Frequently Asked Personal Injury Questions

How Do I Know if I Have a Case?

This answer depends on a variety of factors, but in summary, the injury-causing accident must be the result of the negligence of another person or company. According to the Virginia Contributory Negligence law, in most circumstances, if you are at all responsible for the accident or injury, you cannot recover compensation. However, you should not necessarily trust the opinion or advice of an insurance company or claims adjuster as to whether or not you are at fault or contributed to the accident. Contact an attorney who focuses on personal injury or wrongful death law to make this determination.

What Is My Case Worth?

Though very common, this is a difficult question to answer at the beginning of a case. Each case is different and involves multiple factors. In short, these types of cases are designed to compensate you for damages you have suffered. The amount of compensation depends on factors such as: severity of the injuries and whether they were permanent or disfiguring; the amount of time (and/or pay) lost from work; the amount of your past and future medical bills; whether or not surgery was required; and/or available insurance coverage. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you determine the specifics of your situation and estimate the potential of your case.

How Long Do I Have to Make a Claim?

The amount of time you have to make a claim from the date of the accident/injury depends on where the accident happened and the type of claim you are making. In Virginia, it is generally two years from the date of the injury. In the District of Columbia, it's usually three years from the date of injury. In Maryland, it's three years. However, there are exceptions, and you should contact an attorney who specializes in personal injury or wrongful death cases in order to determine how long you have to file a claim.

Do I Need a Lawyer?

If an insurance company is not treating you fairly, you should consult a lawyer. Statistics have shown that those who retain an attorney make a substantially larger recovery from insurance companies than those who do not. If you have questions about the specifics of your case, we encourage you to contact us for a no-cost, no obligation consultation. If we are unable to assist you with your case, we can likely refer you to an attorney who can.

Why Should I Choose the Halperin Law Center?

With a record of success at trial and in settlement negotiations, we specialize in serious personal injury cases. We are not one of the largest firms in Virginia, nor are we the oldest, but we have over 35 years of experience handling catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases, as well as staff who have worked for defense firms and insurance companies in the past. Further, because we are selective about the cases we take on, our clients have direct access to the attorney representing them.

We understand that you are not merely bringing us "a case." You are trusting us with an important, difficult part of your life at a time when you need help the most. We take that responsibility seriously, and we care about you as a person. Our commitment to you is reflected through our compassionate, zealous representation.

Additionally, Attorney Jonathan Halperin is a trial lawyer and is licensed to practice in Virginia, the District of Columbia, and Maryland. Though the firm is based in Glen Allen, Virginia, we have office locations in downtown Richmond, Virginia, as well as in the District of Columbia to meet with you. We will also come to you if your injuries prevent your ability to travel.

How Is the Halperin Law Center Different than Other Firms?

Unlike larger firms that handle a large volume and a variety of cases, we focus our practice on serious personal injury and wrongful death. It's all we do. Rather than take on hundreds or thousands of cases as some firms do, we take on very few, offering our clients personal time, attention, and dedication. You will never be just a "number" or "case" to us, and you will enjoy direct communication with the attorney. At some larger firms, clients often communicate only with the attorney's staff (paralegals, secretaries, etc.), sometimes receiving no information directly from their attorney. In contrast, Mr. Halperin provides open communication and compassionate representation, treating you as a person, not just a case.

What Experience Do You Have?

Over the past 24 years in practice, Attorney Halperin has recovered substantial verdicts and negotiated settlements, both in and out of the courtroom. Representing clients in all aspects of litigation, he has obtained successful case results for clients seeking product liability claims against product manufacturers. In addition, he has litigated cases that have resulted in appellate decisions that have set the legal standard for wrongful death, premises liability, police misconduct/high-speed pursuit and product liability claims.

What Does an "AV Rating" Mean?

Mr. Halperin's rating of "Preeminent" conveys his "adherence to professional standards of conduct and ethics, reliability, diligence and other criteria relevant to the discharge of professional responsibilities." Mr. Halperin's high Legal Ability rating (5 out of 5) reflects his "performance in five key areas: legal knowledge, analytical capabilities, judgment, communication ability and legal experience. Learn more information on these ratings.

What Types of Cases Do You Handle?

We concentrate solely on serious personal injury and wrongful death cases in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. Though our cases vary widely in detail, we represent clients seriously injured due to the negligence of another person or company. We also represent the families of people who have died as a result of the negligence of another.

Our practice areas within the fields of personal injury and wrongful death are extensive. You can review a list of our practice areas here.

In What States Do You Practice?

Mr. Halperin is licensed to practice in Virginia, the District of Columbia, and Maryland. Though we are based in Glen Allen, Virginia, we have satellite office locations in downtown Richmond, Virginia and the District of Columbia to meet with you. We will also come to you if your injuries hinder your ability to travel.

Do I Have to Pay for a Consultation?

No. Your initial consultation with an attorney, not a paralegal or intake specialist, will not cost you anything and carries no obligation.

Will I Have Access to My Attorney, or Just Their Staff?

Unlike some larger firms, if you are a client of the Halperin Law Center, your attorney will be directly available to you. Though experienced, compassionate staff will also be available to assist you, your attorney will keep you informed and engage personally in necessary communications with you.

What Is the Process Like?

Each case and client are different, so we address each one in a unique process tailored to achieve maximum results, but there is an overall process you can expect. First, you will consult with an experienced attorney. If you choose to work with us and your case fits our expertise, the attorney will send you a letter confirming we represent you. We will then request your medical records and bills, lost wage information, police reports, investigative or incident reports, photographs, etc. We will speak to witnesses and continue to collect medical records and bills until you have completed treatment and have been discharged from care by your doctors and other medical providers.

We will then speak with you to obtain information not contained in the records, such as details on how your injuries impacted your daily and family life. Once we have all information necessary, we will evaluate your case for settlement, and recommend to you a settlement value for your case. We will then compile all of the available information and documents and submit a thorough and detailed demand letter (with your records, bills, lost wage information and any other relevant documents or photographs) to the defendant's insurance company for evaluation (and mail a copy to you). We generally tell clients to expect to wait at least 30-45 days before we receive an offer on their case from the insurance company. It does not take that long for them to evaluate each case, but they place them in line for review based on the order in which they are received. It is possible that we may receive an offer in less than 30 days, but if a specific adjuster has a backlog, it could be 60 days or more.

Once the defendant's insurance company makes their initial offer, your attorney will call you to discuss it and how to move forward. He will negotiate back and forth to reach a settlement that is fair (compensating you fully). If a fair settlement cannot be reached, the attorney will prepare, file and serve a lawsuit on the defendant(s).

The litigation process begins with the filing of a "Complaint," which is the filing of a lawsuit in court. After the filing of the suit, both sides exchanging discovery requests, which are questions for you to answer regarding the accident, your health and your history, as well as requests for copies of documents. With your help, we will put together the answers and send them to defense counsel. Depositions of all parties, your doctors and any witnesses may also be scheduled before trial. A deposition is like an interview, where the attorneys ask the witness questions under oath and a court reporter is present to make a record of everything that is said. Depositions are used by both sides to gather information about what happened, who was hurt, how badly they were hurt, etc.

Regardless of the course of your particular case, the attorneys and staff of the Halperin Law Center will be with you through this difficult time. Let us focus on resolving your case while you focus on healing.

How Long Will my Case Take?

The length of each case varies depending on the nature of the injuries, type and facts of case, type of defendant, the particular court where the lawsuit is filed, and who the insurance carrier is. In short, it could be months or over a year, depending on the circumstances. Medical malpractice and product liability cases often take longer due to the amount of investigation involved and the need for expert witnesses.

Will I Have to File a Lawsuit and Sue Someone?

Again, because each case is different, it is generally not possible to decide at the beginning of the case whether or not a lawsuit will be necessary in your particular situation. It will depend on many factors, such as whether the defendant admits liability, and whether or not they question your injuries. Also, though you may have to file lawsuit, your case can still settle before trial. Though complicated, you will be led through the process by an experienced, caring attorney and staff.

Who Pays the Case Expenses?

While we are investigating, processing, and possibly litigating your case, the Halperin Law Center will advance all of the necessary case expenses. When your case settles or we reach a trial verdict in your favor, those necessary expenses will be deducted from your recovery. You will not have to pay case expenses up front.

How Do You Get Paid?

We accept cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning we are paid a percentage of the amount we recover for you, plus reimbursement of necessary expenses and costs. Of course, the initial consultation with your attorney is complimentary.

If you would like to ask us any other questions about your case, we encourage you to call our Richmond personal injury lawyers at (804) 220-0223 at any time.

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