Those of you who have followed my blogs, read my book on Virginia auto accidents, read this website, etc. know that I am one who says that you don't always need a auto accident lawyer to settle your case. I encourage people, especially if the case is small, to try to get things worked out with the insurance company. I'm prepared to give everyone the benefit of the doubt.
I have a different opinion about Allstate. Remember, they are the company that for years, sent a letter to claimants basically encouraging them to not get a lawyer because "a lawyer will just take a huge portion of your settlement."
Let me tell you about a recent case our office handled. Remember, each case is different and you can draw your own conclusions.
I got a call from a lady who had been in an auto accident with an Allstate insured. The accident was clearly the other person's fault. The injury victim had never sued anyone before, had never been in an accident before and was in perfect health before the accident. She had a good job making over $100,000 a year.
Her injuries were fairly serious but would resolve with time and good treatment. I told her that even though here case wasn't "small" that she should go throught treatment, get better and try to work the case out with Allstate.
She followed my directions.
She followed the doctors orders.
She got better over time and approached Allstate with a very reasonable settlement proposal. She gave Allstate all of her medical records, lost wage forms, and medicial bills.
Allstate then proceeded to offer to repay her medical bills, only. Essentially they weren't offering her anything for pain and suffering, inconvenience and the like.
She came back to me and we filed suit. Allstate did very little to defend the case. It sent out a bunch of subpoenas but it admitted that its insured was at fault. It took the deposition of our client. Allstate did not even request that a doctor perform an independant medical examination, probably because the medical picture was so clear.
A couple of weeks before trial Allstate essentially TRIPLED its offer and the case settled.
My point is that there is no reason the victim should have had to hire an attorney to get fair compensation. The case did not change at all. The medical picture at the time the case settled was exactly the same as the picture on the day the claimant tried to get the case settled.
My advice. If you've been hit by an Allstate insured. Get an auto accident lawyer. They won't listen to you until you do.
Just my opinion. Each case is different. Come to your own conclusion.