3 Hidden Expenses After Auto Accidents that Insurance Companies Don’t Consider
Some auto accident victims may think that hiring a lawyer after their crash is unnecessary if the other driver’s insurance company offers them a settlement right away. After all, that means they don’t have to pay a lawyer or even wait to get money. But in many cases, those victims quickly find out that their settlements aren’t enough to cover all of their expenses—some of which may be “hidden” and not discovered until weeks, months, or even years later.
- Prolonged medical bills—While some auto accident victims make relatively quick recoveries, many are left with lasting damage. They may become partially disabled and need to undergo physical rehabilitation for years, which can be extremely expensive.
- Career setbacks—When you miss weeks, months, or even years of work, you don’t just miss the paychecks you would have earned during that time. You also miss promotions, bonuses, and health insurance, and more. These costs should be considered in settlements.
- Loss of enjoyment of life—Pain and suffering doesn’t always take into account all the ways that an accident affects a victim. Disabled victims may not be in significant pain, but they may be unable to do the things they once loved, such as hobbies and spending time with family.
At Skolrood Law Firm, our Roanoke auto accident lawyers don’t overlook any of the costs of a crash. In fact, we dig deep to find ways that our clients were affected by their crashes that they haven’t even experienced yet. It’s our goal to ensure they are financially compensated for what they’ve gone through. Contact us today for a free consultation if you or someone you love was injured in an auto accident.
What to Do If the Insurance Company Offers a Settlement After a Crash
For many auto accident victims, getting compensation after their crashes is their biggest priority after they’ve begun the healing process. Their medical bills are piling up day after day, and returning to work may be weeks or even months away. When the insurance company, whether it’s the other driver’s or their own, calls and offers a settlement, it may seem like the best possible news.
But all injury victims should beware when this happens. Insurance companies didn’t become billion-dollar-corporations by paying all claimants full settlements. They got where they are by being ruthless when it comes to paying out claims and even denying them whenever possible. When they offer to pay settlements on their own accord, it often means they know they would lose in court and are trying to avoid bigger payouts.
Although you may need money right away, it’s important to never accept the insurance company’s offer without speaking to a lawyer first. Signing a settlement means signing away your rights to additional compensation. While the check you get may pay for your expenses now and two months down the road, the money may quickly run out, and you may still be out of work and needing expensive treatments.
At Skolrood Law Firm, our Roanoke auto accident lawyers know how to calculate the value of car accident claims to a highly accurate degree. Once we tally up all current and future expenses, we demand that insurance companies pay our clients every penny they’re owed. Contact us today for a free consultation. It’s our job to ensure you’re paid the money you need to move forward with your life.
Why VA’s Contributory Negligence Law Means You Need a Lawyer
Some states in the U.S. allow victims to pursue and recover compensation even if they’re partially at fault for their accidents and injuries through a system called comparative negligence. Virginia is not one of those states. Instead, Virginia uses a system called contributory negligence.
Contributory negligence means that people who are even 1% at fault for their accidents can’t pursue compensation for them. Unfortunately, assigning 1% of blame for a crash is easy. Even the smallest mistakes and oversights can cause an otherwise faultless victim to receive a tiny percentage of blame. But whether they’re 100% at fault or 1%, any amount of fault is enough to result in no damages and no settlement check.
That’s why it’s important to call an experienced Roanoke auto accident lawyer right away after an accident. Fault for a crash is typically assigned by the responding police officer, but they don’t always do an extensive or exhaustive analysis of the crash or accident scene. That means their report and their assignment of fault may be inaccurate.
At Skolrood Law Firm, our legal team will work hard to determine who was at fault for your crash and by how much. We can also help prove that you weren’t at fault by collecting evidence that shows you couldn’t possibly have caused or contributed to the crash.
The upside to contributory negligence is that victims are entitled to 100% of the compensation after crashes, rather than having a percentage of it reduced as in comparative negligence. That’s why it’s so important to get a lawyer—there’s simply too much money at stake to risk getting nothing. Contact us today for a free consultation.