- Q. Do I need an attorney?
A. Proceeding without an attorney can put you at risk of losing some of your potential settlement. Before providing any statement to the other insurance company, you should consult with legal counsel to evaluate your case. Protect your right to fair compensation.
- Q. What should I do if I was injured in an accident?
A. Do not speak with anyone regarding your accident, except for your attorney.
Follow your doctor's instructions as your recovery is important!
The following information will also help expedite your case:
- A copy of your auto insurance policy and insurance policy of each person in your home
- The accident report and any information you exchanged with the other driver
- Photos of the place where the collision occurred and any pictures of damage to the vehicles involved
- Any medical records and copies of prescriptions, a list of all treating locations and providers, receipts of all out of pocket expenses, mileage records, and a copy of any disability insurance or claim forms you completed
- Copies of pay stubs and documented missed time from work
- Q. How much time do I have to either settle or litigate my claim?
A. In Virginia, the statute of limitations for motor vehicle personal injury actions is two (2) years. If the case is not resolved by settlement or a lawsuit filed within two (2) years from the date of the collision, you will lose your claims.
- Q. What should I do if the insurance company has already offered me compensation?
A. Do not accept any offers or checks before consulting with your attorney. An early settlement offer from the insurance company is often a ploy for you to accept compensation that is lower than what you are entitled to. By accepting a settlement or compensation check, it will serve as a waiver of any future responsibility of the insurer for reimbursement. Your medical bills and costs associated with your accident may be higher than you initially anticipate. By accepting an early offer, it may not cover all of the costs associated with an accident (including medical bills, personal injuries, lost wages and any vehicle repair).
- Q. What are compensatory damages and punitive damages?
A. Compensatory damages is what the injured person is granted (compensated) for the incurred injuries. Sometimes compensatory damages are referred to as actual damages. Compensatory damages can be sought for loss of earnings, medical expenses, and mental, physical pain, and suffering in personal injury actions. Punitive damages are damages awarded in a lawsuit as a punishment and example to deter others from malicious, evil or particularly fraudulent acts. Plaintiff has the burden of proving that punitive damages should be awarded and must prove that the defendant's conduct was malicious, or in reckless disregard of plaintiff's rights. The payment of punitive damages can be rare, however, the threat of existence of punitive damages in the case can cause defense to offer an increased settlement.
- Q. How long will it take to get my case settled?
A. The length of time to resolve a case can vary widely. Some cases can be settled within a few months, particularly those in which the issue of liability is clearly established. When liability or facts are contested or when dealing with multiple insurance companies, the case could take a significant amount of time to resolve. We are aware of how important the outcome of the claim is to our clients and we can evaluate your case and advise you what could be expected. Our careful case preparation often can lead to a faster resolution with a higher settlement.