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307 West Rio Road | Charlottesville, Virginia 22901
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Car Accident Case

Car Accident Lawyers in Charlottesville, VA

Gain insight into the value of your case – The consult is free, the advice is significant.

Our personal injury partner, Yvonne Griffin, offers unique insights into estimating the value range of your auto accident case, including your “pain and suffering.”  Her judgement and intuition are based on representing well over a thousand car accident clients. In addition to Yvonne’s own experience, she has a powerhouse of cross-practice legal expertise available to assist in your consultation, such as workers’ compensation, social security disability or property law attorneys.

Yvonne will look at your case from all angles; all of her attention and expertise will be focused on your unique injury situation, no interruptions, no rush.  She’ll help you analyze your case, and provide options going forward.

Yvonne’s consultations are free, the information she provides is exceptional.  Request a meeting today.

Personal Injury Attorney

Yvonne T. Griffin

Personal Injury Attorney

Matthew B. Westmoreland

 

 

 

 

 

Yvonne T. Griffin – Personal Injury Partner (College of William and Mary Law School)

Matthew B. Westmoreland – Personal Injury Attorney (Liberty University School of Law)

Carolin McDonald – Personal Injury Paralegal

Rachael Roy – Personal Injury Legal Assistant

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Our approach to representing clients:

“My team and I truly value our clients. We fight with everything we’ve go to help them recover the full value of their cases. We fight to recover all available med pay, reduce their medical liens, and maximize their settlement offers; and when the insurance companies won’t offer a fair settlement, we take them to court and let the jury decide. Our clients deserve to be made whole.” — Yvonne Griffin


Client Testimonials:

“Yvonne Griffin is an extremely smart lawyer. Her years of experience were on prime display as she worked through every difficult problem with my case. I couldn’t have asked for a better lawyer.”

“Thank you for taking my ‘small’ case. I know you all worked hard to help me and I’m very grateful for all you did for me.”

“I highly recommend Yvonne Griffin and her staff.  Not only did they get me a great settlement, they also got my medical liens reduced, which meant more money for my family.”

“Yvonne Griffin represented me in a car accident that required many months of hands on attention. She was a compassionate person always taking into consideration my limited ability from my brain injury, but not making me feel inferior. I highly recommend Yvonne. She is a true professional.”

“Yvonne Griffin is a fearless trial attorney with significant court room experience.”

Contact us today for a FREE 90-Minute Office Consultation.  It’s the first step to putting your life back together.

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Samples of Yvonne Griffin’s auto accident jury verdicts and settlement results:

[The results obtained under one set of circumstances cannot be a predictor of future results.]

  • Charlottesville, VA Car Accident resulting with Brain Injury – $3,000,000
  • Car Accident resulting with Brain & Neck Injury – $740,000
  • Charlottesville, VA T-Bone Car Accident – $300,000
  • Palmyra, VA Drunk Driver Truck Accident – $150,000

Protecting Your Rights:

Whatever the severity of your injuries, you need to begin protecting your rights immediately. After a wreck, an insurance adjuster will contact you asking you to give statements, sign releases or settle your case.

REMEMBER, the adjuster works for the insurance company – not you. The adjuster looks out for the insurance company’s best interests – not yours. You should always speak with a personal injury attorney before you talk with someone from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Yvonne Griffin will put your needs first – not the insurance company’s.


Estimating the Value of “Pain and Suffering”:

Some damages that result from car accidents are easily quantified. They are called economic or “special” damages. These can be proven with hospital bills for medical treatments; auto-body shop bills for towing and repairs; and, when you are unable to work, statements from employers, W-2s, or tax returns. Although quantifying special damages may be simple, measuring pain and suffering is far more challenging.

Pain and Suffering.

“Pain and Suffering” costs are included in the category of non economic or “general” damages. Back in the early 2000s, many insurance companies multiplied medical bills by 3 to come up with a value in soft tissue cases (muscle strains and whiplash.) In the past decade, most insurance companies in Virginia have moved away from that system.  In Virginia these days, insurance companies typically are using one or more of several methods:

  1. Many insurance companies plug information into a computer, including the type of accident, the amount of medical bills, the type of treatments received, and other information. The computer compares the information to past case settlements, jury verdicts in similar cases, cases with similar injuries, etc., and spits out a value range for the case.
  2. Other insurance companies “round table” their cases to come up with a value range. Round tabling involves discussion of the case among several adjusters and supervisors. They use their past experience in paying cases to discuss the pros and cons of each case and come up with a value range.
  3. A few insurance companies in Virginia still use the old 3X rule; however, typically few policies in Virginia are written by these types of companies.

Simply Multiplying by a Number could be a Big Mistake.

Some people underestimate the value of their own pain, missing out on a considerable amount of deserved compensation. Other people may overestimate the value of their pain and suffering, only to have an adjuster refuse to negotiate with them because the injured person’s valuation is unrealistic.

Personal Injury attorneys, i.e., lawyers who do only personal injury cases, typically have a large amount of experience, training, and education that they use to evaluate the value range of a case. PI attorneys look at the evidence of your case, your medical treatment and bills; how your injuries have impacted, and possibly will continue to impact, your health; how your injuries have impacted your ability to do your job and other necessary activities; how your injuries have impacted your enjoyment of hobbies and recreational activities; inconvenience, mental anguish, and other problems caused by your injuries.  They apply their experience, training, and education to these and other factors to come up with an opinion as to the value range of your case.

Unless you have served on a jury deciding a personal injury case, knowing how jurors come up with a case’s value is a mystery. Most juries probably start with medical bills and then add value for each proven portion of pain, suffering and lost wages. Two different juries hearing the same case will, more likely than not, come up with different values for the case. For example, say a case is tried and the jury gives a verdict of $1,000,000. After the defense is granted a new case on appeal, the same witnesses, the same testimony, the same physical evidence, the same lawyers, and the same arguments go before a new jury. The new jury gives a defense verdict of $0. This scenario, with different numbers, has happened, probably may times, in Virginia.

We Can Help.

My team and I can review the details of your case and calculate a value range to fit the pain and suffering your injuries have caused. Using experience, education, training, the law, the evidence, and our willingness to fight for our clients, we obtain the most money that we can for our clients.

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Ten frequently asked questions about VA car accident cases:

1. What should I do if I am injured in a car accident?

  • Do not start on your own and make mistakes that cannot be undone. A few minutes on the telephone or in the office with an attorney may save you much time and money down the road.

2. Do you have any immediate tips when involved in a vehicle wreck?

  • Get the names and telephone numbers of any potential witnesses.
  • Take pictures of bruises, cuts and other injuries.
  • Do not give a recorded statement to the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
  • Do not sign consent forms for the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
  • Remember, the insurance adjuster is on the at-fault driver’s side – not yours.
  • Be sure all your healthcare providers are billing your health insurance.
  • Call your own auto insurance carrier and ask if you have “med pay” coverage.
  • Do not tell anyone you are “fine” or “good” if you are not.
  • Talk about your case with an attorney.

3. How long do I have to file an auto accident lawsuit?

  • Generally speaking, the statute of limitations in Virginia for personal injury from an automobile accident is two years from the date of the accident. For injured persons under the age of 18, the statute of limitations is generally two years from the date of their 18th birthday.
  • Certain conditions or events may change the length of the statute of limitations, so you should contact an attorney about your particular case.

4. Is it true I can get paid twice for my medical bills and keep the difference?

  • Maybe, sometimes more (generally speaking under Virginia law.) The answer to this question depends on the type of health insurance you have. Virginia law states that you do not have to pay back health insurance, sold to you in Virginia, out of personal injury proceeds UNLESS your health insurance is taxpayer funded, such as Medicaid. Virginia also requires you to pay back Workers’ Comp if you have a third-party recovery. Federal law also requires you to pay back taxpayer funded health insurance such as Medicare and federal employees’ insurance.  Federal law also requires that you pay back health coverage that qualifies as an ERISA plan.
  • If you have a regular plan of health insurance that you or your employer has purchased, FIRST, your health insurance should pay your medical bills. SECOND, the at-fault driver will then have to pay you 100% of your medical bills related to the crash. Your medical bills may be paid to you a THIRD time if you have medical benefits on your car insurance policy. (This is considered a no-fault coverage, so using it should not raise your insurance rates.) A FOURTH time may be possible if you have additional accident or injury coverage such as AFLAC.  You need to check the policies to see what they cover.
  • This is not a complete answer.  Each case is different and the answers may vary. We can check your insurance coverage and explain in more detail.

5. What is the person who hit me responsible for paying?

  • Medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering must be paid by the at-fault driver. Medical bills are paid if they are considered reasonable and necessary. Lost wages are paid if you have a medical excuse for missing work that is reasonable and necessary. Pain is different from suffering. Pain is the “ouch”, whereas suffering involves worry, inconvenience, inability to do things you need to do, inability to do things you like to do, scarring or other deformities caused by the wreck, etc.

6. How can I hire the best personal injury attorney to handle my case?

  • Look for a specialist. An attorney who only handles personal injury cases will generally be more informed and have more experience in personal injury law than an attorney who only does a few cases per year. The lawyer who did a great job representing you for a traffic ticket might not be the best lawyer to represent you in a personal injury case. Likewise, a lawyer that your family has used for years for all types of issues might not be the best lawyer for a personal injury case.
  • Shop around. Always be a smart shopper for legal services. That means shop around – don’t hire a lawyer just because he is the only one you have talked to. Hiring an attorney is like buying a tomato. You have to feel around until you get the one that feels right. Your personal injury case will be a long process.
  • You want an attorney who knows what she is doing but also who answers your questions, doesn’t talk down to you, and treats you like more than “just another case.” You wouldn’t buy the first car you came across; you’d shop around. Do the same thing with attorneys. Finding the right lawyer is equally important as finding an experienced lawyer.
  • Meet with the lawyer. If your initial visit at a firm has you meeting with a staff person rather than the lawyer, more likely than not that lawyer will not be dealing directly with you throughout our case.
  • Ask the lawyer questions. This is your case. Do not feel like you cannot ask questions. If the lawyer does not want to answer your questions in a consultation, this is a good indicator that the lawyer will not be open to your questions after you have hired him.

7. Any final thoughts on choosing a personal injury lawyer?

  • You must trust your attorney and have confidence in your attorney. Your attorney must be accessible. We will give you our attorney’s personal, direct telephone number so you can speak with her whenever you have need. We understand that your case is very important to you, and will always treat you with the utmost respect.
  • Yvonne Griffin has been practicing since 1988, but she has done nothing but injury law since 1996. She chose to limit her practice this way so that she could do her best job on one type of case, rather than doing only a good job on lots of different type of cases.
  • You don’t get in accidents every day, so you don’t know what is expected. She handles accident cases all day, every day. Yvonne Griffin wants to help you to a successful conclusion of your case.

8. If I’m not satisfied with my current lawyer, can I go speak about my case with anther lawyer?

  • Yes, you may seek a second opinion with another attorney at any time. If you find you’re often doubting your lawyer’s advice, you may want to hire another lawyer whose advice you trust.

9. What type of compensation is usually available in an automobile accident lawsuit?

  • Money damages typically available include property damages (such as vehicle repair or replacement), medical expenses (including past and future medical care), lost wages (past and present) and punitive damages (where the case involves reckless conduct.)

10. What is your fee structure for personal injury cases?

  • We handle automobile accident cases on a contingency fee basis. We do not get paid a legal fee until you receive a settlement or jury verdict award.

Your Next Step:

Contact us today for a FREE 90-Minute Office Consultation – We’re ready to help.

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We have four offices conveniently located in Charlottesville, Palmyra (Across from Food Lion), Harrisonburg,  and Staunton, Virginia.

Let’s Stand Up and Fight Together!

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Testimonials
  • ""Bill Tucker and his team were the answer to my real estate prayers! After being transferred to another state .."" - Short Sales

  • ""Yvonne Griffin represented me in an accident case that required many months of hands on attention .."" - Personal Injury

  • ""Ms. Barnes, I cannot thank you and your staff enough for taking my case at was a very dark time for me .."" - Social Security Disability

  • ""Lynn Bradley has been a force that has proven to be competent, professional and exceled at her work .."" - Worker's Compensation

  • ""Ms. Hakes, Thank you so much. You don't know what a wonderful gift you just gave to me, my son's .."" - Criminal Defense

  • ""When you first interview Laura Butler, it is apparent you are in the presence of a true professional in all .."" - Family Law

  • ""Mr. Tucker, I cannot thank you enough for all your work. I wish everyone had your work ethic and attention .."" - Real Estate

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