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FAQ: Should I Contact My Car Insurance Company After an Accident? | Richmond Personal Injury Lawyer

If you’ve been involved in a car accident, some car insurance companies ask that you do report the accident to them regardless if you are at fault or not. Check your policy to see if you are required to contact your car insurance company because if you do not let them know about the accident, it could be grounds for them to drop your coverage.

One of the reasons why you may want to contact your insurance company is if the other driver’s insurance carrier is slow to take action and your car has to be fixed or you require medical care right away. If you have what is called collision insurance, you are covered for any damage to the vehicle caused by another driver hitting your car or if you hit an object such as a tree, pole, or road sign. It doesn’t matter who is at fault, collision insurance will take care of any damages.

If you do suspect that your insurance company may not provide coverage for whatever reason, it may be in your best interest to contact a Virginia personal injury lawyer. There are some companies who will try to blame you for the accident just to avoid paying out your claim even though you know for a fact that the other driver was clearly at fault.

Find out more about what car insurance companies don’t want you to know about your injury claim by requesting our free accident injury book.

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Am I Getting a Fair Amount For My Richmond VA Car Accident Injury Case?

December 12, 2011 Leave a comment

Maybe you’ve been involved in a car accident in Virginia and decided to file a claim on your own without the help of a car accident attorney. Now you’ve received an offer from the insurance company, but you’re unsure of the amount. Yes, it may seem like a great offer, but oftentimes that initial offer is still pretty low. Keep in mind that insurance adjusters are in the business of saving money for the company they work for.

So, what is a fair amount? Well, it depends on a variety of factors including:

  • Damage to your vehicle
  • How much your medical bills are
  • How much more you may have to spend for ongoing medical care if you were severely injured
  • Any loss of wages because of hospitalization and bed rest
  • Any loss of wages your spouse or loved one may face in order to take care of you
  • Physical therapy costs
  • Emotional pain and suffering. Don’t just think about the pain and suffering now. Also consider what you may experience in the future if the injury is severe.

Negotiating with the insurance company can be a hassle, but be firm in your counter offer. However, if all of this seems too much to handle, it may be in your best interest to contact a Richmond Virginia car accident lawyer who specializes in these types of cases. You don’t have to hire a lawyer to settle your case, but if you don’t feel comfortable negotiating with the insurance adjusters, then it might be better to have someone act on your behalf who has the confidence and experience.

Hidden Inside Secrets Big Insurance Companies Don’t Want You to Know About Your Injury Claim excerpt

January 19, 2009 Leave a comment

WILL THE INSURANCE ADJUSTERS BE LAUGHING ABOUT YOUR CASE WHEN THEY GATHER AROUND THE WATER COOLER TO EXCHANGE WAR STORIES?

• The truth of the matter is that insurance adjusters love to deal directly with injury victims because they know how to manipulate them. They canʼt do that with an experienced injury lawyer.

Adjusters get their thrills by seeing how little they can pay on a claim. And when the injury victim deals with them directly, itʼs like taking candy from a baby.

• You see, big insurance companies handle millions of claims a year. In reality, what untrained individual can go up against that and come out ahead? Almost none. And the insurance companies understand that.

Thatʼs why they make tremendous efforts to keep people from getting a lawyer. They know theyʼll have to pay a lawyer more on the claim.

• They even have a name for this effort – they call it Keeping Control of the Claim! And they do it by being nice to you early in the claim process. They want you to stay away from a lawyer long enough for serious damage to be done to the claim.

They try to keep you away from treatment – even if you need it. They try to get you to go back to work quickly, even if you should not. They try to move an injured person away from treatment, because that saves the insurance company money.

• And believe me, big insurance companies are interested only in money. They will step on you, they will step on their own policyholders, they will even step on their own employees — if thereʼs another buck in it for them.

BIG INSURANCE COMPANIES ARE NOT YOUR FRIENDS!

They will pretend to be your friend – if it helps them save a buck. And that is exactly what the adjuster does. They are nice to you at first. They laugh and make jokes. But it is all a pretense. All they are trying to do is to control you and your claim – to keep their costs down.

Eventually, the time comes for a settlement offer. This is where reality sets in. The offer is awful! Itʼs insulting! Youʼre angry and disgusted. But what can you do at that point? The case value has been destroyed – just as the adjuster knew it would be.

They will have a big laugh at the water cooler and you will walk away with pennies on the dollar.

Who Pays In a Virginia Auto Accident?

January 16, 2009 2 comments

When it comes to auto accidents in Virginia, injured people are often confused about whom to send their auto and medical injury bills to. Every car wreck is different with unique circumstances, so who pays the bills depends on several factors.

However, here are some general guidelines to consider:

• If you are the victim or the person who was hit in the accident, the defendant’s insurance company may take care of the property damage. However, if you were at fault, then your insurance company may or may not compensate you for your loss depending on your insurance contract. Moreover, your liability insurance will pay for the other driver’s injuries and damages.

• If you are the victim, the defendant’s insurance company will pay your medical bills at the end of the case. Until then, you will have to pay your own medical bills out of pocket or have your health insurance pay until you receive a settlement. Keep in mind that you may have to pay back your health insurance provider when you do receive the settlement.

• If you are hit by a driver who does not have insurance (which is legal in Virginia), you may recover any auto damages, medical expenses, or lost wages through your own insurance. Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is mandatory in Virginia.

Before you deal with your insurance company or the other driver’s insurance company, it is probably in your best interest to contact a lawyer who specializes in auto accidents in Virginia. At O’Bryan Law we will negotiate with the other driver’s insurance company to reach a settlement that is fair and will compensate you for all of your medical and auto bills.

Do SUVs Cost More to Insure?

December 30, 2008 Leave a comment

International Business Times asks the question Do SUVs Cost More to Insure?.

While you feel safer in an SUV because of its weight and size, those very elements increase the chance that your SUV will roll over or cause major damage to other cars and their passengers during an accident. Car insurance providers consider these factors and more when determining your car insurance rates.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that you are three times more likely to rollover in an SUV than in a car. SUV’s are top-heavy due to their height and more prone to rollovers when performing quick maneuvers and sharp turns.

Also an SUVs bumpers are higher than a car’s bumpers, thus causing more damage and passenger injury to any car struck by an SUV in an accident.

Their conclusion?

Will You Spend More on Car Insurance With a SUV?

Because your SUV doesn’t have to meet federal government bumper standards, even small accidents can cause a lot of damageand large claims. Its tendency to rollover also results in larger repair and medical expenses.

Attorney Wayne O’Bryan at O’Bryan Law has a lot of experience dealing with SUV rollover accidents. If you are involved in a wreck that is caused by an SUV then please contact him for a free consultation.

Disability Insurance Book

December 12, 2008 Leave a comment

Virginia attorney Ben Glass has written a book about disability insurance called “Robbery Without a Gun.”

This book should be read by anybody making a claim against their disability insurance company.

Ben Glass writes about common mistakes made by claimants and their doctors and also offers practical advice on how to properly fill out the many forms and paperwork required.

There are also many horror stories about people that made mistakes on their claims and were denied any compensation.

If you are thinking about applying for benefits under your disability insurance then make sure to get this book before you do. It will guide you through the process and also help you find the right attorney for your case in your area.

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I can’t afford to pay a lawyer! How much is the legal fee?

December 10, 2008 Leave a comment

How much do the attorney’s charge? Is it just going to cost me money that the insurance company is going to pay me anyway? How can I fight the insurance company with all their money and high priced attorneys?

The good news is that you can fight the big insurers and their legal counsel. If you believe that your claim has been unfairly denied, or that the insurance company has acted unreasonably in handling the claim, do not simply let it go. Pursue your claim, assert your rights. You can fight and win.

You don’t always need a lawyer but if you have an insurance claim or have been injured you can’t afford not to talk to one.

One of your biggest concerns may be that you cannot afford a lawyer. Don’t worry. I understand that you are worried about what has happened to you and that you are unsure of what to do. You are unsure whether you can afford a lawyer, how much a lawyer costs, and how to find a good lawyer.

In injury cases most lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. That means that the lawyer’s fee is paid at the end of the case if, and only if, a recovery is made. In other words, if the case is lost, there is no attorney’s fee.

Most lawyers also pay up front expenses, like the costs of accident reports, medical records and doctor’s testimony fees. These are reimbursable by the client at the end of the case.

Our contingency fee is 33 1/3 per cent on the recovery if the case is settled before suit is filed.

Probably 90% of our cases settle without filing suit and even those that are filed usually settle before going to trial.