I'm meeting with a lady next week. She was in a bad accident, hit by a 94 year old lady. She's had surgery but needs more. She had requested my Virginia car accident books awhile ago, read them and listened to the CD's.

The insurace adjuster called her and wanted to meet at a local restaurant to "talk settlement." She called us.

Here are the rules for settlement of your car accicent case in order to maximize your recovery:

  1. When you settle, that's it. You can't go back
  2. When you settle you may have to repay your health insurance company, Medicare, or the governement. It would be a good idea to know this before you settle
  3. The insurance adjuster won't tell you this, not their job
  4. If the insurance aduster offers you "the limits of my coverage" and your damages are more, you may have additional money available through your own car insurance policy.
  5. The insurance adjuster won't tell you this, not their job
  6. Your case should be valued, in part, on the full amount of the medical bills and not just the discounted amount you may have benefitted from because you have health insurance.
  7. The insurance company for the defendant doesn't get a break just because you had other insurance to cover your bills.
  8. If you do settle with the adjuster and don't notify your own car insurance company first, you can't go get more from them later. (It's complicated.)
  9. The value of your claim is dependant on many factors including an evaluation of what a local jury would award you in your case.
  10. There is a statute of limitations for your case. How long it is depends on some individual factors, including what state the accident took place in. In Virginia the time is generally (but not always) two years.
  11. Yes, you can settle your own car accident case yourself. I discuss this in my book "Get it Settled". You can download it for free. It takes you step by step through the process.

If you are working with an attorney you should insist in a full written settlement evaluation from your attorney, before you settle. If you have a Virginia personal injury attorney who is board certified, trust him/her. They know what they are doing.

Ben Glass
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Ben Glass is a nationally recognized Virginia injury, medical malpractice, and long-term disability attorney
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