Individuals injured in a car accident are entitled to compensation from a negligent driver for their past and future medical bills, lost income, and pain, suffering and inconvenience, including any permanent injuries. “No fault” medical payments benefits or personal injury protection benefits may also be obtained, depending on the type of insurance coverage available.
The negligent driver’s insurance company may try to quickly contact anyone injured as a result of their insured’s carelessness, in an effort to obtain a recorded description of the accident and injuries sustained, and to attempt to settle any claims for far below fair value, before the injured person(s) have consulted a lawyer. It is always a bad idea for those injured in a car or other accident to talk to the negligent driver’s insurance company before they consult with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney.
Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia are among the minority of jurisdictions in the U.S. where the law bars a recovery of compensation for injuries or property damage if the person making the claim can be shown to have been even slightly at fault in causing the accident. This is called the contributory negligence rule, and makes it essential that where there is any potential dispute about how an accident occurred, a person who intends to assert a claim for injuries and/or property damage obtain contact information for any witnesses to the accident, and accurately explain how the accident occurred to any investigating police officer.
Mr. Ackerman has been representing individuals injured as a result of car accidents since 1987. Upon being retained by an injured client, he knows what steps to take and how to deal with the negligent driver’s insurance company. Witnesses are interviewed and the police report is obtained. Photos of the damaged vehicles and accident scene may be taken. The complete emergency room or urgent care chart and related bills are gathered, and assistance with finding appropriate medical care can be provided, if needed. If medical payments benefits or personal injury protection benefits are available, Mr. Ackerman will also process this claim for his clients.
Once a case is settled or resolved in court, it may never be re-opened, even if the injured person sustains additional medical bills or lost income. Therefore, Mr. Ackerman advises his clients that it is unwise to try to resolve their claim until after they have been discharged from all medical treatment, and all of their monetary and other damages can be well-documented for the insurance company, if settlement negotiations are anticipated, or a judge or jury, if litigation is necessary.
If you or are a loved one have been injured in a car accident through another person’s negligence, please call or email Mr. Ackerman for a free, no-obligation consultation.