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Legal Claims Without an Attorney in Virginia

The vast majority of personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. They’re not getting paid for their services unless they obtain a favorable result for their clients, so there’s nothing to lose in contacting an attorney, and there are all sorts of legal problems that could be encountered that really do require a legal background.

Dealing With Insurance Companies Alone

If you’re in an auto accident, the at-fault driver’s insurance company does not have your best interests at stake. They might say, “Oh, just go ahead and give us the written statement, or give us a recorded statement, just tell us what happened. We just want to make sure that you get better.”

You need to step back and think about their motivations. They don’t have your interests at heart; they have their insured’s interests and their own interests [at heart], and denying a claim is ultimately in their best interest. Insurance adjusters love to play these “gotcha” games. They’ll couch a question in ways that seem harmless in an attempt to elicit information that might tip the scales one way or the other.

An experienced attorney will sniff that out from a mile away, but the average citizen will not. That’s another big reason why it’s important to get an attorney involved at an early stage. That being said, if you do give a statement to an insurance company, that doesn’t mean that your case is lost and you shouldn’t seek legal help, but they do love to play these games and they’re looking for something to [pinpoint].

They may say something that seems very unassuming, but that ultimately hints at “Have you ever had an accident before?” or “Have you ever hurt your back in an accident before?” What they’re doing is probing for a way to call into question the causation of your injuries and there needs to be someone there to represent your rights and to advocate on your behalf to make sure that the just and fair outcome is achieved, not just the quickest or the best outcome for the insurance company. That is a difficult aspect of the legal system; sometimes things are prolonged. Everybody would like for things to be quick and easy.

Giving Your Attorney All the Information (Even If You Think It’s Bad)

A big mistake people often make is after they do get an attorney, not sharing all of the pertinent information with their attorney. People always need to know that we are there to advocate on their behalf; we’re there to represent their interests. No case is a perfect case, but the best way to take on potential weaknesses in your case is to let your attorney know about any potential problems.

Let us know everything that might pose a problem down the road so that we can best prepare to take on that challenge directly. The last thing any attorney wants is to find out a surprise at their client’s deposition, for example if they have had four accidents before in which they’ve had a claim for the same injury to the same part of their body. There are all sorts of things that could come into play that are problematic. People need to know that any communication you have with your attorney is privileged. The attorney-client privilege means that what you say to your attorney is kept in confidence; it cannot be disclosed. Your attorney represents you, and they should never breach that confidentiality, even if they’re under pressure to do so. We are there to represent their interests. But, clients need to be honest and forthcoming.