I.S. Law Firm, PLLC obtained the full insurance policy limit of $250,000, through litigation, for its client in Virginia, who suffered bodily injuries in a car accident caused by a drunk driver. The insurance company initially denied the liability. In response, we filed a lawsuit on behalf of our client, demanding compensatory damages for past and future medical bills, lost wages, past and future pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, as well as punitive damages. Through rigorous pretrial motions and litigation strategy of our attorneys, we closed every possible way out for the insurance company, forcing them to release the full policy limit to our client and settle the claim before trial.
When someone suffers serious injuries in a car accident and there is an insurance company zealously guarding the interests of its policy holder, it is important to immediately hire experienced personal injury lawyers to get the maximum and fair compensation.
Insurance business, like any other business, is motivated by maximizing its profits and the most direct way of maximizing such profits is, within the limits of the law, to deny the liability of its policy-holders, downplay the costs of the compensation to the victims who were injured by the insured drivers, and sometimes drag the case for a costly prolonged litigation to force the victim of a car accident to settle for less. Sometimes, the insurance companies act in bad faith.
The adversarial nature of the American legal system dictates to balance the zealous efforts of the auto-insurance companies with a competent legal representation of the victims of an accident. At I.S. Law Firm, we provide excellent representation to our clients to maximize their compensation.
In this case, the accident was caused by a drunk driver. Yet, the insurance company played by the book. The liability was denied. The medical necessity of the treatments received by our client was disputed. The insurance company began poking into the victim’s personal life to intimidate him, looked into his prior medical history to challenge the relationship between medical treatments and this accident. The claimant was rigorously questioned by the insurance company and defense counsel. Our client was ready. Thankfully, our law firm was retained by our client within just day following the accident.
Because the client retained our firm shortly after the accident, our team of experienced personal injury lawyers was able to take the following crucial steps in protecting the client’s interests and maximizing the outcome of the case:
1) Protect the client from insurance questioning seeking to obtain damaging statements.
The minute after a claim is filed or the insurance carrier becomes aware of the accident, the insurance company begins its quest for poking holes in your case, exploring every possible way to minimize or deny the claim. They will trick the injured claimant into believing that, providing a recorded statement to the insurance company will somehow speed up the process or increase the chances of higher compensation. This is a trap! The adjuster will play your friend and try to seem compassionate about your injuries. However, the true intent is to use every possible way to mercilessly deny your claims. The insurance adjuster will record the telephone conversations and lure you into making damaging statements, misinterpret and misconstrue your every word in light most favorable to his employer – the insurance company.
Therefore, to balance the scales, it is important to secure a team of personal injury lawyers as soon as possible. Retaining a law firm like ours activates a team of exceptional lawyers and paralegals, who begin working on your case the minute after you decide to hire us. As the first step, our lawyers ensure that no derogatory information has been given or leaked to the opposing side. Even if you provided a statement or information, our skilled lawyers will explore the ways to formally retract or nullify the information obtained by the opposing side prior to retaining counsel.
2) Investigate and timely secure the evidence and identify potential witnesses.
In cases involving serious injuries and severe damages to the vehicles involved, it is imperative to secure the evidence and identify witnesses as soon as possible. Every minute counts! Insurance companies dream that the claimants fail to timely secure the evidence or identify witnesses supporting their claim. It is important to secure the evidence, take photographs, and obtain statements from all potential witnesses as soon as possible, before their recollections fade.
Our team of professionals swiftly takes action to identify witnesses and secure evidence, which may be crucial to prove the liability and the extent of the injuries suffered by our client. Our attorneys and investigative team often visit the sites of the accident to take photographs, search for evidence and question potential witnesses. We send spoliation notices to all parties who may hold anything that can be used as evidence in the case. For example, in this case involving a drunk driver, it was imperative to send notices to the EMS and Police Department to preserve 911 call recording as well as any notes or photographs that the officers may have taken at the scene of the accident. It was also necessary to notify the insurance company and the salvage yard of our intent to examine the negligent driver’s vehicle. Although the actual records are obtained through court subpoenas in the course of litigation, it is important to notify the custodians to preserve such records. The subpoenas may take a long time and, unless a spoliation notice is duly provided, there may be no duty on the holder’s part to preserve the evidence that may end up being crucial for the outcome of the case.
3) Determine all available insurance policies and coverage available.
Your insurance policy may include Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist Insurance (UIM / UMI), which can have additional insurance coverage available to you from the third party. If UIM/UMI coverage exceeds the negligent driver’s liability insurance policy, then you have additional insurance coverage available. In that case, the UIM / UMI carrier steps into the shoes of the uninsured or underinsured party (the negligent driver) and provides you additional coverage. However, it is important to notify the UIM/UMI carrier as soon as possible to avoid denial of excess coverage. A special notification procedure must be followed in a case involving a lawsuit. Determining the amount of UIM / UMI insurance available may get tricky, if you have multiple cars or multiple insured members in your household, of if you were a passenger in another car, which also had UIM / UMI insurance.
Your insurance policy may also contain Personal Injury Protection (PIP) or Medical Payments (MedPay) coverage. This excellent coverage provides additional coverage to you for your medical bills and lost wages. Additionally, if you have a medical insurance, in Virginia, you may legally recover triple amount of your medical bills and retain the 2/3rd of the amount for yourself, in addition to the compensation for your other damages. Determining the amount of PIP / MedPay available may vary depending on the number of vehicles in the household and other factors.
The driver of the vehicle, which caused the accident, may also have an additional excess liability coverage, which is called “Umbrella Policy.” There are certain and often complicated ways to determine the availability of Umbrella Policy. This may involve submitting a statutory demand for disclosure to the insurance company, submitting interrogatories to the defense in litigated cases, or exploring other ways to determine all policies available to the negligent driver. Furthermore, if the driver of the vehicle, which caused the accident, was driving someone else’s car, that driver may have a policy of his own, with possible umbrella coverage, all of which would stack up on top of the third party liability coverage of the vehicle which caused the accident.
There may be additional sources of recovery, such as an employer’s liability insurance policy, liability based on principal / agent theory, additional coverage for lost wages through Worker’s Compensation Insurance, or policies through third party providers such as credit companies, enrolled programs, sponsoring organizations and so on.
Determining all available insurance policies and additional coverage is undisputedly one of the most complicated areas of the personal injury law. Our team of experienced personal injury lawyers thoroughly investigates the availability of all of the above policies and utilize every possible coverage that can maximize the net pay to our clients.
4) Ensure adequate notices to all insurance companies and parties involved.
This step ensures that all insurance companies and coverage providers are duly notified and that they will not be able to deny any available coverage claiming a lack of notice. This includes timely filing claims, notifying insurance carriers, which can have additional insurance coverage available on behalf of the third party, providing letters of representation and spoliation letters to secure the evidence. If this is not done timely, there is a risk of coverage denial.
5) Communicate and work closely with the client’s treating doctors, physicians, and other medical providers to ensure adequate treatment, medical reports and detailed diagnosis of the client’s injuries.
A substantial part of attorney’s work on a personal injury case involves collaborating and dealing with medical providers, doctors, and their support staff. A competent personal injury lawyer and their paralegals must have excellent communication skills and ability to deal and collaborate with doctors and physicians who treated the injured client. Personal injury lawyers and paralegals must also have skills in understanding the medical records and radiology reports, identifying the injuries detected by the medical providers, and communicating with the medical staff to obtain further information.
Our team of professionals maintains constant contacts with the client’s treating physicians and their staff members, providing letters of protection and lien agreements to ensure that our clients receive treatment even if they do not have medical or health insurance coverage.
6) Collaborate with team of expert witnesses, investigators, and litigation support specialists.
A good personal injury lawyer should have a network of excellent medical experts, which can independently evaluate the injuries, consult the lawyer on all medical aspects, and testify as needed to explain and illustrate the client’s injuries to the opposing side, jury, and judge. A testimony of independent medical experts serves an important role in increasing the amount of jury award or settlement. In handling personal injury cases for our clients, I.S. Law Firm works closely with a team of professional experts, investigators, court reporters, interpreters, skip tracers, and litigation support specialists. This ensures speediest and maximum monetary compensation to our clients.
Our team of attorneys and support staff professionally handled every step described above. In the end, the defense was convinced that our client’s legal team was ready to win the case if it went to trial. The insurance company agreed to release the maximum amount possible under their insured’s auto insurance policy.
If you’ve been hurt because of someone else’s negligence, you have the right to file for financial compensation. Our attorneys are committed to securing the money you deserve for your injuries. We can achieve maximum results if you contact us immediately after your accident. If you have suffered injury from a car accident, take the first step to protect your legal rights–call I. S. Law Firm today for a free consultation.
When you are injured in a traffic accident, you may be asking – how much money will I get from insurance in a car accident? You may want to know if punitive damages can be awarded, because of possible aggravating factors, such as a drunk driver or intoxicated driver. What should I do to maximize your insurance compensation? Is the insurance company acting in bad faith? Should I file a personal injury lawsuit? When to file a lawsuit in a traffic accident case? Should I give a recorded statement to the insurance company? Should you hire a traffic accident lawyer? Thankfully, we have the answers to all these questions. Give us a call for an absolutely free consultation with a personal injury / traffic accident lawyer now: +1-703-527-1779.
PLEASE NOTE THAT CASE RESULTS DEPEND UPON A VARIETY OF FACTORS UNIQUE TO EACH CASE. CASE RESULTS DESCRIBED BELOW DO NOT GUARANTEE OR PREDICT A SIMILAR RESULT IN ANY FUTURE CASE UNDERTAKEN BY I.S. LAW FIRM, PLLC (LAW OFFICES OF ISMAIL T. SHAHTAKHTINSKI, ESQ.)
I.S. Law Firm will represent you on a contingency basis—that means you pay no legal fees until we recover money for you. For a free initial consultation and case evaluation, please contact us: +1-703-527-1779 or via e-mail: [email protected].