Virginia car accident victims are coming to realize that the major automobile insurance companies in Virginia are back to their low-ball settlement tactics. We had gone through a period where reasonable offers were being made in serious, clear liability cases.
This is probably attributable to two things:
(1) The current economic conditions are forcing every company to hold on to their money longer. Thus, in the case of car accidents, the major insurance companies are literally forcing claimants to hire lawyers before dealing fairly with them. This will probably hurt them in the long run because, generally speaking, claimants with lawyers will receive more money in settlement than those that go at it alone. For now, however, the insurance companies are stringing people along. [Each case is different, however, and has to be evaluated on its own merits.]
(2) We have notices massive turnover at some of the insurance companies. As the economy has worsened, experienced adjusters are being laid off or bought out in early retirement programs. This leaves "young guns" trying to "make their mark" by attempting to force low settlements. In our discussions with some of the lawyers who work for the insurance companies, they are just as frustrated at the adjusters as we are.
This all means that its back to all out war. The best thing any claimant can do is to at least contact an experienced personal injury attorney early in the case for advice and information. We suggest that Virginia claimants get a free copy of the Ultimate Virginia Personal Injury book before signing any papers or even talking to the adjuster.