not state that you will suffer temporary or permanent disability from those injuries. Your lawyer will request your doctor’s medical opinion as to the cause and long term effects of your injuries.

Negotiating with Lien Holders

If you received health, worker’s comp, or disability coverage after the accident, that insurer will have a lien on your claim. A lien allows you to receive treatment or services on the promise of repayment after your claim is settled. This means that those companies get paid before you do. Your lawyer can negotiate with these companies to have the lien reduced. This ensures that more of the settlement ends up in your pocket once you have paid your liens. It is possible to do this yourself but a lawyer will be better able to make a case for why they should reduce your lien.

Negotiating Your Settlement

And of course, your lawyer will help negotiate your settlement with the insurance company. Like the lawyers at Olmstead & Olmstead, P.C., an expert car accident lawyer will know how much compensation you are entitled to. They will also know how to present your case to ensure you get every penny owed to you.

Can I Represent Myself?

In small, uncomplicated cases it is possible to represent yourself. Unfortunately, your case may be more complicated than you realize. Without a working knowledge of insurance policy and the claims process you may not receive full compensation. Which means you may end up owing money instead of recovering the cost of your treatment and repairs. Missed deadlines as well as incorrect or missing paperwork can also hurt your claim. Juggling the calls and paperwork involved in your claim is practically a full time job. Hiring an experienced lawyer ensures you can rest easy and focus on your recovery.

Wondering how car accident lawyers work? Call Olmstead & Olmstead, P.C. at (703) 361-1555 for more information.

A gavel symbolizing when to contact a personal injury lawyer before it's too late

When Do You Need To Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer?

You grab your keys, take a sip from your water bottle and close the door to your apartment. You’re heading out to take a walk — but that walk never happens. 

As your elevator door opens to the lobby. Your friend… lies stretched oddly on the lobby floor, the staff in a frantic commotion while your close companion lies there in excruciating pain. They have slipped and fallen on an unforgiving surface.

These stories are too familiar, aren’t they? 

One day we’re fine and the next, our lives are upside down because of an injury. Then one day we notice.. our livelihood is affected, and we are forced to ask that burning question.

Do I need to hire a personal injury attorney?

In this article, you will learn clearly when to contact a personal injury lawyer and how to do it. 

We will walk you through the entire process.

Ready? Let’s begin.

Do I Really Need a Personal Injury Attorney?

Suffering an injury in an accident can be terrifying, and you might be asking yourself when is it time to contact a personal injury attorney? If you have sustained serious bodily injuries it’s imperative to begin consultations with a personal injury attorney. 

There are windows of opportunity for the injured party that is necessary to be exploited in order to organize your case. Filing a personal injury suit requires accuracy and immense knowledge of the legal system. 

Specific Injuries require immediate attention

In some cases, you can be injured and have a specific type of injury that requires an attorney’s attention. In these specific cases, it’s best to consult and begin to acquire the information you’ll need to file a case. There are many times when a lawyer is the only person that can get you the money and closure you require for your injuries and mental anguish. 

After being in a serious accident, having a qualified lawyer that will represent your best interests and is willing to negotiate with the at-fault party’s insurance company can help relieve the anxiety of the what-if questions swirling around in your head. 

Let’s now discuss the major signs to pay attention too when you’re figuring out when to contact a personal injury attorney. 

What Does Your Personal Injury Lawyer Do?

Before we break down the most important areas to pay attention too, here is a very brief reminder of what your personal injury attorney does on your behalf:

– A personal injury attorney specializes in helping an injured person, mentally or physically, recover compensation for those injuries after the accident or personal injury has occurred. 

With that squared away, let’s move forward, and get into this list. 

The Signs: Face it – It’s Time To Call A Personal Injury Attorney

There are times when injuries are minor, you’re dealing with a reasonable party and it’s possible for you to negotiate a fair settlement with the at fault’s insurance company. It’s rare but possible. 

In most cases, a personal injury case spirals out of control without stellar representation. Insurance companies give you the run-around or your injuries are so severe you haven’t got the time or the resources to continue doing it on your own.

This is a blinding sign to contact a personal injury attorney in your area now! 

Here are 4 more signs:

  • You’ve endured Long-Term or Debilitating Injuries 
  • You’ve endured severe injuries 
  • You have multiple parties included in the case and liability is unclear
  • The insurance company is not stepping up and paying out a settlement

 Let’s dig a little deeper into each one of these items on the list. 

  1. You Have Endured Long-Term or Debilitating Injuries

Sustaining serious injuries that cause unexpected long-term care is something you can never imagine happening to you. An adroit personal injury lawyer will gather the facts and is the only one that can determine the proper compensation you’re permitted to receive. They will pursue all avenues for reparation. 

  1. You Are Living Through Severe Injuries

The severity of your injuries connects directly with your compensation. Most insurance companies gauge that severity based on the number of medical bills, how long rehab or recovery time is and other factors. Insurance companies are rigid, they have policy limits in place for a reason. Once your claim hit’s those limits a personal injury lawyer is the only one brave enough to make sure you get what you deserve. 

  1. Are There Multiple Parties Involved or Liability Is Unclear

This one is very important. 

Being in an accident involving multiple parties can become very complex, fast. Insurance companies know several people may have injuries. That means the settlement pie might need to be split up, leaving your piece to small for favorable compensation.

The other terrifying factor is you can have claims reported against you, and that could lower your settlement amount drastically, possibly even leaving you with nothing (can you imagine ?). If you have even the slightest possibility of being at fault, you need to contact an attorney. 

An Attorney gives you protection, against other parties counter-suing you and puts a reputable firm like Olmstead & Olmstead, P.C. in your corner on your behalf. But, we will talk more about them later, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.  

  1. The Insurance Company Protests Payment Or Doesn’t Offer a Fair Amount

When this happens it is not only infuriating, it hurts… How can they treat you like you don’t even matter? 

Like you wanted to be injured?

They should be the giver of solace, not the opposite. Not all insurance companies are bad, but when you encounter this scenario having a firm that has experience is necessary. 

Your personal injury lawyer engages with the insurance company on your behalf, abstracting all of this stress away from you so you can focus on recovery. 

Without a personal injury attorney, the insurance company can just make you feel like giving up. Not knowing the laws can put you in a position you might not recover from (sad but true). A trustworthy personal injury attorney can tell you if the insurance company is acting in bad faith, and breaking laws to keep you from receiving a settlement. 

We never want to need these services, but… when you experience tragedy, having help makes all the difference. 

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer 

Earlier we mentioned Olmstead and Olmstead, P.C They are top personal injury lawyers in Manassas. If you have endured any of the situations described above, they are ready and able to review your unique case. More importantly, they treat you like a person and remain well informed throughout your relationship with Olmstead and Olmstead. 

Today you learned the top reasons for contacting a personal injury attorney, and the nightmares you can face if you don’t. Olmstead and Olmstead, P.C are the premiere Virginia attorneys that can handle your legal issue sequentially relieving your stress. 

Rest assured they have your best interests in mind and are working tirelessly for what you deserve. Reach them at (703) 361-1555 when you need to contact a personal injury lawyer that cares. 

A scale showing a balance of time and money

How to Choose a Personal Injury Lawyer

On a brisk November day in 2005, Gloria Aguilar made her way home from her house cleaning job. It was a routine day for her. She was two blocks from her home.

As the mother of 3 stood at the corner of 50th St and 10th Ave in the comely city of New York, the thought of her being seconds away from authentic catastrophe never crossed her mind.

The luminous walking signal encouraged Gloria it was safe to cross the street. Without warning, a New York City Transit bus turning off 10th Ave failed to see her. She was struck by this bus…. losing her right leg and altering her life forever.

Gloria’s horrific experience is one of the millions of stories, perpetuating people into their need to learn how to choose a personal injury lawyer.

This article will offer you insight into what you need to do if you’re ever faced with this difficult decision. 

What is a Personal Injry Lawyer?

Let’s be honest, it would be nice if we never had to worry about needing a personal injury lawyer… but that’s not the reality.

It’s better to be prepared. And to know where to start. 

A personal lawyer provides services and representation to clients who claim to have been injured physically or psychologically by a negligent party. Some examples of a negligent party include:

  • Another person
  • Business
  • Government Agency 

This is a shortlist. If you want to learn more Olmstead & Olmstead, P.C consultations are free. Get the advantage and can speak with an experienced personal injury attorney.

Now that you’re privy to a personal injury lawyer’s focus, let’s stay on track. The next step in learning how to choose a personal injury lawyer is knowing when you need one!

When Do You Need a Personal Injury Lawyer?

Have you been injured from the negligence of another party?

You may feel it’s no big deal at first. Society sometimes says to be tough when we get hurt. That is terrible advice and can cause infuriating regret if that is the path you take. 

Here are 3 red flags showing when you need a personal injury attorney:

  • When your chronic pain or thoughts prevent you from performing your daily tasks and begin to impede on your quality of life. 
  • Feeling overwhelmed with paperwork, claims for insurance, or medical bills originating from your injury.  
  • When your family’s finances plummet, and you are trying to stay afloat because of the drowning costs of medical expenses, lost wages and more. 

These are good indicators it’s time to get a personal injury lawyer involved.

Deep down we all dread the tough choices. However, understanding how to approach a problem can ease your mind, during a time when that’s exactly what you need. 

Now that you made it this far and we are putting your mind at ease. Let’s explore the best ways to choose a personal injury lawyer. 

How do You Choose a Personal Injury Lawyer?

When you’re hurt depression can sideline you for weeks. Even trying to make a phone call is tough. You’re not alone.  So, how do you begin, when you’re cradling this delicate matter? For starters, It’s appropriate to act quickly but also intelligently. 

Acting quickly is not intended to be a fire alarm expression. It means there is a window of opportunity. In some cases, you only have a few months to file your lawsuit.   

Let’s get started by listing out some tips:

Characteristics: 

It’s important to have your own requirements for the type of personal injury lawyer you want representing you.  Have your own personal and professional standards. Having the type of reputation and qualifications you want will make it easier to decide if they are a good fit for you. 

Ask Those Close to You:

Referrals are excellent because you already know one person who had a good experience. Your friends and family are excellent starting points.

Reaching out to the community or respected figures in the community can also lead you in the right direction. Olmstead & Olmstead, P.C is a trusted figure in the community, with a history of success and putting their clients first. They are experienced in a myriad of personal injury cases. Reach them at (703) 361-1555. 

Do You Know The Fees? 

Make sure you have exhausted all your questions, especially about fees before you sign anything. You want a personal injury lawyer who is transparent and upfront with you. This is a life-altering commitment, always get your fee agreement in writing. 

You need to make sure you can explain how the fees work to someone else it’s your job to understand it. You want a law firm that is patient with you and makes sure you understand everything before you move forward. Never compromise on trust.  

Are they trained to handle a case like yours? 

Will they accept your case?

Leave no stone unturned. 

Should You Go Online?

Go online to do research. Reviews and testimonials really help you get a feel for the law firm. Facebook might be a good resource also. More importantly,  make sure the lawyer is in good standing with the local bar association.  Check for highlighted incidents or sanctions against your lawyer in the practicing state. You should also make sure your attorney is licensed in the state your accident happened. And has no minatory​ claims. 

Learning how to single out a personal injury lawyer may seem like a lot of work. But it’s simple when you follow these tips.

Fact:

Your life depends on it. Your healthcare depends on it, your housing depends on it,  and your family’s well being depends on it. Those sound like really important reasons to follow these tips.

Leading us into the last Tip.

What’s your heart telling you?

Don’t be shocked if you aren’t sure what personal injury lawyer to pick at first. Going online and looking up reviews and results is important. 

But, so is speaking with the lawyer, and getting a feel for them and the office. Your feelings are important, it’s necessary to feel good about your choice. Don’t let the big numbers blind you. Focus on what matters to you. 

You must pick a personal injury lawyer that cares about you and your well being. You should feel that when you talk with them. That’s important before signing a contract.

The Promised Land  

Facing a terrible injury is terrifying and knowing where to turn can be intimidating. Olmstead & Olmstead, P.C are Virginia attorneys that understand how this can be confusing. They feel you should be compensated for your injuries. 

Specializing in building relationships, and all-important laws in Virginia, the decades of experience allows their case results to speak for themselves. 

Today you have learned how to choose a personal injury lawyer, how they can help and when to start looking for one. 

Don’t take this lightly.

Sometimes you have to put in the work, making sure you preserve your future. Let Olmstead & Olmstead, P.C help take your life back and make learning how to choose a personal injury lawyer worth its weight in victory.  

Broken bone set with screws due to a personal injury case.

Do I Have a Personal Injury Case?

When you get injured due to an accident or other circumstance, it can be difficult to determine whether you have a personal injury case on your hands or not. There are certain requirements that a case must meet to be considered a personal injury case. Let’s take a look at the criteria.

What Incidents are Considered Personal Injury?

Some incidents are truly accidents. No one could prevent them from happening and unfortunately, you got hurt as a result. Then there are injuries that would have never happened had it not been for someone’s negligence.

When you are injured due to that kind of accident, you may have a personal injury case on your hands. Generally, personal injury lawyers can help if you are injured due to the following situations:

Car Accidents

  • Rear-end collisions
  • Head-on collisions
  • Side-swipe crashes
  • T-bone accidents
  • Left turn/right turn crashes
  • Intersection collisions
  • High-speed accidents

Truck Accidents

  • Rollover accidents
  • Jack-knife accidents
  • Head-on collisions
  • Underride accidents
  • Blind Spot accidents

Motorcycle Accidents

  • Distracted driving
  • Blindspot accidents
  • Speeding/reckless driving
  • Drowsy driving
  • Driving under the influence
  • Vehicle defects

Burn Injuries

  • Thermal burns
  • Chemical burns
  • Electrical burns
  • Friction burns
  • Radiation burns
  • Laser burns

Pedestrian Accidents

  • Failing to stop/come to a complete stop at a traffic light, intersection, or stop sign
  • Performing a right or left-hand turn without checking to ensure that the road is clear
  • Speeding
  • Driving while intoxicated
  • Driving while distracted
  • Failing to check rearview mirrors before reversing
  • Driving up onto the sidewalk

Dog Bites

Dog bites are a tricky injury in the state of Virginia. Virginia does not have a dog bite statute that holds owners liable if their dogs hurt someone. To receive compensation, you would need a personal injury attorney that can take a negligence-based approach to your case.

Virginia does have a “one-bite” law that states that if a dog has shown aggressive or vicious behavior in the past, the owner had a duty to prevent a bite or attack from happening again. If the owner failed to prevent the attack, then they acted negligently. A personal injury lawyer can take a closer look at your case to see if this applies.

If you are bitten by a dog and can prove that the owner should be held liable for your injuries, you can seek compensation for:

  • Lost wages
  • The value of psychological harm, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, you have suffered
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disfigurement and scarring
  • Medical expenses
  • All other economic and noneconomic losses

Slip and Fall

Slip and fall accidents can be dangerous and lead to serious injury. Statistics show that slip and fall accidents are the leading cause of death in older Americans. If you think that your slip and fall accident was the result of dangerous conditions that could have been prevented, you may have a personal injury case on your hands and may be able to seek compensation.

How Do I Prepare for a Personal Injury Case?

If your injury was due to one of the incidents above, that’s a good place to start to see if you have a personal injury case. But, just because you got hurt as a result of one of those incidents doesn’t mean that it was the other person’s fault.

In Virginia, you must prove that you had absolutely nothing to do with the incident that caused your injuries. Virginia is a contributory negligence state. This means that if the plaintiff contributed to their injuries in any way, they cannot seek damages from the at-fault party.

The defendant must argue that you contributed to your injuries and cannot seek compensation. This is why you want to hire a personal injury lawyer, especially in the state of Virginia.

To prepare for your case, it’s important to do the following:

Get all Medical Records Related to Your Injury

To claim you have a personal injury case, you must have gone to get medical attention after your incident. Ask for all medical records related to your injury. You’ll need to give these to your personal injury lawyer. Be sure to follow all medical advice from your doctor as well to show that you are cooperating.

Gather all Evidence

If you have photos from your incident, be sure to give them to your personal injury lawyer. Your lawyer will get access to the police report, which may also include any witness statements that could help you.

Don’t Take Part in Activities That Could Damage Your Case

While you may be injured, you may feel pretty good one day and decide to take part in a physical activity and then post it on social media. Don’t do this. This can be used as evidence against you. You can’t claim that you can’t work because of a physical injury, and then be seen running around with your kids. If the defendant’s lawyer gets a hold of this, they will certainly use it to strengthen their case.

Also, be sure not to talk too much about your case to others. While you think you may have a trusted ear to lean on, you never know what that person may say to someone else. This could end up harming your case. Keep the details of your case to yourself.

Be Honest with Your Personal Injury Attorney

It’s important to be completely honest about your case with your attorney. They need to be aware of everything to make the best arguments for you. If you hide a detail or lie about something, it will eventually come out in court and harm your case.

Contact Us for Your Personal Injury Case

If you think you have a personal injury case on your hands, contact the offices of Olmstead & Olmstead, P.C. We can evaluate your situation and determine where you have a personal injury case.

Call us today at (703) 361-1555 to schedule your first appointment. We will review your case and answer any questions you may have. If you do have a personal injury case, we can help you get the compensation you deserve.

10 Questions to Ask a Personal Injury Lawyer

10 Questions to Ask a Personal Injury Lawyer

When you’ve been injured and need the help of a personal injury lawyer, you want to be sure that you are handing your case to the right person. You want someone who will not only have your best interests in mind, but also someone who is experienced in your type of case. Personal injury lawyers can assist in the following cases:

  • Car accidents
  • Truck accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Burn injuries
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Dog bites
  • Slip and Fall

If you’ve been hurt in any of those types of situations, it’s time to look for a personal injury lawyer.

What to Ask a Personal Injury Lawyer

Here are 10 questions to ask a personal injury lawyer so that you find the right person to handle your case:

  1. Have you tried any personal injury cases similar to mine?

While each case is unique, you still want to find a personal injury lawyer who has experience trying cases similar to yours. When you’re asking this you also want to know about their success rates. If a lawyer has tried dozens of cases like yours but hasn’t won any, you may want to reconsider.

  1. How much time can you devote to my case?

Although your lawyer will have other cases, you need to be sure that they have enough time to devote to your case. You want your case handled as quickly as possible. If a lawyer doesn’t have enough time to file paperwork and do what needs to be done, it will delay the process.

  1. What are your fees?

If you’ve been hurt you’re looking to claim money for your injury and medical bills. Ask what the fee policy is and whether the lawyer works on a contingency fee basis. This means they will take a percentage of the award if they win the case.

  1. What is my case worth?

While you’re on the topic of money, you also want to ask a personal injury lawyer what your case is worth. They should be able to give you an approximate amount. When you receive your estimate, do your homework. See if it seems realistic when you compare it to similar cases.

  1. Who will be handling my case?

Knowing who will be handling your case will make communication much easier. While there may be several people working on it, you should know who the main contact person is and how to best get in touch with them. If the lawyer hedges around this question, it may indicate that there isn’t enough staff to handle the case or the office is disorganized.

  1. How long have you been practicing personal injury law?

When you’re looking for a personal injury lawyer, you want someone who has experience in personal injury law. The lawyer you choose should not only have experience with your type of case, but also personal injury in general. This way they will be familiar with the particular laws. If you are choosing someone near where you live, the lawyer will also be familiar with the area and the courts nearby. Finding someone with experience gives you peace of mind knowing that your case has a better chance of being handled properly.

  1. Do you try to settle a case or do you always go to trial?

While you don’t want your case to drag out, you always want to get what you’re entitled to and not get cheated out of compensation. Some lawyers will settle cases to move them along quicker. This can sometimes result in lower settlement amounts versus going to court. The answer to this question will depend on the type of case and the specifics. It will also depend on how responsive the other party is. These are all factors to consider.

  1. Are you a member of any legal organizations?

Being a member of groups like the American Association for Justice and others can provide lawyers with continuing education in the area of personal injury law. These types of groups will often offer workshops and seminars. This continuing education can help lawyers keep track of any changing laws as well as give them access to refresher courses.

  1. How long does it take for cases like mine to resolve?

All cases are different so your lawyer will not be able to give you a concrete answer. But, they should be able to give you an approximation. It’s important to know this information so that you know what you’re in for. Be mindful that cases can take unexpected twists and turns. This can result in cases lasting longer than expected. Your lawyer wants to see your case resolved as quickly as you do. But, you don’t want to cut corners to get there and risk losing your compensation.

  1. Do you foresee any problems with my case?

Be sure to ask a personal injury lawyer whether they foresee any problems with your case.
Some situations may have glaring issues that your personal injury lawyer will notice. You want to hire someone who is honest about any problems so that you can prepare. While some problems may come up unexpectedly, it’s important to be aware of ones that are obvious from the beginning. This will help your lawyer navigate the best away around them or advise you that your case is not worth pursuing.

Contact Us if You Need a Personal Injury Lawyer

At Olmstead & Olmstead, P.C., we are here to answer all of your personal injury questions. We have a staff that is experienced and knowledgeable in a variety of personal injury cases. At Olmstead & Olmstead, P.C., we want to make sure the compensation you receive from your personal injury case is fair.

Call us today at (703) 361-1555 to schedule your first appointment so that we can learn more about your case. We will review it and advise you about the best road to take.

A teddy bear wrapped in bandages representing someone needing a personal injury attorney

How Can a Personal Injury Attorney Help Me?

When it comes to personal injury, there are many types of incidents where a personal injury attorney can make sure you get the compensation you deserve. Personal injury goes far beyond car accidents or pedestrian accidents. Let’s take a look at several instances where you may seek the help of a personal injury attorney.

Incidents Where a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help

If you’re not sure if your situation is one where a personal injury lawyer can help, see if it falls under one of the following categories:

Car Accidents

At Olmstead & Olmstead, P.C., we help car accident victims in many types of collisions such as:

  • Rear-end collisions
  • Head-on collisions
  • Side-swipe crashes
  • T-bone accidents
  • Left turn/right turn crashes
  • Intersection collisions
  • High-speed accidents

A personal injury attorney can also help with accidents involving uninsured drivers. If you are injured in one of these accidents, you’ll want a personal injury attorney on your side to help you get the compensation you deserve.

Truck Accidents

If you are involved in a truck accident, you’ll want to have a personal injury lawyer represent you as well because many of the accidents involving trucks are serious. They can include:

  • Rollover accidents
  • Jack-knife accidents
  • Head-on collisions
  • Underride accidents
  • Blind Spot accidents

Serious injuries can result from truck accidents such as broken bones, spinal cord injuries, internal injuries, and traumatic brain injury. Victims often need extended medical care, sometimes for a lifetime. A personal injury attorney can help you get medical compensation as well as compensation for lost wages due to the accident.

Motorcycle Accidents

Because motorcycles do not provide as much coverage as vehicles, the risk of serious injury can be greater. Riding on a motorcycle can be more dangerous and result in serious injury. Some common reasons for motorcycle accidents that people call a personal injury attorney include:

  • Distracted driving
  • Blindspot accidents
  • Speeding/reckless driving
  • Drowsy driving
  • Driving under the influence
  • Vehicle defects

Any one of these types of motorcycle accidents in a variety of serious injuries such as:

  • Cuts, bruises, and skin abrasions
  • Fractures/broken bones
  • Head and facial injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
  • Neck and back injuries
  • Chest injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
  • Amputations/loss of limbs
  • Internal injuries
  • Burn injuries

If you receive any of those types of injuries due to a motorcycle accident you may be entitled to compensation that is either economic or non-economic.

Burn Injuries

Burn injuries fall under the category of issues that a personal injury attorney can help with. Several types of burns can cause serious injury. These include:

  • Thermal burns
  • Chemical burns
  • Electrical burns
  • Friction burns
  • Radiation burns
  • Laser burns

Any of these burns can be classified as first-degree, second-degree, and third-degree. First-degree burns are the least serious with third-degree burns being the most severe. Third-degree burns can often require long-term medical care that can be costly. Having a personal injury attorney can help you obtain that compensation.

Pedestrian Accidents

Pedestrian accidents can also result in serious injury. Many pedestrian accidents are due to human error. Reasons for pedestrian accidents include:

  • Failing to stop/come to a complete stop at a traffic light, intersection, or stop sign
  • Performing a right or left-hand turn without checking to ensure that the road is clear
  • Speeding
  • Driving while intoxicated
  • Driving while distracted
  • Failing to check rearview mirrors before reversing
  • Driving up onto the sidewalk

When a pedestrian is hit by a car, they can suffer serious injuries including:

  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Back and neck injuries
  • Fracture injuries
  • Crush and amputation injuries
  • Internal injuries

Pedestrians can also be at fault for accidents if they are walking while intoxicated or crossing the roadway illegally.

Dog Bites

If you are a victim of a dog bite in the state of Virginia it’s important to know that Virginia does not have a dog bite statute that holds owners liable if their dogs hurt someone. Pursuing compensation in dog bite cases requires a negligence-based case approach, one that requires a personal injury attorney.

Virginia does have a “one-bite” law that states that if a dog has shown aggressive or vicious behavior in the past, the owner had a duty to prevent a bite or attack from happening again. If the owner failed to prevent the attack, then they acted negligently. A personal injury lawyer can investigate the circumstances that lead to your injury to see if that was the case.

If you are bitten by a dog and can prove that the owner should be held liable for your injuries, you can seek compensation for:

  • Lost wages
  • The value of psychological harm, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, you have suffered
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disfigurement and scarring
  • Medical expenses
  • All other economic and noneconomic losses

While a personal injury attorney can help you in many dog bite cases it’s important to know that you may not be able to seek damages under certain circumstances such as:

  • Trespassing at the time of dog attack
  • Taunting or teasing the dog
  • Continuing to go towards the dog after being warned to stop
  • Carelessness near the dog

 If you have been injured by a dog, contact a personal injury attorney to see if your case may be eligible for compensation.

 Slip and Fall

While a slip and fall accident may seem harmless, injuries can be life-threatening. Statistics show that slip and fall accidents are the leading cause of death in older Americans. If you think that your slip and fall accident was the result of dangerous conditions that could have been prevented, contact a personal injury attorney so that your situation can be assessed and you can receive the compensation you deserve.

Contact Us if You Need a Personal Injury Lawyer

When you need a personal injury lawyer, contact the offices of Olmstead & Olmstead, P.C.  We can make sure the compensation you receive from your personal injury case is fair.

Call us today at (703) 361-1555 to schedule your first appointment. We will review your case and answer any questions you may have. Let us help you get the compensation you deserve.

Woman in a car accident wondering if she should call a car accident lawyer

When Do I Need a Car Accident Lawyer?

When you get into a car accident, your first instinct is to make sure you and anyone else involved are not seriously hurt. Then, many people assess the damage to their vehicle and what measures they need to take for repair and insurance. In the process, there also comes the determination of whether you need a car accident lawyer to represent you.

Not every fender bender is going to need a car accident lawyer. But, when the injuries and damage are more serious you’re going to want someone on your side to represent you and your best interests.

Situations to Hire a Car Accident Lawyer

Getting into a car accident can not only be an inconvenience, but it can also lead to serious injury and expense. These are just two of the instances when you’ll want to hire a car accident lawyer. Here are several others:

  • Serious injury
  • Debilitating or permanent injury
  • Medical expenses
  • Property damage
  • Psychological harm
  • Involved with an uninsured driver
  • Involved with intoxicated or distracted drivers
  • To help determine who was at fault for the accident

If you find yourself in any of the above situations, you’ll want to have a lawyer on your side that is experienced in car insurance laws and can advise and represent you. This will give you a greater chance of receiving the compensation you deserve.

At Olmstead & Olmstead, P.C., we help car accident victims in many types of collisions such as:

  • Rear-end collisions
  • Head-on collisions
  • Side-swipe crashes
  • T-bone accidents
  • Left turn/right turn crashes
  • Intersection collisions
  • High-speed accidents

Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer to Determine Fault in an Auto Accident

When you’re in an accident and it isn’t immediately clear who was at fault, you should hire a car accident lawyer. Your lawyer can help to collect evidence and look at various sources to determine who was at fault. These pieces of evidence can include:

  • Witnesses’ testimonies
  • Police reports
  • Physical evidence at the scene
  • Angles of impact on vehicles
  • Video or camera footage

Many people aren’t going to have the time or the resources to gather this type of information on their own, especially if they are seriously injured. Hiring a car accident lawyer makes sense because they know how to get the evidence quickly and how to sort through it. Depending on the severity of the accident they may even hire accident reconstruction experts to help determine what happened. These types of resources are invaluable when it comes to determining who was at fault for your accident and getting the right compensation.

It’s important to note that Virginia is an at-fault car insurance state. This means that drivers are responsible for paying for the accidents they cause. This is usually done through bodily injury and property damage liability insurance. For an injured person to receive compensation for the accident, fault must first be established. This is another reason why you would want to hire a car accident lawyer.

Dealing with an Uninsured Driver

Although the state of Virginia requires drivers to carry both bodily insurance and property damage liability insurance as part of their auto insurance plan, some people still get behind the wheel without the proper insurance. When these people get into an accident it can be very difficult to get the compensation you deserve. Having a car accident lawyer on your side can help you look into all ways to get some type of compensation. Some people who are injured in these types of accidents turn to their own policies to cover some of the expenses. But, sometimes this is not enough. A car accident lawyer can help you look into different ways to receive compensation.

Filing a Lawsuit in an Accident

If you end up needing to file a lawsuit in a car accident, you will need an attorney on your side. Filing a lawsuit is usually not advised until all settlement opportunities have been exhausted. Your car accident lawyer will go through all of the proper steps of filing a lawsuit after the following process is completed and a settlement cannot be reached:

  • Gathering evidence
  • Filing a claim with the insurance company and corresponding about damages
  • Trying to negotiate a settlement

When the parties cannot reach a settlement, your lawyer will bring your case to the court. The court will ultimately decide if you are owed any compensation and if so, how much.

Contact Us if You Need a Car Accident Lawyer

If you need a car accident lawyer, contact the offices of Olmstead & Olmstead, P.C. We can help you get the compensation you deserve when it comes to personal injury cases resulting from car accidents. We represent people involved in all types of accidents including rear-end collisions, head-on collisions, side-swipe crashes, T-bone accidents, intersection collisions, high-speed accidents, and left turn/right turn crashes. If you have been involved in any of these types of accidents, call our office. We also help people who have been involved in accidents involving intoxicated or distracted drivers. We have a team of experienced lawyers who have earned a solid reputation in the legal community.

Call us today at (703) 361-1555 to schedule your first appointment. We will review your case and answer any questions you may have. During this time we can navigate which route will be the best to deal with your accident. Let us help you get the compensation you deserve.

A vehicle's broken window while the owner wonders if they need a car accident lawyer

A Guide on When to Get a Car Accident Lawyer

Accidents happen. Following a car crash you may experience feelings of shock, anger, nervousness, and even fear. As you work through the mental stress, dealing with the aftermath of an accident can go on for days, months, or, in some cases, years. Between arranging to have your vehicle repaired or replaced, communicating with insurance companies, and possibly recovering from injuries, there are many tough decisions you will need to make. In some cases, you can handle the aftermath of the car accident yourself. If you need help getting through the process, a car accident attorney is the best resource for you.

WHEN SHOULD I GET A CAR CRASH LAWYER?

Car accidents can leave you with mental and emotional scars. But, as with any major decision, the most important thing is to keep a level head throughout the entire process. If you are unsure on whether you need an attorney following your accident, ask yourself these questions:

  • How Serious is my injury?

One of the first things you will do following an accident is determine if anyone has any injuries. If so, you’ll want to call 911 for help. Even if it was a minor accident, calling the police is a good idea. This way, you’ll have a report to hand over to the insurance company.

While visible injuries, like broken bones or cuts and bruises, heal with time and care, other injuries aren’t as obvious. So, it’s important to get checked out by a doctor in case there are any lasting effects from your accident. For more serious injuries that could take long-term care to heal or have life-altering affects, contact an accident attorney.

  • How did the accident affect my financial situation?

Depending on the severity of the injuries you received as a result of the crash, there may be medical costs associated with your treatment. Worrying about how to pay these bills only adds to the stress after an accident. If you feel like the insurance company is not offering enough to cover your care, you may want to contact a car crash attorney to help sort it out.

A car accident lawyer can also help if the injuries from your crash resulted in you having to miss work, by filing a claim to have the pay you missed paid to you through insurance.

  • Is the insurance company meeting my expectations?

Dealing with insurance companies following an accident can be a complicated process, and if you’re unfamiliar with it you may not realize you are not being compensated fairly. There are many factors that go into how much an insurance company will offer you. An accident attorney can help you navigate the steps you need to take, and the evidence required, while keeping your best interests in mind.

BENEFITS OF OBTAINING A CAR ACCIDENT LAWYER

CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS HAVE LEGAL KNOWLEDGE.

Do you know how long you have to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver? Do you know all of the information you need have to prepare a case against an insurance company? If not, having a knowledgeable attorney can help prepare you for all the legal proceedings of a settlement or taking your case to trial.

CAR CRASH LAWYERS DO THE LEGWORK FOR YOU.

If you are seriously injured as a result of your accident, you may not have the strength to handle an insurance settlement on your own. Even if you are able, these negotiations can be time-consuming if you’re not familiar with navigating the process.

An experienced accident attorney is already familiar with the lay of the land and has knowledge of the information you will need to file a successful claim. If you are unable to reach a settlement with the insurance company, your attorney will help organize and prepare your case for trial.

YOUR ATTORNEY WILL BE AN ADVOCATE FOR YOU.

In any legal proceeding, having having an experienced advocate is key. An accident attorney will not only stand up for you in court, they can be sure that your side of the story is heard by all parties to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.

WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR IN AN ACCIDENT ATTORNEY?

If you’ve been in an accident and made the decision to seek legal help, finding an experienced and reputable attorney is your next step. Before contacting an attorney, there are some things to keep in mind.

  • Experience: Your attorney should have a background working specifically in this kind of law.
  • Investment: Look for an attorney that will go over your case with you for free. Often, an attorney will meet with you to go over your case.
  • Attentiveness: When meeting with your attorney be mindful if your lawyer is listening to you and remembering the details of your case.
  • Understanding: Your attorney should be able to grasp the severity of your injury and take your claims and care seriously.

While you don’t always need a lawyer following an accident, obtaining one can make the process much smoother. With your car accident lawyer’s knowledge and experience in these matters, you can concentrate on the things that are most important to you – repairing any damages, recovering from any injuries, and staying connected with your friends and family.

Call Olmstead & Olmstead P.C. today at (703) 361-1555 for more information on hiring a car accident lawyer you can trust.

Personal Injury Law and Dog Bites

A Guide to Dog Bites and Personal Injury Law in Virginia

A Guide to Dog Bites and Personal Injury Law in Virginia

Most people interact with at least one dog almost every day. In the United States alone, more than 90 million people have a pet dog, making it highly unlikely that you could leave your house and not at least pass one by while taking a walk or getting into your car to go to work. Many of us are drawn to the neighborhood dogs. After all, they do share the moniker of “man’s best friend”. However, not all dogs are domesticated, and even those that are can suddenly become sick or agitated. When this happens, dogs may bite or injure in some other way. Before this happens to you, it’s important to be informed about personal injury law as it pertains to dog bites in Virginia.

What are the Dog Bite Laws in Virginia?

Virginia differs from many states in that they do not have any statutes or code specifically targeting dog bites or other harm caused from a dog. Instead, they have something called the “one bite rule”. What this essentially means is that owners are only held responsible for injuries caused from their animal if the victim can prove that the owner had previous knowledge of their dog biting, or otherwise causing injury, to another person on a previous occasion. This would imply that the owner should have taken proper precautions with his/her dog, as history had indicated there might be a problem.

This rule applies not just to bites but to any aggressive behaviors, such as snapping, jumping, lunging, etc. The owner of the dog can also potentially be held responsible for any additional injuries that are incurred by the victim. For instance, if a dog jumps on the victim and causes them to fall and hit their head, requiring stitches, the owner may be held liable, even if the dog did not actually bite. An attorney specializing in personal injury law would best be able to help you determine if your case fits within the necessary parameters.

How is Virginia’s Law Different From Other States?

Most other states have something called “strict liability” which means that the owner of a dog can potentially be held responsible for a dog’s aggressive behavior, even if that dog has not shown tendencies of that aggressive behavior in the past. This is substantially different from the “one bite rule” in Virginia, stipulating that the owner must have had prior evidence of the dog’s aggressive behavior before being held liable for any damages that might be pursued under personal injury law.

Am I Out of Luck if the One Bite Rule Doesn’t Apply in My Situation?

This can be a complicated question, and the short answer is—not necessarily. Regardless of whether the dog in question has ever bit or had other aggressive tendencies toward anyone before, if the owner can be proven negligent, they may still be held liable for the dog’s behavior. In a case such as this, it would have to be proven that the dog’s owner had a duty to restrain the dog, but for whatever reason, chose not to or did not.

Negligence “per se”, similar but not quite the same as plain negligence, can also be an avenue under which a dog owner can be held liable under Virginia personal injury law. Basically, if the dog’s owner is violating another law at the time of the dog’s attack, they could potentially be held responsible. For instance, if the owner is walking the dog in an area of a city that requires dogs to be on a leash, and the owner has violated that law, resulting in the dog having the ability to attack, then they may be held liable.

Are There Conditions Under Which the Dog Owner Might Not be Held Responsible?

Of course, any final outcomes would be determined by the court, but there are some general defenses a dog owner could present. One of the most common of these is something called contributory negligence, which contends that the victim contributed in some way to the attack. For instance, a person deliberately provoking a dog, or continuing to pet the animal even after the dog has growled or backed away, or the owner has repeatedly asked them to stop. If the person is determined to be responsible for their own injuries, it is highly unlikely they will be awarded any damages.

What Type of Damages Can I Expect to Receive If I Win?

Each winning case will differ in the amount and type of damages awarded, however the victim does have the ability to sue for a variety of damages, including lost wages. They can also sue for medical costs related to their injuries. This includes physical therapy, if needed. In addition, they can also sue for scarring and disfigurement, permanent disability, and emotional trauma caused by the attack. Remember, personal injury law is complex, and it is best to consult an attorney specializing in this area.

What Else Do I Need to Know About Personal Injury Law and Dog Bites in Virginia?

The old adage that “you don’t know what you don’t know” holds true in this case. There are many factors that impact your ability to successfully sue for damages if you suffer a dog bite. Why take a chance that you might miss an important deadline or risk making a mistake that could jeopardize your chances to be reimbursed in some way for the trauma you endured? Instead, consult an experienced personal injury law attorney that can provide the knowledge and advice you need to navigate the system.

If you are interested in learning more about hiring an experienced lawyer who is knowledgeable about personal injury law in Virginia, please contact Olmstead & Olmstead, P.C. at (703) 361-1555 today. We can provide a comprehensive consultation as well as all the information you need to make the best decision for your personal injury law needs.

Call Olmstead & Olmstead, P.C. at (703) 361-1555 to learn more about hiring an attorney experienced in Virginia personal injury law issues today!