Frequently Asked Questions
Serious injuries are stressful. Dealing with medical bills, insurance companies, the inability to work, and the impact on your personal life is overwhelming. Here at Ritchie Law, we want to help you get through it, and we want to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.
Trying to figure out all of the appropriate steps you should take after you’re injured can be complicated, but here are some questions the people commonly have when considering contacting a lawyer.
How do I know if I need a lawyer?
If you are injured due to someone else’s negligence, you are entitled to be compensated for your past and future medical expenses, the value of your damaged property, your lost wages and lost earning capacity, as well as for pain and suffering. To properly determine what your case may be worth, the sooner you seek the advice of a lawyer, the better. Early investigation can mean the difference between winning and losing a case, and advice from an experienced attorney can help you through the most difficult times ahead.
I just had a car accident. What should I do now?
First . . . check for any injuries to you, your passengers, as well as those in other vehicles to determine whether emergency medical treatment is necessary.
Next . . . Remain at the scene and call 911 to report the crash. Turn on hazard lights to warn approaching vehicles of the collision.
Then. . . If you are able, collect contact information from any witnesses who may have stopped at the scene. Take photos of the accident scene as well as the damage to your car. Before leaving the scene, answer all questions that the police officer may have for you. If possible, make note of the officer’s name and badge number.
If you are not transported to the hospital on the day of the accident, schedule an appointment to be examined by a physician as soon as possible.
Is it really necessary for me to talk to an attorney?
Claims adjusters work for insurance companies and must act in the insurance company’s interests. It’s that simple. If you have serious injuries there is too much at risk to go forward without professional help. The insurance companies have lawyers protecting their interests. You need the same protection. If the accident was the other driver’s fault, his or her insurance company will be responsible for your expenses, although you may need a lawyer to get everything you deserve.
What types of cases does the Ritchie Law Firm handle?
The Ritchie Law Firm specializes in accident and injury law in addition to Social Security and Virginia Retirement System Disability cases. Common accident and injury cases include injuries occurring as a result of automobile or tractor-trailer wrecks, slip and fall accidents, job accidents, medical negligence, and defective and harmful products.
The attorneys at the Ritchie Law Firm are trial lawyers with hundreds of hours of trial experience. Roger Ritchie is a Certified Trial Specialist through the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Fewer than 1% of Virginia and West Virginia lawyers have achieved this important distinction.
Do I need money to hire your law firm?
The Ritchie Law Firm represents clients in injury cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that we are paid attorneys’ fees only if we win your claim. Attorney’s fees are deducted from any settlement or award received at the conclusion of a case or, in the case of a job injury, from a client’s workers’ compensation checks if benefits are awarded.
How should I go about choosing a law firm?
If you have a serious injury, it is important that you hire a lawyer experienced in handling injury cases. Most lawyers will be interested in representing you if they think you have a good case, but how do you make the right choice? As a first step, your lawyer should be a specialist whose practice primarily handles injury cases. A lawyer who routinely handles criminal cases, divorces, wills, and other legal matters may not have the depth of experience needed to maximize your recovery. You should seek a lawyer who has trial experience, particularly in accident and injury law.