The average motorist will experience three to four car accidents in their lifetime. Many of those accidents are “minor,” meaning there is only property damage. Fortunately, most “property damage only” claims can be settled without an attorney, but accidents involving major injuries are different. Insurance companies scrutinize injury claims, and they try to settle quickly for as little money as possible.
In many accident claims, the insurance company will offer low-ball, unfair settlements until the plaintiff proves they are willing to go to trial. Experienced personal injury attorneys know the tactics of the insurance company, and they can help if you are struggling to reach a fair settlement.
BenGlassLaw’s Six-Point Assessment of Personal Injury Cases – Do You Really Need an Attorney?
Some attorneys are all too happy to take your personal injury case, and they never tell you that most small car accidents can be settled without an attorney. How can you know that your case requires an attorney? What should you do if you don’t need an attorney?
BenGlassLaw will never try to convince you to hire us if we don’t believe we will add value to your claim. BenGlassLaw believes in empowering through education, and for the car accidents that we know the victim doesn’t need an attorney, we will direct you to our resources to handle the case yourself.
How Does BenGlassLaw Evaluate Personal Injury Cases?
Our lawyers perform a Six-Point Assessment of your case to determine whether hiring an attorney makes sense for you.
- Determine Fault – Virginia is a contributory negligence state. If you are at-fault for your accident, even 1% at-fault, you cannot recover damages for your accident. Often, insurance companies use this to reject personal injury claims, even when the victim didn’t contribute to the accident.
- Current Injury – The worse your injury, the more it makes sense to hire a lawyer for your personal injury claims. Accident victims with serious injuries, like broken bones or torn ligaments, should consult with an attorney BEFORE making any recorded statements with the insurance company.
- Previous Injuries – Insurance companies love to use previous injuries as a reason to fight car accident claims. They will point to your previous injuries and claim your car accident injuries are “preexisting,” even when they were caused or worsened by an accident. We will review with you your past medical history to see what impact your health history will have on your settlement.
- Treatment – Insurance companies have a ”length of treatment algorithm” that they use to determine how long you should be treating. If your medical treatment takes longer than the insurance company deems is normal, they will not give you a fair offer for your medical bills.
- Car Insurance – “You can’t get blood from a stone.” We have seen more good cases torpedoed by poor insurance then we can count. As most people don’t know, it is perfectly legal to drive in Virginia without car insurance. If the person who caused your accident is uninsured or underinsured, we will need to look at your policy to see if we can find coverage to pay for your damages.
- Your Health Insurance – Many health insurance companies will seek repayment of bills they paid on your behalf. Will make sure they don’t get more than they deserve (which is sometimes zero).
Your Personal Injury Six-Point Assessment is Free - You Don't Pay us Anything Until the Settlement!
Here’s How We Can Help You with Your Fairfax Car Accident Case Today:
- BenGlassLaw has created several books, videos, and webinars, where you can learn about the process of car accident claims. We recommend that you start with GetItSettled and GetItSettled University, where you can learn how to settle your car accident claim without an attorney.
- If you’d like to know how much your car accident claim is worth, view our FREE webinar, “How Much is Your Personal Injury Claim Worth.” This webinar will teach you how insurance companies view car accident claims, and what you should do before you negotiate with the adjuster.
- Call our office at (703) 584-7277 and speak to one of our staff members about your case. Our client care specialists will get the details of your accident and schedule a time when you can speak with Brian Glass.
- Browse our collection of articles, FAQs, and blog posts about personal injury cases. If you don’t see your question answered there, fill out a contact form on our website and tell us about your specific situation.
The team at BenGlassLaw wants to help you get a fair result for your personal injury case so you can get back to living your life. Our main office is in Fairfax, VA, but we can meet with clients virtually or by phone anywhere in Virginia.
What You Need to Know About Fairfax Car Accidents Today
1) You Don’t Need to Contact an Attorneys Immediately After Your Accident
Often, people call us shortly after their accident. Sometimes, they call while still in the ambulance! We always tell them to get treatment and call us back. Virginia has a two-year statute of limitations on personal injury claims, and there is no rush to hire an attorney before you start medical treatment.
You should have all your medical bills before you start negotiating with the insurance company. Once you settle with the insurance company, you cannot re-negotiate the settlement amount, even if you require more medical treatment as a result of your accident.
We recommend that you call an attorney after your immediate medical needs are met. If you want to know how you can manage your medical bills in the meantime, please visit our article on personal injury medical bills.
2) You Cannot Recover Damages if You Are Partially At-Fault
Personal injury claims can be challenging in Virginia, particularly because Virginia is a contributory negligence state. Accident victims who are partially at-fault for their car accident, even 1% at-fault, are barred from recovery.
Proving fault in Virginia can be difficult and frustrating without the help of an experienced personal injury attorney. You will need solid evidence to show that the other party was negligent and caused the accident. In most cases, the liability for the accident is clear, but if there is any dispute you should speak to an attorney before giving a recorded statement to the adjuster.
3) It is Legal to Drive in Virginia Without Insurance
A common scenario is a car accident where one driver is uninsured. Unbelievably, it is legal to drive without insurance in Virginia. When an uninsured driver injures you, an attorney will review your UIM (Underinsured Motorist Coverage).
UIM coverage is an insurance policy that protects you against negligent drivers if they cause you bodily injury or property damage. In Virginia, UIM policies come as low as $25,000 (assuming you purchase UIM). However, in cases of severe injury, $25,000 may not cover the damages from your accident.
The good news is that UIM coverage is relatively inexpensive. The bad news is that drivers rarely look at this policy before they are in an accident.
It may seem unfair that your insurance policy must get involved when the other driver is responsible. However, you paid for your UIM coverage to protect you in this exact situation.
How to Find the Best Attorney for Your Fairfax County Car Accident
There are many personal injury attorney directories where you can find a lawyer for your car accident. However, we recommend digging a little deeper than the standard “Top Attorneys Near You” lists. Often, these lists sort attorneys by their proximity to your address, but the location alone shouldn’t guide your hiring decisions. Here are the basic steps to find the best accident attorney near you.
Step 1: Research Car Accident Claims Similar to Your Accident
Many unique situations apply to your car accident. Your car, employment, injuries, medical conditions, and driving conditions are all relevant to your personal injury claim. When selecting an attorney, check the attorney’s website for articles or blogs on your type of car accident claim. These articles should tell you the attorney’s experience with your type of accident.
It is also important that you understand your legal situation as much as possible. When you are interviewing attorneys, you will want to “speak their language” and focus on what really matters with your personal injury claim.
Step 2: Ask Your Friends and Family for Referrals
Even in a world of detailed online reviews, a referral from someone you trust still matters. Reach out to your friends, family, and community and see who they recommend. If your friend also had a car accident, ask them questions about the process and learn as much as you can.
If you worked with an attorney before, ask them who they would recommend for a personal injury attorney. Most attorneys create networks with other attorneys who they trust, and they know who has a good reputation in your community.
Step 3: Gather Your List of Potential Attorneys and Research Their Background
If you need to hire an attorney, do your research. It is shocking that people still hire law firms with bad reviews. A quick search of any attorney should tell you how they treat clients and whether they are the right fit for you.
Websites like avvo.com and Google will give you reliable, objective reviews of attorneys. Make sure to search by attorney name and not the law firm name. You should also visit the attorney’s website to review their case results. Case results are a great way to review the attorney’s experience and their track record of success.
Step 4: Call to Schedule Interviews with Potential Attorneys
The best way to learn more about an attorney is by calling and scheduling a phone consultation. During this call, they will speak with you about the details of your case and what you can expect if you hire them.
Don’t be afraid to ask about the attorney’s experience, their case results, and their online materials. Most attorneys will happily answer all your questions and eagerly share resources where you can learn more about personal injury.
Want to learn about your case before calling us? Read our report, 5 Deadly Sins that can Wreck Your Car Accident Claim, to learn...
- What form you should never sign for an insurance company;
- What "service" provided by some personal injury lawyers can be the kiss of death to your case;
- How to avoid having past accidents come back to haunt your case;
- How to quickly and easily find a board certified attorney;
- What the insurance companies do to investigate your background;
- Whether the "standard" one-third contingency fee is really "standard";
- How to get through the "fluff" of lawyer advertising to find out what's important;
- How to maximize your chances for recovery in your case;
- Whether your health insurance company is allowed to be paid FIRST out of your accident settlement;
- What the insurance industry doesn't want you to know about the settlement of accident cases.
Our Proven Process for Personal Injury Cases
- One-on-One Consultation and Strategy Session with a personal injury attorney
- Firm notifies all insurance companies that we represent the client and the insurance company never calls the client again
- Firm requests all medical bills and records
- The client receives follow-up calls every 30 – 60 days while in medical care so that we can ensure we know every provider they treat with
- When finished with medical care, the client receives a written case evaluation before any demand goes to the insurance company and before any offer is made
- If the insurance company makes an offer which meets our case evaluation and the client’s settlement authority, the case is settled
- If the insurance company does not make a satisfactory offer, we file suit and move the case towards trial, if necessary.
- At the close of the case, the firm satisfies all outstanding medical bills and liens so that the funds received by the client are free and clear of any debt.