If you are recovering from a car crash, there are a lot of people you will likely need to talk to: doctors, police, insurance company agents and more. It can be overwhelming, but one other person you may want to talk to is an attorney.
To contest liability
In Virginia, pure contributory negligence rules bar you from receiving any compensation in a personal injury claim if the courts examine the case and find that you were even 1% liable for a crash.
As such, it can be crucial to argue against any claims that you were responsible for the accident. You may need to work with an attorney to gather:
- Witness statements
- Cellphone records
- Video recordings from dash cams and surveillance cameras
- Findings from an accident reconstructionist
This information can prove other parties were to blame or contradict accusations that you were at fault.
To get fair compensation
Insurance companies are businesses, and their priority is to make money. Therefore, do not expect them to offer you the total amount you may deserve.
It is not unusual for insurance companies to offer a settlement fairly quickly. While it can be tempting to accept these offers, the fact is doing so could leave money on the table.
For instance, an insurance settlement may not fully cover:
- Long-term health care needs
- Property damage
- Emotional distress
- Lifestyle changes
- Lost wages
When you file a personal injury claim, though, all these damages come into the picture. In some cases, the courts also award punitive damages when there is evidence of willful or egregious misconduct.
To avoid costly mistakes
Individuals may not have much or any experience navigating the legal system. As such, they can make certain missteps like waiting too long to file a claim, filing in the wrong jurisdiction or overlooking various legal requirements.
Life after a devastating car crash can be stressful and chaotic. But just as talking to a doctor can help you recover physically, talking to an attorney can help you recover financially.