When you have suffered a personal injury in a Virginia car accident, you are likely to be facing a myriad of challenges, including recovering from your injuries, getting back to work, and dealing with the aftermath of the crash in general. Unfortunately, things can become even more difficult when the insurance companies get involved. While insurance coverage is a consideration in virtually every car accident case, it is not uncommon for carriers to offer much less than you would need to start putting your life back together properly. Insurance companies are well-known for their “lowball” settlement offers that seek to minimize their payouts and avoid costly litigation.
The good news is that a qualified Virginia car crash lawyer can help manage your interactions with insurance companies in the wake of an injury-causing accident. Our team will handle all of the communications with insurance carriers so you can remain focused on your physical recovery. By doing so, we can increase your chances of a favorable outcome and full compensation under Virginia law.
How Can I Protect Myself from Insurance Companies
If you were injured in any type of car crash and are in the process of negotiating with an adjuster—either from your own insurer or that of the party who caused your accident—it is important to keep a few things in mind, such as:
- The insurance company is not on your side: Advertising slogans aside, insurance companies are in business to make money. This means that they are not your neighbors, and you might not always be in good hands. An adjuster has an interest in saving money for the insurance company. To do so, the adjuster may question you as if you are under suspicion of wrongdoing or otherwise treat you in a manner that borders on hostile. The insurance carrier could also drag out the claims process, potentially limiting your ability to file a lawsuit in a timely fashion. If the adjuster does offer a quick settlement, accepting it may require you to waive your rights to any future claims related to the accident. This could be problematic if additional medical issues or complications arise down the road as a result of your injuries.
- Your best interests are not likely to be the top priority: An insurance company’s primary goal, in most cases, is to avoid unnecessary losses and to pay out as little as possible. Most of the company’s representatives have been taught to negotiate lower settlements based on the algorithm generated by a computer program and to essentially guide you into accepting the first offer. In reality, the full extent of your injuries will only become evident over time, so you should not be rushed into making a decision because of mounting bills. Instead, treat the initial offer as a starting point, and allow your attorney to take over from there.
- You should get everything in writing: While you might need to call your insurance company to file your initial claim, it is critical to get as much as you can in writing. This includes any quick settlement offers or concessions from your own insurer or that of the at-fault driver. Before you sign anything, you should read everything carefully and have your attorney do the same.
- Qualified legal counsel is your best protection: An experienced personal injury attorney understands the tricks and techniques that insurance companies use and can help you avoid accepting a lowball settlement offer. Your lawyer will represent you and work hard to protect your rights and your best interests. In addition, your attorney will review any and all documentation associated with your case, and help you avoid making a serious mistake by settling too soon.
Speak With a Virginia Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If you have been injured in an auto accident and are being offered a quick settlement by an insurance company, an experienced Virginia car crash lawyer from Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp can review the offer before you make any decisions. From there, we will work with you in determining your next steps and getting full compensation under the law. We will remain at your side every step of the way, just as we did when we secured a $125,000 settlement for our client who was injured in a Virginia Beach car crash. Call (833) 997-1774 to schedule a free consultation today.