I was in Fairfax Circuit Court the other day and I listened in while a Virginia automobile accident victim’s attorney argued that a certain letter the victim had written to the insurance company (before he was involved) should not be read to the jury in her personal injury trial. Apparently, before hiring an attorney this woman had tried to handle her claim on her own with the insurance company and had tried to settle the case.
In a letter written to the insurance company she said, “I don’t think I will need any more medical care.” As it turned out her condition worsened and she needed several surgeries. Her attorney was arguing that the letter she wrote to the insurance company was not admissible for any purpose. The judge ruled that she had made an admission of fact in that letter and that the letter could be read to the jury.
Tip from Virginia personal injury attorney Ben Glass: You may not need a lawyer to represent you in every case but you should seek the advice of a lawyer and you should find out as much information about the claims process as you can before you give recorded statements or sign papers or send letters to an insurance company. Most lawyers will consult with you at little or no cost.
This lady made a major preventable mistake in her claim and it undoubtedly will come back to haunt her at her trial. If you have been injured in an accident in Virginia and are considering talking to the insurance company without hiring an attorney, at least get our free book on Virginia Car Accident Claims.