If you have been injured in a car accident, not only are you likely dealing with the pain and recovery of those injuries, but you also may be dealing with the insurance companies, both your own and the at-fault driver’s, as well as stressing about the medical bills that may be starting to pile up and loss of income from being unable to work as you recover. This is why many car accident victims turn to a Virginia personal injury attorney. Your attorney can advocate for you with the insurance companies, allowing you to focus on your recovery and rehab.
Another reason why you need an attorney to represent you is that the insurance company will do all it can to avoid paying you the financial compensation you are entitled to. There are certain tactics they are known to use in order to justify low settlement amounts and deny claims.
One such tactic is to convince injured victims that they are required to sign certain forms in order to move ahead with the claim. Under no circumstances should any victim agree to sign anything without consulting with their personal injury attorney first. These forms include:
Medical Authorization Release Form
In order to be compliant with HIPAA regulations, the insurance company will ask you to sign a medical authorization release form so they can search for evidence of any previous incidents or existing conditions which would explain the injuries that you incurred in the crash. They do this as an attempt to prove that the injuries already existed and were not caused by the accident.
Do not sign this form. Your Virginia accident attorney will assist you in gathering all pertinent medical records and bills to prove that the injuries were caused by the crash.
Release of Liability Form
Before a victim receives a check for any settlement amount, the insurance company requires them to sign a release of liability form. Once this form is signed, the claim is closed and the insurance company and at-fault party have no further obligation for any additional expenses or losses that could arise.
Victims should never sign this form or accept a settlement amount without consulting with a personal injury attorney to make sure they are receiving the full amount of damages they are entitled to.
Property Damage Release
There was likely damage done to your vehicle and other property from the crash that the insurance company is also responsible for reimbursing you for. Just like the release of liability form for injuries, once a victim signs a property damage release form, their claim is closed. You also want to make sure your attorney evaluates any property damage offers before you accept and sign a release.
Contact a Virginia Personal Injury Attorney
If you have suffered injuries in a car accident caused by another party, contact a Virginia personal injury attorney to find out what legal options you may have. At Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp, we are dedicated to helping injured clients obtain the compensation they deserve for their medical bills, lost income, and other losses their injuries have caused, like the $50,000 personal injury insurance settlement we obtained for one client who suffered chronic shoulder and neck pain when another driver pulled out in front of his vehicle. Call our office today to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation.