If you are sued because you caused a car accident with serious injuries, your insurance company will take up the task of defending the claim made against you, negotiating with the injured party's lawyer and paying any settlement or judgment. (We are on the other side, representing victims of car accidents.)
The reason you have car insurance is to make sure that you are not financially ruined if you do cause an accident.
We recently completed a case where Zurich insurance company insured the driver who hit our client's car at 60 miles per hour.
Here's what happened in the case:
- Zurich refused to negotiate before we filed suit
- Zurich ignored the case and refused to make any offer in the case until about one month before trial, even though fault was not contested and the injures required surgery
- Zurich's offer was a "take it or leave it" offer.
- Zurich did not even hire a doctor to contest the injuries
- Zurich took only one deposition in the case and failed to talk to any witnesses who knew about plaintiff's injuries
- Zurich sent its lawyer to trial with no defense.
- The case could have been settled for $250,000, but Zurich ignored the file for so long our client told us to "take it to trial."
- The jury returned a verdict for $311,000. This means that judgment was entered against the lady driving the car (not against Zurich) for $311,000.
- Zurich could have had the judgment vacated had they promptly sent the check for the verdict.
- Zurich didn't send the check on time, so the judgment became final.
- The judgment for $311,000 will now appear on the lady's credit report and likely prevent her from buying a house, getting another credit card, and accessing other credit
You can read a full report of the case where our client from Triangle, Virginia, was awarded $311,000 in his car accident case.
We would like to share some advice for people on the other side - if you are the defendant in a case:
- You have the right to keep tabs on your case.
- Insist that your lawyer and your insurance company act responsibly.
- Hire another lawyer, if need be, to assure that your credit isn't ruined because some adjuster wants to play cowboy with "take it or leave it offers."
- Make sure you look at your own credit report to see what it says about your accident settlement/verdict.
The lawyer hired by the insurance company is supposed to look out for YOUR interests first. Insist on it!
If you are the VICTIM of a car accident in Virginia, we may be able to help. Start the conversation by calling our main office at (703)584-7277.
Additionally, we recommend that all car accident victims request our free report on Virginia accident claims to help you better understand the sometimes lengthy process you may have to go through to get a fair settlement or verdict for your claim.