Car accidents are among the leading causes of injury and death in the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”), there were 36,096 fatalities from motor vehicle crashes in 2019. Approximately two million people were also injured in vehicle crashes.
As a Virginia and Tennessee car crash lawyer, I and my firm are dedicated not only to efforts to decrease crashes, but also to securing full compensation for those injured in crashes and their families. We serve injury victims and families in negligence and wrongful death actions throughout South and Southwest Virginia and East Tennessee from our primary offices in Abingdon, Virginia, and Johnson City, Tennessee, as well as from our other offices noted below.
“Mark took over my car accident case from another attorney that I fired. Mark worked hard on the case for several months to get ready for trial. Shortly before trial he got a settlement that was six times more than the offer my first lawyer tried to get me to take.“
Free Consultation & Contingency Fee Representation – Call Us 24/7
We invite you to call or contact our firm at any time (including nights and weekends) so that we can learn about your case and answer any questions that you may have.
We represent clients in injury and wrongful death matters on a contingency fee basis. This means that there is no fee for us unless we obtain compensation for you. Additionally, we advance all litigation costs (these expenses are normally repaid from a settlement or verdict). Thus you will not have to pay any fees or litigation expenses while your case is ongoing.
Car Crashes are Often Not an Accident
Tragically, car and vehicle crashes are often completely avoidable, and are often due to poor decisions by a driver.
The list of poor driver decisions includes drunk driving, driving under other intoxicating substances, distracted driving (including driving while texting or using a cell phone), driving while being sleep deprived, speeding and driving too fast for existing weather and roadway conditions, deliberately reckless driving, tailgating, road rage, running red lights and stop signs, and a host of other dangerous behaviors.
While the term “accident” is often used to describe car crashes, in many cases there really isn’t anything “accidental” about a crash. Instead, crashes due to inattention, recklessness, and poor choices are entirely foreseeable.
If You or a Loved One Has Been Injured in a Car or Other Vehicle Accident, Here is What You Need to Know
First, if the other driver who hit you is insured, that driver’s insurance company will assume control of the case. It’s important to understand the role of insurance companies in accident cases. The insurance company does not have to be fair. In fact, they can be expected to do whatever they can to minimize their liability. This includes prolonging a case, denying all liability, minimizing your injuries, and maybe even blaming you for causing the accident. The greater your injuries and damages are, the more that you can expect the insurance company to fight back.
Second, if you do not have experienced car accident legal counsel, you will be at a severe disadvantage. There are all kinds of legal tactics that the insurance company and its lawyers may take against you. In cases where an injured driver is unrepresented by legal counsel, insurance companies will typically offer only “nuisance” settlement value, even in cases involving significant injury, as they are not concerned about an injured victim taking a case to trial.
Third, even if it seems clear that the other driver was solely responsible for causing your accident, each aspect of legal liability must be proven. Similarly, damages and the injuries sustained must also be proven, including pain and suffering. In order to recover full compensation for injuries and pain and suffering, evidence must be produced at trial to show not only the degree of pain suffered by an accident victim immediately following the accident, but also any future pain and suffering likely to be suffered as a result of the accident.
How My Experience Benefits You
As an experienced car accident and injury lawyer for more than 25 years, I have recovered millions of dollars for injured clients through settlement and at trial. I work meticulously to prove the cases of clients early in litigation in order to be able to negotiate against insurance companies and their counsel from a position of strength. I give all clients the same high level of dedication and commitment, regardless of the severity of their injuries or the damages sustained.
If you or a family member has been injured, my objective is to obtain full compensation – not one penny less.
Call Me for a Free Consultation and to Get Started with Your Case
I and my firm represent the victims of car accidents on a contingency fee basis. This means that you will not owe me any fee unless and until compensation and damages are recovered for you.
Seeking Clarification for the Issues that May Be Holding You Back
If you’ve been hesitating to connect with a car accident lawyer Salem, VA motorists trust, know that you don’t have to grapple with any questions and concerns that you may have on your own. The reputable legal team at The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt is here to clarify your circumstances, rights, and legal options. We’ll never seek to “sell you” our services. If you schedule a risk-free consultation, we’ll simply answer your questions (such as those noted below) and empower you to make informed decisions about your legal circumstances.
Can I Tell My Loved Ones What Happened to Me?
You can tell your loved ones what happened to you, but take care in the ways in which you communicate. Don’t, for example, post about your crash on social media and be careful with what you say and how you word any texts or emails. Understand that anything that you put in writing can be used against your case in court if opposing counsel or an insurance company gets hold of it.
What if I’ve Already Been Offered a Settlement?
If you’ve already been offered a settlement, allow a Salem car accident lawyer at our firm to review the terms of the offer before you sign any paperwork. If the settlement offer in question is fairly-valued, you may be wise to accept it. But if it’s not, you’ll need to understand that accepting the terms of the agreement will likely bar you from seeking the rest of the compensation you’re rightfully owed. By allowing us to review it before you sign anything, we can protect your rights and interests to the fullest possible extent.
Should I Do Anything Different if My Injuries Are Work-Related?
If your car accident injuries are, in any way, work-related, you may be able to pursue workers’ compensation benefits in addition to personal injury damages. Eligibility for workers’ comp benefits usually extends to full-time and part-time employees. Workers’ comp isn’t a fault-based system, so you may remain entitled to these benefits even if your crash was your fault. If you file a personal injury lawsuit and you’re eligible for workers’ comp benefits, you won’t be able to name your employer as a defendant because of liability protections built into the workers’ comp system.
What if My Injuries Resulted from Another’s Criminal Wrongdoing?
Because the criminal justice system and the civil justice system are distinct, your ability to hold an individual accountable for harming you is not dependent upon whether they are or are not held accountable by the criminal justice system. You’ll need to prove their wrongdoing by a lesser standard of evidence in the civil system, so you may actually have an easier time securing a win than a prosecutor would in criminal court.
Do I Have to Pursue Legal Action in Civil Court?
The choice to pursue legal action or to refrain from pursuing legal action is wholly up to you. The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt is available to clarify your rights and options under the law. We can also provide you with necessary legal support and guidance in the event that you chose to file a personal injury claim or negotiate with insurance companies for a settlement award. However, we don’t “sell” our services, nor do we pressure anyone into making any decision in particular. We offer Salem car accident lawyer representation only when an injury victim actively wants to pursue legal action.
If I File a Car Accident Claim, Do I Have to Go to Trial?
Whether or not you go to trial depends on the individual circumstances of your case. The majority of car accident claims never see a courtroom. If the defendant’s insurance company agrees to pay what your case is worth, you may decide to settle out of court. On the other hand, if the insurance company won’t offer you a fair settlement, it may be in your best interest to take your case to trial.
Should I Call the Police After a Car Accident?
Yes, contacting the police is one of the first things you should do after getting in a car accident. They will file an accident report that includes important details about the accident. If one driver is clearly at fault, whether he or she acts intoxicated or admits to speeding, the police can document that in their report, which can be helpful in your case.
What Should I Say if the Other Driver’s Insurance Company Contacts Me?
If you were in a car accident with another driver, that driver’s insurance company may likely call you and ask you questions about your case. Even if they seem like they want to help, do not provide specific details about the accident or your injuries. Insurance companies are notorious for trying to pay as little as possible for claims. They may try to use anything you say to reduce your compensation. Tell them to speak to your lawyer instead.
I Feel Fine After a Car Accident, Should I Still Go to the Hospital?
Absolutely. Just because you feel fine after a car accident, does not mean that you did not suffer injuries. Some injuries, like concussions and whiplash, don’t always show symptoms right away. You might not feel symptoms until days after the accident. You do not want to put your health in jeopardy, so seek emergency medical care no matter what.
Is It Worth it to Hire a Car Accident Lawyer?
If you plan to pursue compensation for your injuries, it is definitely worth it to hire a car accident lawyer. Car accident claims can involve many complexities, so you want someone knowledgeable and experienced on your side. A lawyer can help you file all the paperwork on time, gather evidence and negotiate with the insurance company. He or she will know the true value of your case and improve your chances of receiving fair compensation. Additionally, most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis, meaning they take a percentage of your settlement at the end of your case. If you do not win your case, you will not owe your lawyer money. That is why there is no risk to hiring a lawyer.
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We hired Mr. Hurt to help settle a worker’s comp injury case for my husband. Mark, Bart, and Mary worked tirelessly to resolve his case and reach a settlement we were pleased with. They were always available to answer questions and returned calls in a timely manner.