Thanks for requesting a copy of Five Deadly Sins That Can Wreck Your Injury Claim. I highly recommend that you read it when it comes. You might want to hold off hiring an attorney or dealing with the insurance adjuster until you get a chance to read it. (You can politely tell the insurance adjuster, who is probably bugging you, that you’ll get back to them in a few days).
While you are waiting, let me try to answer a few questions that you may have right now:
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 own 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. (My book will explain, in detail, how all of this works.) The insurance company for the person who hit you will not generally advance these funds to you, preferring to string you out and settle everything at one time at 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 personal 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.