Richmond has a storied history that extends back to the colonial days. Settled on the banks of the James River, the state capital of Virginia has always been a center of commerce. Of course, increased commerce means increased traffic. Today, several major highways go through or around the city, including I-64, I-95, and I-295.
With all of that traffic, there are bound to be some car crashes, and some areas tend to be more dangerous than others.
While some car accidents are a product of bad luck, most happen as a result of human error. It only takes a moment of glancing at a smartphone for a driver to create a hazardous situation. When you are the victim of a car accident caused by the negligence of another motorist, you need an auto accident attorney who can seek the compensation you need to recover from your injuries.
At Emroch & Kilduff, we know the devastation that auto accidents can cause. Our legal team has helped victims who have been injured in auto accidents hold negligent parties liable and recover compensation for their losses since we opened our doors in 1972.
If a car accident in the Richmond area has left you badly injured or mourning the loss of a loved one, you are probably uncertain about your next steps. You may be wondering how you will afford the financial losses caused by your injuries. Contact us today or call us at (804) 358-1568 to request a free consultation. Our experienced team of Richmond car accident lawyers will discuss how we may help you receive the compensation you deserve.
Emroch & Kilduff: Your Car Accident Lawyers
Emroch & Kilduff concentrates its practice exclusively on representing the interests of individuals injured because of someone else’s negligence. Insurance companies have strong legal teams. We think that accident victims should have legal advocates who can mount an effective case on their behalf as well. We have the experience and resources to represent clients in the most complicated car accident cases against powerful and well-funded insurance companies.
Our mission is to recover compensation for our clients to help them rebuild their lives after the devastation of a serious injury. We have recovered millions of dollars for our clients in court and at the negotiating table. If we agree to take your case, we can promise to do our jobs with an unmatched passion for justice and a singular determination to achieve the best possible outcome.
A Track Record of Legal Success
One of the advantages of working with Emroch & Kilduff is that our reputation precedes us in the courtroom. With our history of winning cases and forcing defendants to pay appropriate compensation, insurance companies will think twice before taking us on in a trial. In fact, we resolved some of our most successful cases with no time or a minimum of time in court.
Keep in mind that every case is different, and the results in these examples are not a guarantee of the compensation you may receive:
How Our Richmond Car Accident Lawyers Can Help You
At Emroch & Kilduff, we understand that the legal process is part of your path to recovery. When you come to us, the first step is telling your story. The ability to talk to someone about the incident who is on your side can provide some healing in itself.
There is more to an accident than impact angles and velocities. We want to know how the incident has affected you and your family. By having full knowledge of the challenges of your recovery, we can do a better job assessing the appropriate damage amount to fight for.
We are passionate about helping our clients recover compensation for the full cost of their injuries. We understand that to do so, we must prove that the accident and injuries would not have occurred if it were not for the negligence of the other driver.
The four aspects of negligence that we must prove are:
The liable party owed you a duty of care: Drivers have a duty to be reasonably careful while on the road to avoid causing injury to others. Likewise, manufacturers have a duty of care in producing safe vehicles.
They breached the duty of care: If people were driving recklessly, driving while tired or intoxicated, or driving while distracted, they have breached that duty of care. Manufacturers may have been careless in producing brakes or tires, and a company may breach its duty of care by failing to train its drivers or properly maintain its vehicles.
You suffered losses: Your losses might include medical costs, lost wages, loss of quality of life, and pain and suffering.
The accident caused your losses: We must prove that your injuries were a result of the other party’s actions and not caused by something else.
Some of the ways that we can help prove the other party’s negligence include:
Investigating your accident to see exactly what happened
Hiring accident reconstruction experts and forensic specialists to support your case
Meeting with medical experts who can speak to the extent of your injuries
Interviewing eyewitnesses and gathering witness statements
Collecting police reports, medical records, and any other relevant documentation
Ensuring that all evidence, from video footage of the accident to electronic control module data, is collected and analyzed
Determining the value of your damages with the help of psychological and financial experts
Reviewing and advising on settlement offers, including rejecting offers that do not fully or fairly compensate you for damages
Negotiating with insurance adjusters
Going to court to litigate your case if an out-of-court settlement is not an option
Our attorneys are always available to answer questions and provide consultation.
Risks of Car Accidents in Richmond
Every city is full of vehicles, cyclists, and pedestrians, meaning that car accidents are a regular occurance. Richmond is no different. These are common risks that might lead to crashes in the area.
Like any city, Richmond has its fair share of traffic, especially during rush hour times or larger events. With traffic comes many hazards, including aggressive driving or distracted driving. Even crashes in slow-moving traffic can cause surprisingly serious injuries and losses.
The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) always has many road construction projects going that keep our roads maintained and improved. However, road work zones come with inherent risks, and many accidents happen in construction areas. These accidents might happen due to dangerous drivers or mistakes made by road crews.
Nightlife and Entertainment Districts
Richmond has its fair share of nightlife for all interests, including bars and restaurants, theaters, parks, concert spaces, and much more. When people gather in these areas to enjoy themselves, they often indulge in some alcoholic beverages, which can cause impairment. While many people in Richmond use rideshare services, you can expect that some people will decide to drive after having too much to drink, and this can be a particular risk in certain areas of town, especially during the weekends or holidays.
Richmond is home to several different colleges and universities, including:
University of Richmond
Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU)
Bryant & Stratton College
Virginia Union University
Virginia State University
You can expect the areas in and around each campus to have many younger drivers, including drivers who might be impaired or making other dangerous decisions.
Who Is Liable for Your Richmond Car Accident and Injuries?
No matter where you are in Richmond or what causes your accident, you should always learn about how—and from whom—you might recover financially for your injuries and losses.
To receive compensation for your car crash-related injuries, medical bills, and other losses, you must determine who should be legally liable for causing the accident. Sometimes, it is simply the driver who crashed into your vehicle, but an injury case can also involve multiple parties and complex legal determinations.
Liable parties might be individuals, businesses, or both, depending on what happened to cause your accident.
Some parties that might face car accident claims include:
Drivers - If a driver violated their duty to drive safely and crashed into your car as a result, that driver should be responsible for your losses. Sometimes, multiple-car pile-ups can involve several different negligent drivers, and it’s important to identify which ones contributed to your injuries.
Employers of drivers - Many drivers cause accidents while they are on the job, and when this happens, the driver’s employer can often be liable for the resulting harm as well. This is important because corporations generally have larger insurance policies that cover greater losses.
Companies - Auto manufacturers, construction companies, and other corporations might be negligent and cause a crash. This might be due to selling defective vehicles, allowing road hazards, failing to supervise drivers or maintain vehicles, and more.
Sometimes, it requires a combination of insurance claims to ensure you receive full compensation for your losses. An experienced attorney can identify all liable parties and help you pursue the compensation you need and deserve.
Can You Afford a Richmond Car Accident Attorney?
As you receive medical treatment for your injuries, you might be watching the medical expenses pile up, and you might also be losing earnings if you cannot return to work right away. This financial stress likely has you wondering how you can get compensation for your losses as soon as possible. You might know that you should seek help from a Richmond car accident attorney, but the thought of how much a lawyer might charge is only adding more stress.
The good news is that every injury victim can afford to hire one of Emroch & Kilduff’s car accident lawyers. We do not charge costly hourly fees or hefty retainers like some other attorneys. Instead, our law firm accepts car accident cases solely on a contingency fee basis.
A contingency fee means:
Consultations and case evaluations are completely free
Should you decide to allow our law firm to take on your case, you owe nothing upfront
Our firm fronts charges for court costs and the other costs of your case
If we successfully win compensation for you, our fee will come directly from your settlement or award
If we do not obtain compensation for you, you owe us nothing
This arrangement means that no one has to worry about coming up with funds from their own pockets to hire a car accident attorney. You have enough to worry about, and we are here to relieve your stress, not cause more financial concern.
When Is it Time to Call Our Richmond Car Accident Lawyers?
It is common to go back and forth regarding whether to call an attorney and when you need to do so. If you are dealing with medical appointments, pain from your injuries, impairments from your injuries, and other disruptions to your life, the last thing you need is something else on your plate.
That said, it is important to contact a Richmond car accident attorney sooner rather than later. In Virginia, you only have two years from the date of your accident and injury to file a lawsuit if needed in your case.
Two years seems like plenty of time, but consider:
Witness memories can fade over time
Physical evidence, including video footage, can disappear
People will get their vehicles repaired, and it can be more challenging to prove liability for the crash
The longer you wait to involve an attorney, the more difficult it might be to build a persuasive case. If liability is in question, or you think it might be, you should consult with a car accident lawyer as soon as you possibly can. Once your injuries stabilize, it’s time to call our office to learn about your rights and options.
The Most Common Car Accident Injuries
There were 32 crashes at the intersection of the 360 and Commonwealth Center Parkway in a recent year, as reported by VDOT. These car accidents often leave devastating injuries and fatalities in their wake. Injuries may vary widely in type and severity depending on the specific circumstances of the accident. Such factors include the cause of the accident, the speed of the vehicles, and how many vehicles were involved.
While nearly many injuries can occur in the violent impact of a car accident, we often pursue cases that include:
Concussions and traumatic brain injuries: Recovering from a head injury can be a long process, and some people will never fully recover. The cost of treating a TBI ranges from $85,000 to $3 million.
Psychological trauma: For some people, a major accident leads to increased psychological stress. The cost of treating PTSD varies by the number of sessions necessary. The average cost is around $8,000. If this is combined with a TBI, the healing process will take longer.
Spinal cord damage: This type of injury can result in partial or full paralysis. It will take years to recover, and the medical costs do not include the lost income from being out of work.
Broken bones and dislocations: A single broken bone costs around $2,500 to treat in the emergency room. A serious car accident can result in multiple fractures.
Burn injuries: A severe burn requires a long hospital stay and may warrant multiple reconstructive surgeries. On the low end, this kind of treatment may cost up to $200,000.
Internal bleeding from organ injuries: In a car accident, broken ribs can damage your internal organs. Emergency surgery has a much higher price tag than an elective procedure.
Neck injuries such as whiplash: The cost of treating whiplash depends on the severity of the incident. The total cost ranges from $10,000 to $30,000. Whiplash victims often must deal with chronic pain.
Back injuries: These injuries include herniated discs and cracked vertebrae. The cost of surgery to repair a herniated disc is around $13,000. This does not include the cost of physical therapy that will follow or lost wages.
Comas, permanent vegetative states, and death: There is no way to put a price on the life of someone you love. The court considers factors such as the potential income the person could have earned and final expenses when it awards damages.
After all those expenses that a lawyer can help you will it makes it obvious to contact a lawyer with your claim but if you still would like to know how much a lawyer costs then asking your attorney during the evaluation can help give you an idea. These are just a few examples of the injuries our past clients have suffered. We have the experience and know-how to handle any type of injury and, of course, to provide skilled, compassionate legal counsel to families who have lost a loved one to a car accident.
Who Caused Your Richmond Car Accident?
Richmond is the capital of an at-fault state, often referred to as a tort liability state. This means that if you are hit by another driver and the accident would not have occurred if it weren’t for that driver’s actions, you can file a claim with his or her insurance carrier to seek compensation for damages.
Many auto accidents occur because people were speeding, driving under the influence of controlled substances, driving while distracted, or breaking some other traffic law. Yet, situations occur where a third party might be liable for an auto accident. For example, if a construction company fails to properly mark a work zone, it could lead to an accident caused by an unexpected hazard.
Before seeking compensation for injuries and losses sustained in a Richmond car accident, you must first figure out who might bear a legal liability.
Every car accident is unique, of course, but at Emroch & Kilduff we frequently take legal action on behalf of our car accident clients against:
Drivers: In any car accident case, we typically investigate whether the conduct of the driver behind the wheel of one or more of the cars involved in the accident played a role. Frequently, we find that drivers acted negligently or recklessly, which can lead to personal liability.
Employers: When a car accident involves a commercial or institutional vehicle such as a delivery van or a municipal bus, the driver’s employer may bear legal liability. It is the employer’s responsibility to train and adequately supervise the driver. A business that poorly maintains company vehicles might be liable if a breakdown or maintenance issue, such as a brake system failure or a tire blowout, causes an auto accident.
Vehicle manufacturers, wholesalers, or retailers: When an accident occurs while a driver’s conduct seems normal and reasonable, we may investigate whether a defect in the vehicle led to the crash. A defective component of a car such as faulty tires or poorly designed brake pads can cause a driver to lose control and may result in liability on the part of the manufacturer.
Governmental entities: Local and state governments build and maintain most of the roads. Sometimes, those entities fail to design safe roads, fail to remove safety hazards such as tree limbs or visual obstructions from the roadside or fail to repair road surfaces that make them dangerous. In these circumstances, the entities may bear legal liability.
The team at Emroch & Kilduff will conduct detailed investigations of the causes of a crash with the aid of accident reconstruction experts. We have a network of professionals whom we can call on to analyze the incident with sophisticated technology. When we take legal action on behalf of a client, we know we have identified every potential source of liability and recovery.
Common Violations That Lead to Accidents
Most car accidents are preventable and occur when one or more drivers fail to act with a reasonable amount of care.
The following include some of the major negligence-related causes of auto accidents, according to VDOT:
Speeding: Speed-related car crashes in the Commonwealth increase by a slight margin each year. Recent annual crash data shows that almost 25,000 accidents occurred from speeding, which resulted in over 13,000 injuries and 349 fatalities. This accounts for about 20 percent of traffic crashes and 40 percent of all traffic fatalities. More than 85 percent of speed-related auto accidents occur on the interstates, indicating how important it is for drivers to slow down.
Following too closely: Following another vehicle too closely is often related to speeding. In fact, one in four speed-related accidents in the state occurs because a driver was tailgating the car in front of them.
Driving too fast for conditions: People may be driving too fast even if they are traveling under or at the posted speed limit. Heavy traffic, wet roads, slippery roads, and other road hazards require drivers to slow down to avoid traffic accidents. Among all speeding-related accidents in the state, approximately 15 percent, or almost 4,000 auto accidents according to VDOT’s most recent annual data, occurred because the motorist was driving too fast for conditions.
Distracted driving: Driving while distracted has long been a major cause of automobile accidents across the nation, but the problem continues to increase. Many people think that using a cellphone or texting is the number one cause of distracted driving accidents, but VDOT reports cell phone usage and texting as the number three cause of distracted driving accidents in the state. The number one cause is actually people taking their eyes off the road, whether to adjust their GPS, reach for something, eat, or engage in a host of other activities. Watching a roadside incident or accident is the number two distraction for drivers. According to the most recent annual data, distracted driving led to almost 23,000 crashes, 8,000 injuries, and 113 fatalities. This represents 18 percent of the total traffic crashes in the Commonwealth.
Driving under the influence: Data that indicates the extent to which drugs cause car accidents in the Richmond area are not available, but impaired driving remains a leading cause of accidents. Alcohol-related accidents accounted for more than 7,000 car crashes on state roads in a recent year, resulting in more than 4,400 injuries and 248 fatalities. VDOT reports that 240 of those accidents occurred inside Richmond’s city limits, resulting in 144 injuries and four deaths.
Other violations: A wide variety of other traffic law violations also result in accidents. These might include reckless or careless driving, improper lane changes, failing to yield, and failing to follow traffic control signs and signals, as well as violating other posted traffic laws.
Car Accident Damages
Under state law, auto accident victims might be eligible to recover damages for losses incurred due to their injury.
When people die or suffer serious injuries in car accidents that weren’t their fault, they or their survivors may recover:
Costs of medical services: This includes ambulance and emergency services, hospital stays, doctor visits, X-rays, surgery, prescription medication, and long-term treatments.
Future medical costs: Car accident injuries that result in long-term disabilities or chronic conditions will have medical bills that extend beyond the time of the trial. The court will estimate the cost based on past cases.
Rehabilitation and recovery costs: Recovering from an injury takes a great deal of help. The cost of regular physical and occupational therapy appointments will add up quickly. These costs also include assistive devices such as canes, walkers, wheelchairs, and prosthetic limbs.
Financial compensation for pain and suffering: A serious accident can result in chronic pain, amputations, scarring, and other forms of disfigurement. Accident victims deserve to be compensated for the loss of quality of life.
Lost wages: After a serious injury, many people have to stay home from work to recover for an extended period of time. In some cases, a victim needs to stop working altogether.
Reduction in future earning capacity: If an accident leaves the victim disabled, otherwise incapacitated and unable to return to work, or forces a career change, the victim should be compensated for the lost income.
Wrongful death: The loss of a loved one is devastating. The loss of companionship and financial support from the victim can leave many families in a difficult situation. The family must also deal with unexpected funeral and burial expenses as well as the financial obligations of their loved one.
In rare cases, car accident victims may also have the right to recover as much as $300,000 in punitive damages under state law.
Car Accident Statistics in Richmond
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, car accidents are one of the primary causes of unintentional injury and death in the United States each year. Data from the Department of Motor Vehicles indicates the consistent dangers of driving on state roads. In a recent year, over 128,000 traffic crashes injured almost 66,000 residents and visitors of the Commonwealth with 871 fatalities.
The Department of Transportation says that Richmond experienced more than 6,000 car crashes in a recent year, more than half of which resulted in injury. Sadly, the city experienced 16 traffic fatalities in the same year.
Not only do auto accidents result in serious injuries for thousands of people, but also they cost millions in lost productivity and medical expenses. Even more shocking might be the fact that most motor vehicle accidents are avoidable, caused by negligence and poor driving choices.
Defense Strategies to Shift Blame and Avoid Damages
While at-fault drivers are responsible for paying for damage that they cause, insurance companies are not always eager to pay out claims.
To avoid paying your valid claim, an insurance company may:
Dispute the fault of its driver: Insurance companies may allege that you caused the accident instead.
Dispute the amount of the damages: Companies may claim that the property damage or medical bills you have incurred are worth less than the amount you ask for.
Dispute your injury: Companies may allege that your injuries were pre-existing or caused in a separate incident.
Dispute your non-economic damages: Insurance companies may allege that the value of your pain and suffering is lower than you claim.
The law gives you the right to seek compensation for the full value of economic and non-economic losses related to your car accident injuries. If the insurance company involved in your claim disputes fault or the severity of your injuries, you need an experienced attorney on your side who can represent you and maximize your chances of receiving compensation for the full cost of your injuries.
Four Steps You Should Take After a Richmond Car Accident
Whether you have just been in an accident or it has been a few days or weeks since your accident, there are certain actions that you should take to help support your insurance claim and subsequent lawsuit.
Your Richmond car accident attorney will provide you with more specific instructions, but here are four tips regarding immediate steps to take following an auto accident:
Seek medical attention: Some injuries, especially soft tissue injuries like whiplash and brain injuries, take hours, days, or even weeks before symptoms begin to develop. Even if you walked away from your auto accident without needing a ride to the local emergency room, you need to get checked out by a doctor. As previously mentioned, insurance companies might dispute your injuries or attempt to prove that the accident did not cause them. If you visit a doctor, your first priority should be receiving appropriate care, but you also should gather documentation for filing an insurance claim. Your lawyer can also use this information during settlement negotiations and litigation.
Gather evidence: You should call the police immediately following an accident to file a report. Don’t rely on others to call emergency personnel. Make sure to get a copy of the police report. It will have most of the information that you and your attorney will need. However, it is in your best interest to gather additional information if you are physically able. If nothing else, the information that you gather should match the report. Ask other parties for their names, addresses, and insurance information. Take pictures or videos of license plates, the scene of the accident, and any visible property damage. If you have visible bruises, cuts, or other injuries, you should take photos of these as well.
Don’t talk about your case: Friends and family will understandably be concerned about your well-being, and if you sustain a serious injury in an auto accident, they will likely want to know the details of the accident. It is in your best interest to avoid talking about your case with anyone but an experienced auto accident attorney. The defense and insurance company will investigate the accident, searching for ways to avoid liability. You don’t want to provide them with an opportunity to use your words against you or to shift any portion of fault for the accident to you. Posting pictures and comments on social media might also put your case at risk, so you should refrain from sharing any details on social media.
Don’t agree to a settlement on your own: One of the ways that insurance companies try to minimize their costs is by offering a low settlement amount. They know that accident victims are in a challenging place. When you are under stress, it is difficult to make wise decisions. You may see the initial amount as a lifeline. However, an experienced lawyer often has a better understanding of the long-term costs of your injuries. Be sure to share any correspondence from the insurance company with your lawyer.
Time Limits for Taking Legal Action For Your Richmond Auto Accident Injury
Notify your insurance company of your car accident as soon as possible. If you wait too long, your insurance company may deny your claim. There is also a two-year statute of limitations, which means that you must file any lawsuit within two years from the date of your accident. If you don’t file in time, you will be barred from receiving any compensation.
Why You Want Our Attorneys to Help After an Auto Accident in Richmond
Choosing not to work with an attorney following your accident puts you at risk of having your car accident claim denied. Without legal representation, the insurance company may offer you a settlement that does not fully compensate you for your injuries. Sustaining a severe injury in an auto accident adds additional stress to your life beyond just coping with the physical pain and length of the recovery process. Many auto accident victims must take time off from work to recover. They lose income while their medical expenses continue to pile up. Enlisting the services of an experienced attorney often results in an immediate increase in the insurance company’s settlement offer and can prove invaluable if your case goes to court.
Many of our cases are handled outside of the courtroom. Although insurance companies do not want to pay out claims if they do not have to, they also want to avoid the costs and bad publicity of a court case. A lengthy court case is an expensive proposition. The legal team that the insurance company employs does not come cheap. The company also has to deal with another financial risk. If a car accident case goes to trial, there is the possibility that the court will award the victim an even greater amount than a negotiated settlement.
In addition, insurance companies that make it hard to collect on claims will look untrustworthy. As the public becomes aware of the trial, the insurance company may lose clients as they look for another provider. By settling before a trial, the company can save time, money, and face.
When you work with the legal team at Emroch & Kilduff, we strive to get the best possible outcome for your individual situation. If a loved one died in a car crash, we also represent surviving family members who wish to file a wrongful death suit.
Emroch & Kilduff: Your Richmond Car Accident Attorneys
At Emroch & Kilduff, we know our clients’ finances often get tight after a car accident. We do not want to make that burden worse. We offer a free consultation for every potential new client with a member of our team. Do not let concerns about legal expenses stop you from speaking with one of the lawyers at Emroch & Kilduff. You do not need to pay to speak with us. We will recover attorney’s fees from any compensation that we secure for you. We make it our mission to work with clients to make sure we accommodate their financial needs.
We have more than 45 years of experience in litigating car accident cases. Our skilled Richmond auto accident lawyers truly care about the outcome of your case and want to help you. We understand the struggles that you and your family go through after a serious auto accident, and we want to help you through this difficult time in your life. We explore all sources of compensation that might help you recover damages after a car crash, negotiate fiercely with opposing parties, and have extensive courtroom experience when settlement is not an option.
If you have sustained an injury in an auto accident because of the negligence of another party or a loved one tragically died because of a Richmond-area car accident, you may have the right to recover significant compensation for damages related to your injuries. Our staff is ready to listen to your story and be your legal advocate as you pursue your case. Call Emroch & Kilduff’s Richmond office today at (804) 358-1568 or visit us to speak with one of our experienced car accident attorneys today regarding your case.
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If you have been injured because of someone else s negligence, contact one of our experienced personal injury lawyers for a free consultation. For your convenience, Emroch & Kilduff has two office locations in Virginia: Richmond and Tappahannock.