Car accidents can occur anywhere and at any time. One minute, you are running errands, traveling home after a long day at work or headed out for an evening with friends. Suddenly, and without warning, you could find yourself involved in a crash with the potential for serious and life-threatening injuries.
Car accident injuries may be apparent in the immediate aftermath of an accident, or they could take days or even weeks to appear. Either way, they have the potential to impact your health, well-being and finances – now and in the future.
In the aftermath of a crash, it is difficult to know what you should do next. Would it help to talk to a lawyer? When should you call?
Here, we discuss five situations in which it would benefit accident victims in Richmond and elsewhere in Virginia to speak with an attorney:
- When you need help in getting your car repaired or replaced.
In addition to getting treatment for your injuries, getting your car back on the road will be a main concern for you after an accident.According to a Kiplinger report on filing insurance claims, the amount your insurance company estimates it will take to repair your vehicle may be far less than what an actual repair shop would charge.In cases where the insurance company says your car is totaled, it is important to question this determination, as well as the method by which the car was valued.
While the methods your insurer uses to estimate repairs and vehicle values may not work in your favor, a lawyer can investigate and provide evidence as to what costs you will actually incur.
- When you are struggling to pay your medical bills.
In the aftermath of an accident, it can be extremely tense and nerve-wracking to struggle with paying your medical bills while waiting for your insurance company settlement.An experienced car accident lawyer can help give you peace of mind and assist you in getting the treatments you need. The attorney can notify your medical providers that you have a pending legal claim, and your bills will be paid out of any settlement that has been reached.By taking these steps, a lawyer can help you to avoid seeing your medical debts go into collection, which can potentially damage your credit rating.
- When you are contacted by the other driver’s insurance company with requests for recorded statements and access to your medical records.
While many people have the mistaken impression that insurance companies are on their side, it is important to remember that you are dealing with a for-profit business. Like any business, the bottom line is making money.You should be especially wary of making statements or giving access to medical records – either to your own insurer or to the other driver’s insurance company – before you speak first with a lawyer. Any information that you provide can – and likely will – be used against you.
- When the other driver’s insurance company makes an offer to settle your claim.
When dealing with an insurer, you have one chance to recover the compensation you need to cover your present and future medical costs, lost past and future income, pain and suffering and other damages.The insurance company may tempt you to rush into a speedy settlement. However, these offers are likely to be less than what your actual claim is worth. Once you sign a settlement, you cannot go back and request more compensation.Speaking with a lawyer after a car accident can help to ensure that any settlement offers cover your current costs and those you are likely to incur in the future.
- When your insurance company has delayed or denied payment of your uninsured or underinsured motorist claim.
Under Virginia law, uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance is intended to cover accidents with drivers who either lack insurance or do not have enough insurance to cover the costs of your injuries or damages.As a consumer, you have protections through the Virginia Insurance Commission against any unreasonable denial of your claim or delay in payment of funds you are entitled to receive.Your lawyer can intervene with the insurance company on your behalf to ensure it is acting in good faith in fulfilling its requirements according to the terms of your policy.
Get Help from Our Virginia Car Accident Lawyers
If you or someone you care about has been involved in a car accident, contact Marks & Harrison today. Our experienced car accident attorneys provide the aggressive legal representation you need to pursue the compensation you are entitled to receive for your injuries.
One call is all it takes to get our legal team into action, investigating your claim, dealing with the insurance company and making sure your rights are protected. With offices in Richmond and eight cities located throughout Virginia, we can meet with you today.