If you were injured in a car accident caused by a negligent driver, it can be confusing to file a claim for compensation for your injuries with their insurance company. You do not want to take actions that hurt your case and believe things that are not true that could result in you accepting fewer damages than you deserve in your settlement. Here are five common myths about auto collision claims that you should not follow.
Myth #1: Laws About Car Crashes Are the Same in All States
Some victims are under the misconception that the laws about auto collision claims are the same in every state. However, this is not true. Each state has its own laws. Virginia is an at-fault state, which means that you must prove the other driver’s negligence in order to be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
#2: My Crash Was Minor, So I Don’t Need to Call the Police
You may not think there is a need to call the police if you were involved in a minor collision with little property damage to your vehicle and no visible injuries. Unfortunately, this would be a big mistake. In Virginia, you must contact the police if anyone was injured or killed or if there was property damage caused in the crash.
In addition, the damage to your vehicle could be more expensive to repair, or you could have suffered a serious injury and not realize it until days or longer after the accident. A police report can provide valuable information that can help you settle your claim with the insurance company, such as:
- Details of how the crash occurred
- Statements of the drivers and eyewitnesses
- Officer’s determination as to who caused the crash
- Any traffic citations issued
#3: The Insurance Company Will Treat Me Fairly, So I Don’t Need a Lawyer
Even if the insurance adjuster sounds friendly when talking to you on the phone, you cannot assume that they will be looking out for your interests. Their job is to save the insurance company money—and they could use many unfair tactics to try to deny your claim or pay you less than you deserve.
In addition, you do not have the expertise to determine the value of your claim, especially your future medical costs, lost wages, lost earning capacity damages, and the compensation you are entitled to for your pain and suffering. You are much more likely to win your case if you have a knowledgeable car accident attorney represent you.
#4: Any Personal Injury Lawyer Can Represent Me
It is not true that any personal injury attorney can represent you well in a car accident claim. You need an attorney who handles auto crash claims as part of their practice. They will have the experience to know the value of your claim and strategies to defeat the insurance company’s arguments as to why they shouldn’t pay you what you deserve. In addition, you should look for a lawyer who has a track record of success in litigating and settling car collision claims.
#5: You Can’t Afford to Hire a Lawyer
It is understandable that you may be worried about the cost of hiring a skilled attorney, especially if you have a lot of medical bills and are off work while you are recovering from your injuries. However, most car accident lawyers handle these cases on a contingency fee basis, where you only owe them attorney fees when they settle your case.
Were you or a family member injured in an auto collision in Norfolk or Virginia Beach? Call our office at 877-960-3441 or fill out our online form to schedule a free case evaluation to learn how our experienced car accident attorneys can help you.