After a car accident in Virginia, you will end up having to deal with some new people in your life. Two of those will be insurance adjusters - your own and the other driver's. Additionally, you may be interested in contacting a Virginia accident and injury attorney.
Between the adjuster and a lawyer, you will first deal with the adjuster. As a matter of fact, the other driver's insurance agent may contact you within the next 24 hours about your case. That's not a long time when you consider that you are probably still reeling from having been in an accident. After all, right now you're probably dealing with your injuries, scheduling doctors' appointments, and figuring out how you will be able to get back to as normal a life as possible.
Two Truths you need to know about dealing with insurance adjusters after a car accident in Virginia
- An adjuster may approach you after an accident to offer you a "quick settlement" on your case. We've even heard of adjusters contacting people in the hospital! Usually, they'll offer you a smaller amount of money than you would expect and say something like, "If you hire an attorney, they're just going to take 40% of the fee from you."
This is actually a two-part lie. First, one of the reasons you may want to hire an attorney to represent you is to try and get a fair settlement for you and your loved ones. That's one of the reasons that lawyers are so important. Our job is to be your advocate and fight the insurance company for a fair settlement - we get between the adjuster and you to protect you and handle the day-to-day work needed to settle (or, if push comes to shove, prepare for trial).
The second part of this lie is that most firms don't charge a 40% fee to handle a routine car accident case! At BenGlassLaw, we actually have a tiered fee in which we collect less if the case settles early and usually only collect our highest fee of 33% if the case goes or gets close to going to trial.
- You have up to two years after your accident to file your lawsuit. So when the adjuster tells you that it is in your best interest to settle quickly, he or she is just not telling you the truth.
Here is the truth about why you don't want to settle fast: you are trying to recover money needed to pay back any medical bills you may have while dealing with your injuries. If you settle fast, you risk losing out on getting money paid back from physical therapy or other procedures you may need in the future stemming from the accident. You'll end up paying for the additional care on your own.
Ultimately, it is up to you to make smart choices about your case and to protect yourself from the tricks of some insurance adjusters.