When we meet new clients, they tend to have a lot of questions about the process of personal injury cases. We encourage our new clients to ask all the questions they need. Car accident claims are often misunderstood and surrounded by myths, and we want to give you the information you need to make the best decision about your case.
We created this quick FAQ for our new clients to answer most of the common questions right away. Take a look at this list and write down any other questions you have before your first phone call or appointment with us.
1. Do I need an attorney to represent me? Not always. My view is that the more complex the injury is, the more an attorney will be able to add value to your claim. If your injury is slight and resolves in a few weeks, my book may be all that you need to settle your case yourself.
2. Who should pay my medical bills now? Submit your bills to your health insurance. Then, call your car insurance company and ask if you have medical payments coverage. If you do, submit the bills to your car insurance company, as well. The insurance company for the person who hit you will not advance these funds to you, preferring to string you out and settle everything at one time in the end. You don’t want your medical bills going to collections!
3. What about my car? Who should pay to get it fixed? Often, the defendant’s insurance company will help you immediately with this. If they don’t, contact your own car insurance company and get them to work on it. Yes, you’ll pay a deductible, but your insurance company will help you recover that deductible from the person who was at fault.
4. What else should I be doing at this time?
- Follow your doctor’s instructions and keep all medical appointments.
- Take digital pictures of your car and your injuries.
- Obtain the police accident report.
- You may settle and release your property damage claim with the other person’s car insurance company.
- You may give a recorded statement to your own car insurance company if requested.
- Cooperate with the police and, if subpoenaed, appear at any court hearing.
5. Is there anything I should not be doing while I wait for the book?
- Don’t give a recorded statement to the other person’s insurance company.
- Don’t sign medical releases for the other person’s insurance company.
- Don’t accept a check for your injuries or sign a release.
6. I am hundreds of miles away from you; will you still take my case?
At one time, the answer to this question would have been “no.” Today, though, with modern technology being what it is, we represent accident victims all over Virginia (and, from time to time, we handle large cases from out of state). If we accept your case, it doesn’t matter where you are located.