After a devastating auto accident, the legal questions are daunting:
- Should I talk to the insurance company?
- Who will pay for my medical bills and lost wages?
- What is the insurance company required to pay?
- What happens when the other driver is uninsured?
Understanding your legal rights and knowing where to turn for answers to these questions can be challenging. At the Silverman Law Firm LC, serving Richmond, Tidewater, Northern Virginia, and surrounding communities, we offer resources, support, and uncompromising legal representation to victims of auto collisions.
If you have suffered an injury because of a negligent or reckless driver and are seeking aggressive legal representation, please contact our Richmond practice today to schedule a consultation. Joshua Silverman is committed to answering your questions and to helping you obtain the fair settlement you need and deserve. If the insurance companies refuse to make a fair offer he will not hesitate to take your case to court.
Types of Auto Accidents Cases
The term “motor vehicle accidents” encompasses several types of accidents. The breadth and complexity of these cases require a detailed knowledge of the law to develop a strong legal strategy for clients. Our legal team handles claims for the following types of accidents:
Trucking Accidents – A particular hazard on the road, tractor trailers weighing up to 80,000 pounds can cause significant damage and catastrophic accidents if they collide with another vehicle. Accounting for eight percent of all road fatalities, trucking accidents are often caused by negligent commercial drivers who lack proper training, suffer from fatigue, speed, text, or drive while intoxicated with alcohol or drugs – all of which put the safety of others at risk.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, truckers on the road for more than eight hours are twice as likely to be in a trucking accident. Another recent study of large truck crashes found that 55% had a mechanical violation and 36% of the violations involved defective brakes. It should come as no surprise that a fatigued trucker operating a vehicle with defective brakes or another defective auto part may cause a fatal collision.
Car Accidents – More than 35,000 people are killed each year in car crashes and number of traffic deaths are trending upwards. A driver’s inattention (i.e. texting or talking on a cell phone), speeding, aggressive behavior, traffic violations, and intoxication are all lethal factors that can cause serious injuries and wrongful deaths. If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident, here a few things to keep in mind:
- First and foremost, obtain medical treatment;
- Take photographs of the vehicle damage and any visible injuries;
- Cooperate with the police, but do not admit to fault. Under Virginia law, in most cases, if you are partially to blame for the accident you are not entitled to recover.
- If your car's safety features (airbags, seatbelts, etc.) did not function properly, please secure the car as evidence. You may have a products liability claim against the manufacturer.
Motorcycle Accidents – A driver’s inattention to the road is also one of the leading causes of motorcycle accidents, which make up an estimated 14 percent of all traffic fatalities. With less protection on the road than car or truck drivers, motorcyclists are more 27 times more likely than passengers in a car to suffer a fatal injury in a crash. With extensive experience in handling complex motorcycle collision cases, Josh Silverman has represented numerous motorcyclists who were injured in motor vehicle accidents. If you or a loved one was injured in a motorcycle accident, please do the following after receiving medical attention:
- Take photographs of the damage to the motorcycle and physical injuries;
- Preserve the evidence. This includes saving the helmet, damaged clothes, and of course the motorcycle.
- Don't make any statements to the insurance company before contacting a lawyer.
Drunk Driving Accidents – Driving under the influence of alcohol is one of the leading causes of motor vehicle accidents and fatalities on the road. Drunk driving occurs in all types of motor vehicle accident cases - from trucking to pedestrian. Drunk driving cases are complex. They require an understanding of how alcohol consumption affects motorists and how the body metabolizes alcohol. Critical evidence needed to prove the extent of the driver's intoxication can be lost over time. This includes witnesses to the driver's drinking on the day of the collision. If we can prove that the driver's blood alcohol content (BAC) was over .15, then up to $350,000 in punitive damages may be recovered in addition to compensation for medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering.
Pedestrian Accidents – Negligent drivers cause a significant amount of accidents and serious injuries to pedestrians. In fact, 46 percent of pedestrian collisions are caused by drunk drivers or alcohol was a factor. Vulnerable to injury, pedestrians are more likely to sustain catastrophic injuries when involved in a motor vehicle collision. Pedestrians are especially vulnerable to hit and run accidents. Victims of hit and run accidents are not without a remedy. We work closely with law enforcement to help track down the driver. If the driver cannot be identified, there are other legal options including filing a "John Doe" claim under any automobile insurance policy belonging to any relative in the pedestrian's household. If the John Doe driver is ever identified, criminal charges can be pursued and the claim can be amended to seek damages from the driver.
Bicycle Accidents – Josh Silverman is an avid cyclist (he rode of 3000 miles in the last year) so he knows how enjoyable cycling can be. At the same he knows the dangers. A distracted or careless driver can quickly cause a serious bicycle accident and put an overwhelming number of bicyclists – including children - at risk. Sadly, alcohol-related collisions account for more than one-third of bicyclist fatalities. As cycling has become popular in Virginia, these collisions are occurring more frequently. Understanding the sensitive nature of bicycle accidents, we will aggressively pursue compensation for you and your family.
Hit and Run Accidents - Perhaps morally the most reprehensible are people who cause accidents and flee the scene without rendering assistance. Legally, these accidents are referred to as "John Doe" collisions. If caught, the John Doe driver may face significant jail time. For the victim of a John Doe accident in Virginia, compensation can be obtained through the victim's own automobile policy and policies insuring relatives in the victim's household. In many, cases the victim can recover both compensatory damages and punitive damages. If you are the victim of a hit and run accident, there are legal deadlines that could cause you to lose your legal rights if you do not act quickly.
If you have been injured in an automobile accident and are seeking aggressive representation, please contact the Silverman Law Firm LC for a free consultation. As a experienced auto accident attorney in Richmond, Virginia, Josh Silverman will conduct a thorough investigation to identify all liable parties and their insurance companies and pursue legal action to hold them fully accountable.
Common Automobile and Tractor Trailer Accident Injuries
Automobile and trucking accident injuries can range from minor scrapes to catastrophic injuries and even death. Victims may suffer from broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, scars and disfigurement, severe burns, and other physical limitations, which may cause long-term medical complications or permanent disability.
Determining Fault in an Auto Accident Case
If a driver fails to exercise reasonable care and caution on the road and causes an accident that injures you, then he or she can be found at fault, and therefore liable for your injuries. Our law firm draws upon resources such as police reports, witness statements, local traffic laws, and accident reconstruction to determine who is to blame for the collision.
For accidents involving trucks, the commercial trucking company may also be held responsible. It is critical for your attorney to be knowledge about the trucking safety regulations, including maximum allowable time to drive between rests, safety equipment, and load securing.
With over 18 years of experience in handling automobile accident claims, Josh Silverman will conduct a thorough investigation to determine fault in your automobile collision case, build a strong case against the person who caused the crash, and help you recover financial damages.
Am I Eligible for Compensation?
If you suffer injuries because of a negligent driver, you may be able to receive financial compensation for loss of income, medical expenses, hospital bills, pain and suffering, disfigurement, and mental anguish. Under Virginia law, you may recover for your medical expenses even if they were paid by your health insurer. You may also be entitled to recover if you were a passenger in a vehicle driven by a family member, even if the family member was at fault.
In cases of extreme negligence or wrongdoing, you may be able to recover punitive damages. By statute, drunk drivers and/or their insurers may be required to pay up to $350,000 in punitive damages as added punishment when their blood alcohol level is above 0.15 or their conduct is particularly egregious. Va. Code Ann. § 8.01-44.5.
Contact A Virginia Auto Accident Attorney
If you have suffered a serious injury in an auto, bicycle or tractor trailer collision and are seeking an experienced auto accident attorney in the Richmond, Tidewater, or the northern Virginia areas, please contact the Silverman Law Firm LC for a free consultation. Take your first step toward protecting your legal rights and pursuing a successful verdict or settlement with the help of Joshua Silverman.
What happens during my first meeting with Silverman Law Firm?
All initial consultations at Silverman Law Firm LC are free. Prior to the meeting you will speak with Mr. Silverman or his paralegal so we are prepared for the meeting. Most initial meetings last between 1-2 hours, but we take as much time as you need to answer your questions.
The starting point is to learn about what happened in the accident. We will also need to know about your health before the accident and any medical treatment you have had after the accident.
We always want to contact witnesses as soon as possible before memories fade. If there were witnesses to the accident, please provide us with their contact information.
You should also bring any insurance information. As part of an initial consultation, we will review the insurance coverage and all available benefits to you. In many cases, you are entitled to health insurance benefits, medical payments benefits, third party liability benefits, and underinsured motorist benefits. You may also be entitled to insurance coverage if other relatives in your household have a separate automobile policy. Filing a claim on your automobile policy should not raise your premiums!
We will then discuss your legal rights and how we will go about protecting them.