Your medical bills are piling up. Your car remains in the shop. Your recovery will keep you out of work for weeks even if you had transportation.
You understand that receiving settlement money will take time, but you can’t even get the insurance adjuster on the phone to schedule a review of your case. Your frustration is edging into panic over looming financial disaster and feels almost as bad your pain from your physical injuries.
Is there anything you can do to get the at-fault party’s insurance company to take this as seriously as you know it is?
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Yes. Too many of my Virginia personal injury clients experience all the stress and inconvenience described above. Three things help.
Do Not Quit
Insurance adjusters carry heavy caseloads and do not earn bonuses from approving claims. Overwork and incentives to delay or deny payouts to accident victims make insurance adjusters less than likely to pick up the phone every time it rings.
Sending letters and scheduling regular email and phone check-ins can get your case on the top of an adjuster’s pile. Writing letters is a good idea in any event because committing your version of events to paper helps you remember details and put together a narrative you can follow should a detailed investigation or civil lawsuit become necessary.
Be careful, however, about what exactly you tell a claims adjuster. All the information you share becomes evidence the insurer can use to question the validity of your claim.
Partner With a Personal Injury Lawyer
Consulting with an attorney who will only represent your interests will help you explain the basis for your insurance claim without disclosing information that a claims adjuster would try to use to derail your case. Enlisting the help of a plaintiff’s attorney will also give you an ally who knows the law and has a professional duty to pursue the best outcome you could achieve.
Your personal injury attorney can prepare written communications, make phone calls, conduct an independent investigation into the accident that injured you and determine whether a settlement offer is fair and just. Most of all, your lawyer will hold insurance adjusters to their legal duties and protect you from the tricks insurance companies use to discourage accident victims from insisting on their rights to receive compensation from a person or company that acted negligently or recklessly.
Access Your Own Insurance for Immediate Expenses
You most likely relied on your own health insurance when you went to the emergency room right after the accident. You can continue relying on that coverage to receive necessary treatment, medications and therapy. Similarly, you can invoke collision and liability provisions of your own auto insurance policy to pay for vehicle repairs or long-term rentals and replacement.
Payouts made by your own insurance policies will be reimbursed via the settlement from the at-fault party’s insurer. Making sure all the accounting works out is another service your personal injury attorney can provide.
After graduating cum laude from law school at the University of Richmond, Seth practiced personal injury law out of Roanoke, Virginia and in Hampton, Virginia before joining Shapiro & Appleton where he represents personal injury clients in both state and federal courts. In 2016, he was named as a Virginia “Rising Star” lawyer by Super Lawyer’s magazine, an honor bestowed upon only 2.5% of attorneys in the state.