The first minutes after a car accident are often chaotic. Once the initial shock has worn off, and pending any severe injuries, both drivers usually exchange phone numbers and insurance information. This is not just a formality—it is so that both parties can discuss the accident with their respective insurance companies.
If you’ve been in an accident, make sure to speak with one of our insurance claim attorneys in Richmond before you reach out to your insurer. The Richmond personal injury lawyers of Christina Pendleton & Associates will be able to make sure that an appropriate settlement is offered right away so that you don’t have to wait months on end to get the payment you need.
How an Insurance Claim Attorney in Richmond Can Help You
Insurance companies have a lot of tricks to get you to settle for less than what you truly deserve. But In clear-cut cases of responsibility, they tend to be more likely to offer an appropriate payment. An insurance claim attorney in Richmond will know what evidence they need to present to force insurance companies into a fair and fast settlement.
A lawyer can also protect you from making an error in the settlement process that could jeopardize your claim. They’ll help you communicate with insurance adjusters in a way that doesn’t invite blame, and review any settlement offers you receive to make sure that they are sufficient for the expenses you’ve been burdened with.
Here are some other actions your insurance lawyer can take to secure you the settlement you’re owed:
- Conduct an investigation into your case
- Determine who is at fault
- Assign a monetary value to your claim
- Provide you with legal advice on all matters related to your claim
- Take your claim to court
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A Richmond Insurance Claim Attorney May Advise You to File a Lawsuit
If you’ve collided with another driver as a result of their negligent behavior on the road, filing an insurance claim isn’t the only way you can receive compensation. A Richmond insurance claim attorney can help you determine if you’d be better off filing a personal injury lawsuit than filing a claim with an insurance company.
Due to Virginia’s outdated fault laws, going to trial in a personal injury case can be risky. That’s why it’s important that you speak to an experienced lawyer. They’ll advise you on what outcome you can expect from a personal injury trial versus what the insurance company is offering.
If the other driver is uninsured, your options are much more limited. However, an insurance claims lawyer can advise you on whether it would be worth it to pursue a lawsuit against them. Sometimes, it is if they have the assets to pay you.
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An Attorney Can Help You Deal With an Uninsured Driver
Virginia is one of two states in the nation where drivers are not required to carry auto insurance. The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles recommends that all drivers have vehicle insurance, but those who don’t must pay a penalty fee of $500.
If you’ve been in an accident that was caused by an uninsured driver, they’ll have to pay out-of-pocket to cover your medical bills, vehicle repair, and other losses. If they are unable to pay, your insurance claim attorney will find another way to get you compensated.
Your lawyer can pursue a third-party claim against the driver’s employer, if they were on the job during the time of the accident. If you have uninsured motorist coverage, your attorney can also help you file a claim with your own insurance company.
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An Attorney Can Handle a Number of Different Insurance Claims
Your insurance claim lawyer in Richmond isn’t limited to car accident cases. In fact, they can help you reach a settlement for a variety of different claims. Some of the situations where an insurance claim attorney should be your first call include:
- Health insurance benefit claims
- Disability cases
- Business liability
- Property damage
Remember, the best way to receive compensation in these situations is by hiring an experienced insurance claim attorney. They’ll make sure your losses aren’t undervalued by insurers so that you can get the most out of your claim.
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Contributory Negligence Laws in Richmond, VA
Virginia is a strict contributory negligence state. In other words, if the victim of a car accident is even two percent at fault for the collision, they won’t be able to collect compensation. In this situation, it might be better to settle with the insurance company.
An attorney in Richmond will know if there’s a possibility that you could be found partially responsible for the accident. If they’re positive that there’s no chance you could be blamed for what happened, they’ll likely advise you to file a personal injury suit. This is a favorable outcome, because you could receive far more from a court verdict than an insurance claim.
If there’s a chance you could be held partially responsible, filing an insurance claim will be the safer and wiser route. Remember, seeking compensation for your losses can be virtually impossible without the help of an experienced attorney. They’ll help you navigate the complex process of seeking compensation, and make sure you walk away with a hefty payment.
Our Insurance Claim Attorneys in Richmond Work for a Contingency-Fee
We believe everyone should have access to the legal counsel they need, especially after an accident that required expensive medical treatment. That’s why our insurance claim lawyers in Richmond work for a contingency fee. A contingency-fee is a portion of your settlement or court verdict that your lawyer takes in return for their legal services.
If your case is unsuccessful, you won’t be responsible for any out-of-pocket fees. If we do win your case, you can expect your attorney to take about a third of your final payment. An added bonus of contingency is that your lawyer will be particularly motivated to reach a favorable outcome, as their commission depends on it.
Don’t Wait to Reach Out to an Insurance Claim Lawyer
Failing to contact legal counsel immediately after an accident is one of the worst things you can do. An insurance company will use any delay to discredit your injuries and potentially deny your claim. Many insurers have a 30-day deadline, so it’s important to act fast if you want to receive compensation for your losses.
Getting started on your claim right away will also ensure that you’ll be able to file within the statute of limitations. If there’s a legal deadline that applies to your case, failing to file before it will significantly reduce your chances of receiving compensation.
How to Protect Yourself From Uninsured Drivers
Since there is no way to know which drivers are insured, one way you can protect yourself is by adding Med-pay to your current insurance. MedPay, also known as medical payment benefits, can cover medical bills and lost wages from an accident. Best of all, it will help cover your bills no matter who was at fault in your accident.
Another benefit of MedPay is that payments from that fund are not typically disputed by insurers and are paid out quickly. Plus, collecting MedPay benefits doesn’t prevent you from making a third party personal injury claim against the other driver.
Contact Our Richmond Insurance Claim Lawyers
If you or a loved one were recently involved in an accident and have questions about filing an insurance claim, do not hesitate to contact an insurance claim attorney in Richmond. They’ll be able to answer all your questions, and help you figure out what the best course of action is.
The lawyers of Christina Pendleton & Associates have helped numerous clients work with insurance companies, negotiate settlements, and file personal injury claims. We will help you decide which is the best option for you and your family. Call us or fill out a contact form on our website for a free consultation.
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