Are you facing jail time or a loss of security clearance because of a criminal charge? Were you injured in an accident? Get the answers you need to protect your rights.
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How Should I Document the Injuries from my Virginia Car Accident?
As part of any Virginia car, motorcycle, or truck accident case, you must prove, among other things, that you sustained injuries. This proof often comes in the form of medical records and testimony from your doctors and medical providers. While your primary focus must be on getting better, there are some general guidelines you can follow that will help ensure that your injuries are accurately and fully documented so that they can later be substantiated.
Follow Your Doctor's Instructions
First, it is absolutely critical that you follow your doctor’s instructions and treatment recommendations. Do not stop seeing any of your doctors or following their instructions until they expressly advise you to do so and you are discharged from further treatment. This issue is addressed more thoroughly in a separate article on this site which you should read. Failure to follow your doctor's advice can harm you and your case.
Fully Report All of Your Pains, Symptoms, and Difficulties to Your Doctors
Second, always tell your doctor about all of your complaints, pains, symptoms, difficulties, etc. If you do not report your pain or other symptoms, they will not be recorded in your medical record. If they are not in your medical record the other side will later argue that they did not exist. Do not minimize your ailments to your doctors. Be honest, complete, and detailed in your report to your doctor. A doctor must know these things in order to properly treat you.
Keep Records & Record Details
Third, keep your own detailed and complete records of: (1) hospital, doctor, drug, and other medical bills, (2) lost time and wages, and (3) other losses directly resulting from your injury.
Fourth, if your injury requires a cast, a brace, traction, or other appliance, save it or take photographs of it.
Fifth, keep a notebook or diary of how you are affected on a daily basis as a result of your injuries. Record what you feel in terms of pain and how the injuries affect your everyday life. These small details are extremely important and you may not remember them a year later as accurately and completely as you experienced them if you do not write them down now.
Let a Fairfax Car Accident Lawyer Help You
Contact us today for a free case evaluation. To speak with a Virginia personal injury & car accident lawyer about your accident case in Fairfax County and Northern Virginia, contact Manikas Law calling 703-556-0004, or use the Contact Us box at the bottom of this page to tell us about your case.
Can I still hold the other driver responsible for my injuries even though they didn’t get charged with a traffic offense?
Yes, absolutely. Even if someone has not been charged by the police with committing a traffic offense or criminal offense (like drunk driving, speeding, or reckless driving) they can still be held liable for your injuries in Virginia.
Civil negligence law (which is how a car accident injury case is pursued on your behalf) and criminal/traffic law are two separate areas of law. A person can avoid being charged with a crime or traffic infraction (or end up being charged, but be found “not guilty” by a judge) and still be held liable in a civil negligence case. To prove a civil negligence claim 4 things must be proven by your Northern Virginia Car Accident Lawyer.
How a Virginia Car Accident Case is Proven
- The other driver owed you a duty of care – generally all drivers owe other drivers the duty to drive safely and obey traffic laws. However, the duty owed in any given case is the degree to which a reasonable person should have been watchful and cautions in the specific set of circumstances in your case.
- The driver breached this duty – by not driving as a reasonable person would have under the specific circumstances at issue.
- The breach of duty caused your injuries – the accident must be the direct cause of your injuries.
- You suffered damages – you must have suffered some level of damages as a result of the injuries.
Violation of a Virginia Traffic Law is Not Required, But Can Be Helpful
These 4 elements can be established even if the other driver did not get charged with violating the law. However, if the other driver did get charged and pleads “guilty” in traffic court, it can relieve you of having to prove certain aspects of your case.
Also, if the other driver violated a statute, ordinance, or regulation, even if he or she was not charged for it, it can constitute something called negligence per se. This legal principle applies if: (i) you are a member of a class of people the statute, ordinance, or administrative regulation is intended to protect and (ii) the harm that occurred was the same type of harm which the statute, ordinance, or administrative regulation was designed to protect against.
With negligence per se, the standard of care is determined by the statute or ordinance. Unlike ordinary negligence, a person claiming negligence per se need not prove that a reasonable person should have acted differently than the other driver did. The conduct is automatically considered negligent.
Let a Fairfax Car Accident Lawyer Assist You
Contact us today for a free case evaluation. To speak with a Fairfax Virginia personal injury & car accident lawyer about your case and how to recover compensation in Fairfax County and Northern Virginia, contact Manikas Law by calling 703-556-0004, or use the Contact Us box at the bottom of this page to tell us about your case.