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Insurance Companies and Personal Injury Cases in Virginia

Once we get involved on behalf of our client, the insurance company won’t be contacting our client directly any more, they have to go through us. That’s a sense of security that we provide, to know that we’re there to fight for them. Obviously, the insurance company has millions and millions of dollars. They’ve got lots of employees there to work for them – it’s daunting, it’s intimidating – but, we’re there. Once we do represent them the insurance companies have to go through us.

So, we contact the company immediately and let them know that we represent the client. We revoke any authorizations that were given previously. One thing that a lot of folks might think on the first offer that an insurance company makes is, “Oh, they must really feel like their insured messed up if they’re already offering me money.” Well, there are a lot of moving parts; there are a lot of things to take into consideration. It’s a business, insurance is a business.

They make evaluations based on all sorts of factors. But, if they’re offering money to settle the case immediately someone might be under the impression, “Oh, well I should just take it while I can.” It might well be the case that if you do get an attorney involved that maybe it won’t be resolved as quickly…, but we can work to ensure that you receive the best outcome, and that all of your medical needs are addressed before you settle your claim. That being said, there are no guarantees; but this is what we do for a living. We deal with the insurance companies on a daily basis.

What should a personal injury client look for in an attorney?

A sense of comfort. There are all sorts of proxies that you can use for the quality of an attorney – maybe the perceived caliber of the institution where they had their educational background, or the pedigree of the firms where they’ve worked in the past. These things are proxies that aren’t all that reliable for the quality of representation they’ll get.

If you feel comfortable with that attorney, that goes a long way. That’s going to foster a more open and honest relationship with the client. That’s going to foster an easier working environment. It’s going to be beneficial, and that will pay off in spades down the road. So I guess the comfort level is probably, to me, the most important thing.

If you call an attorney and you don’t feel like you’re being treated as an individual, as a person – the cliché of being just another number, if that’s how you feel – you should think long and hard about getting involved with that person. For every person it’s different; folks have different needs. The comfort factor is very important.

Also, an attorney should be knowledgeable, but it’s hard to gauge that when you’re speaking with someone during the first interaction. An attorney shouldn’t just speak a bunch of legalese and use lots of snappy sounding lingo. When you get off the phone, just ask yourself, “Did I understand what this potential attorney was saying, or were they just trying to use lots of legal lingo to impress me to sign me up?” It is a business, also. If an attorney can explain to you in simple terms what the issues are in your case, what the next steps are, that’s going to go a long way in letting you know if they’re going to be able to do an effective job of representing you.