After my Car Accident the other Drivers Insurance keeps bugging me
I was in an auto accident in Washington, DC and the other driver’s insurance company called me: What should I do?
As a Washington, DC car accident lawyer, I routinely get calls from potential clients who have already been called by the other driver’s insurance company.It doesn’t matter whether the driver who hit you has Allstate, GEICO, State Farm, or any other major or minor insurance company.They are all calling you for the same reason, to get you to settle for less money than the case is worth before you speak with a personal injury attorney.
The at-fault driver’s insurance company may offer to pay your medical bills if you agree to sign a paper saying that you excuse them from any further liability.In other words, if you agree take a little money now, they won’t have to pay you a lot of money later.
Let’s say you are sitting in traffic on I-295 in Washington, DC and someone rear-ends you.If you need any medical attention at this point, you will probably taken to GWU Hospital, Sibley, or Washington Hospital Center.Assuming you do not have any life-threatening injuries, you will probably be given an MRI, X-Ray, blood tests, and discharged with follow-up instructions. One of the common injuries seen by car crash lawyers in the District of Columbia are cervical spine injuries.There can be damage to soft-tissue, or cervical spine lordosis (curve flattening), or any number of other conditions commonly referred to as whiplash.
You leave the hospital with your prescription for pain medication, and follow-up care instructions and a few thousand dollars in medical bills, which may or may not be covered by your insurance company or Medicaid.The insurance company calls you the next day and offers to pay your medical bills if you sign a general release of liability. This may seem like a good offer, but it is probably not. Contact a personal injury attorney prior to accepting any offer. The reason for this is that the insurance company has their best interest at heart rather than yours. They are interested in paying as little money as possible.What if you take that offer?Your neck still hurts and you miss work (lost wages).You have a lot more medical bills from follow-up visits and you have to pay to go to a physical therapist.You experience a great deal of pain and suffering. You can’t call the insurance company back and ask for more money because you already settled the case.The insurance company got away with paying you pennies on the dollar.
If you have been in a car accident in Washington, DC that was not your fault, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible.You want someone who is fighting for you. Someone who is looking out for your best interests, and not the bottom line of a major insurance company.If you are worried about how much it will cost to hire an attorney, that part is easy.You should not have to pay a dollar for legal fees unless you collect.
How Long Will it Take For My Washington, DC Automobile Accident Case to Settle and How Much is it Worth? (Part Three)
In the first two parts of this post, we discussed the process of settling a Washington, DC automobile accident lawsuit. We also discussed what happens if the driver who caused the accident did not have any insurance, or did not have enough insurance to cover your total losses.
A car insurance policy may have limits of $25,000 or $30,000. You may have suffered many times that amount in medical bills, lost wages, damage to your car, physical therapy bills, as well as experienced a great deal of pain and suffering. One way to that you may still be able to recover is through your own auto insurance policy.
There are various types of automobile insurance. There is liability insurance that covers personal injury and the property of others. This is the mandatory insurance that the state or District of Columbia requires you to have on your vehicle. As discussed in the last post, each state has a minimum amount of coverage required by law. In Washington, DC you are required to have $25,000 in coverage for injuries per person. You are required to a minimum of $50,000 in coverage for all injuries resulting from the accident, and you are required to have $15,000 in coverage for property damage to others such as their car.
In addition to liability coverage, you can also get comprehensive or collision insurance that covers damage to your own car. This would be in the event that an accident was your fault. There is also coverage for uninsured motorists (UM) and underinsured motorists (UIM). UM or UIM coverage will apply if you are in an accident that was somebody else’s fault, and that at-fault driver was either uninsured or underinsured. You may be wondering what it means to be underinsured. If your vehicle is registered in a state that has low legal limit or you have the minimum coverage in the District of Columbia, and you cause an accident where the damages far exceed the level of insurance, you are considered underinsured. This is a common problem. If an underinsured driver in Washington, DC hits you, you probably can collect the maximum amount of the coverage from the insurance company and then have to look for the rest of the money needed from other sources. If the person that crashed into you has other property such a home, you can go after these assets. If they do not, you can look to your insurance policy and your UM/UIM coverage. This is insurance that you purchase, and most people have, that will allow you be financially compensated.
One problem is that you may not have enough UM/UIM coverage to compensate you for your total loss. In this case, you may be able to do what Washington, DC automobile accident lawyers call “stacking” UM/UIM coverage. If you have more than on car in your household that is insured, you may be able to combine, or stack, the policies from different cars to add up to a higher amount of money for you to collect. This is a complicated area on law and you should discuss this with your attorney.
One of the most important things you can do to get the most money following a car accident in Washington, DC that is not your fault is contact an attorney as soon as possible. You should do this before speaking with anyone from any insurance company. These people that call you and claim they want to help you get any money fast are not working for you. They work for an insurance company and have their own interests in mind.