In an ideal world, the negligent driver’s insurance company would offer you a fair settlement and pay you the compensation you deserve quickly. Unfortunately, this often does not happen. If you want to win your case, you need to understand the main defenses that the insurance adjuster could raise when you file your claim so you can develop a strategy to defeat them.
Defenses That Could Be Utilized in Your Case
The defenses that will be raised in your case will depend on the facts surrounding your collision. However, there are four common defenses that are often used by insurance companies to deny a claim or to claim that a victim should receive less in their settlement.
Virginia is one of a few states that follow the contributory negligence doctrine. It is a very harsh law that prevents you from receiving any damages if you were in part at fault in causing your car accident. Not surprisingly, insurance companies love to raise this defense. However, just because the insurance company says that you were to blame does make it true.
Deadline to Sue
You must file your complaint against the negligent driver within a certain time period, which is also known as the statute of limitations. In Virginia, you have to file your lawsuit within two years of the date of your car accident. If you fail to do so, the judge would most likely dismiss your case.
Mitigation of Damages
When you file a claim in a car accident or other personal injury case, you have a duty to reduce the amount of compensation you are owed. The legal term for this is the duty to mitigate your damages. What it means is that you cannot do things that will make your injuries worse and increase the amount of your damages.
To be certain that you do what you can to reduce your damages, you must also go to all of your doctor appointments and follow his advice. When you fail to do this, the insurance company may argue that they owe you less compensation because you failed to mitigate your damages.
Other Liable Parties
If more than one vehicle was involved in your crash, the insurance adjuster for the negligent driver could try to blame another motorist. If you are in this situation, you want to file claims with all potentially liable individuals to ensure that you are fully compensated.
Our skilled and dedicated legal team can collect the evidence you need to build a strong case of negligence against the at-fault driver and to refute his insurance company’s defenses to your claim. To get started, call our Norfolk office to schedule your free consultation today.