Insurance Companies in Fairfax Car Accident Cases

Typically, one of the people involved in an accident or a collision in Fairfax will contact their insurance company or the insurance company of the other vehicle. Once that happens, the insurance company then has the driver’s license plate and can track down the policyholder and the claimants. Afterwards, the insurance company from one of the individuals involved in the accident will call the other insurance company involved. The insurance companies at this point will try to contact all the people involved to obtain statements from them as to how the accident happened.

The insurance companies are very proactive in attempting to locate the person involved and resolving the claim as soon as possible. However, when they do that, they severely undervalue the claim so that they pay the least amount possible. If the claim is resolved, however, even if undervalued, the claimant will be forever barred from bringing the claim again. Thus, while it may appear that the insurance companies are working for the injured party and want to help them, by resolving their claim as quickly as possible, they might be undervaluing the individual’s claim and therefore are not really helping them as much as people may think. For this reason it is imperative to work with a Fairfax car accident attorney, when negotiating with an insurance company.

Providing Recorded Statements

It is a mistake to give recorded statements to an insurance companies, but many people do so because the company presents themselves in a friendly and polite manner. Their employees are trained to give the impression that they are there to help. However, that is not the case. Ultimately, their interest lies with the insurance company itself and its clients and not with the accident victim. Their goal is to pay out as little as possible to the accident victim.

Cashing an Insurance Company Check

Cashing an insurance company check can be a mistake, depending on what the check is for. If the insurance company issues a settlement check and the individual cashes it, that can be interpreted as the individual accepting a settlement, which could bar them from bringing a claim.

For example, someone might sprain an ankle after a car accident and the insurance company might give them a check for $3,000 for their injuries. They might later discover that their injury requires a $10,000 surgery, and while normally the insurance company should cover that, in this case the individual would not be able to claim that as damages because they would have already settled their case for $3,000 thinking their injuries were minor.

This example also speaks to the importance of following up with a medical provider and following all their instructions so that they can monitor the individual’s injuries that may seem minor immediately after accident so that they do not become major down the road.

Ways an Attorney Can Help

An individual in a car accident in Fairfax should contact their attorney as soon as possible so that they can work with the individual as they interact with the insurance company, who may be pressuring them to settle quickly for less than they are entitled to. If a person has an attorney, that attorney can inform them as to what their rights are and what their potential damages could be or what they might be entitled to.

The Initial Steps

Immediately following the accident, an attorney can help settle property damage claims and help get their client’s car repaired. They can help locate witnesses and take effective pictures of their client’s vehicle. Furthermore, an attorney can prevent the insurance company from getting a recorded statement from their client or, if the statement is required by their own policy, the attorney could be there to object to certain questions.

Collecting Evidence

It is important to contact an attorney within the first week following an accident. If an injured person waits six months after an accident to contact an attorney, they may have forgotten witness names, or the witness may have moved away. In such cases, the attorney may be able to track such witnesses through the use of an investigator or special computer programs.

An attorney, based on experience, can also identify other sources of evidence, such as security cameras or surveillance footage that may record an accident. It is important to contact an attorney promptly about these matters, because security camera footage may be deleted on occasion.

Dealing With the Insurance Company

During the initial stages following an accident, most people primarily interact with insurance companies who have their own lawyers always working for them. Insurance companies and their employees are trained by lawyers and have protocol in place that is designed to minimize the amount of benefits paid out.

So, typically, the insurance company will attempt to undervalue an individual’s damages. An attorney can assess the liability of the people involved in the accident and assess the potential damages that the person suffers after a collision.

This involves gathering all the records, and reading and reviewing them. The attorney then will put together a concise summary of the individual’s injury, not only from a medical standpoint but also the impact the injury has had on their daily activities. A thorough combing of the record presents a strong picture to the insurance company as to what the true value of the claim. After this, the insurance company will likely want to negotiate back and forth, at which point an attorney becomes invaluable in negotiating on their client’s behalf so that the client may recover a full and accurate value of their case.

Helping With Medical Expenses

An attorney can help in calculating the full value of a case by working with doctors and combing through medical records in order to understand the full extent of the medical expenses. For example, if someone accrued $10,000 in medical bills, their attorney would ensure that their demand package includes all of the bills so that their case starts from a floor of the entirety of the medical bills, not a midpoint or a ceiling.

Furthermore, when a doctor submits a medical bill, the insurance company does not necessarily cover the entirety of the bill. What the insurance company does is pay a portion of the bill and then adjusts the remainder. Often, there is a portion of the bill left to the responsibility of the client. Then, after the verdict or during settlement, the attorney can negotiate the balance left to the client with the medical provider so that the client can still have some money in their pocket. Essentially, an attorney can, in some cases, help reduce the medical expenses at the end of the case. Often, because medical providers understand the ins and outs of lawsuits and payment concerns, they may be willing to reduce the bill.