By: Claire E. Keena, Personal Injury Litigation Attorney
Being involved in a car crash can be upsetting and overwhelming, especially if you find yourself injured, unable to work and facing mounting medical bills. Do you know what you need to do to protect yourself and secure a fair recovery in Virginia? How do you know if you should retain an attorney? Here are some simple tips which can help you strengthen your claim.
BEFORE you are in any collision, check your own auto policy to make certain you have protected yourself ahead of time against unexpected medical expenses with MEDICAL PAYMENTS coverage. Many people waive this coverage to save money on the premium, only to regret that decision later with mounting co-pays and deductibles. DON’T be pennywise and dollar foolish.
AFTER a collision, there are a few things to remember to do immediately, which can make quite a difference down the road. First, if you feel you were not at fault, DO be sure to get the names and contact information of potential witnesses. DON’T just expect that a police officer will get the information or save it for you.
It is difficult to recover for pain that is not documented. Listen to your body and get treatment. DON’T delay.
DO make provisions or arrangements for payment of your medical bills with your providers. DON’T ignore them. Many providers may be willing to make arrangements to wait for payment until settlement, but they will send you to collection if they are ignored.
DO take photos of the damage to your car. DON’T expect the insurance company to obtain photos and provide them to you later.
DO take photos of significant injuries such as lacerations, gashes, burns, or scars, both initially and during the process of healing. This will document your suffering far greater than words.
The job of auto insurance companies is to minimize any payout for recovery and get a release of the claim as quickly as possible. You may be tempted to accept early offers of settlement. But settling a claim before you have fully recovered may have unintended consequences and may result in a net loss, particularly if you develop complications or if you are unaware of valid legal liens against your recovery.
If you have questions about whether an offer is fair, about just how long you do have to settle, or about what your obligations and rights are in regard to potential liens, DO seek the advice of an attorney before accepting or signing anything.
The personal injury attorneys at Zauzig Trial Group are committed to advocating for your rights. We are experienced in holding insurance companies to task, and they know we will try a case and take it to its full value, if necessary. Contact us using the email form here or by calling 703.492.4200 today and let us do our very best on your behalf.
DISCLAIMER: The results of every case depend on factors unique to that case, and Nichols Zauzig does not guarantee or predict results in similar cases