I Was Injured in an Accident And Need Money Fast!

If you’ve been injured in an accident, either on the job or in a car crash, you may think you want to get your money quickly to pay for medical bills or household expenses.  If you really want your money fast, you can settle with the insurance company.  BUT BE WARNED!  If you settle quickly, there may be a price to pay.  So, if you’re injured and need money fast, what can you do?

It’s important to know that if you settle your case quickly with the insurance company, you will likely get less money than your claim is worth. THAT IS IMPORTANT!  Let’s say that again.  If you settle too quickly, you may get less money than you deserve.

Think about it this way.  Settling an injury claim is sort of like bartering.  One side asks for a certain amount.  Then, the other side offers less.  Then the first side asks for more money, and so on.  But, this bargaining process only works if you know where to start the bargaining.  If you don’t know what your claim is worth or settle too quickly, you will probably not get the true value for your case.  Read more on this topic in our article “5 Ways Insurance Adjusters Reduce the Value of Your Claim”

Can You Really Handle Your Case Yourself???

Some people think that settling their cases themselves will save them money.  Sometimes, like in the case of a very minor rear-end collision.  But, only rarely is that the case.  We have seen time and time again people come to our office asking us for help after a year or more of working with the insurance company.  The insurance company knows the injured person doesn’t have a lawyer.  And, the insurance company is going to try really hard to take advantage of that situation.

If you don’t have a lawyer on your side, the insurance company might try to “low ball” your offer or drag their feet until you are forced to file suit against them.  Lots of times, we’ve seen clients who have gotten to the point of needing a lawyer after trying to handle everything themselves, and they’ve made numerous mistakes. Even though you might think you know how to bargain, very few people actually know how to put a value on an injury claim.

Read more on this topic in our article “Dealing With the Insurance Adjuster After a Virginia Car Accident

Questions To Ask When Choosing A Lawyer

1)         Ask your friends and family if they have used a personal injury lawyer in the past.  If so, ask them if they would use him or her again.

2)         Check out the internet for lawyers who specialize in personal injury cases.  A lawyer who specializes is generally going to be a better option for you than a “jack of all trades.”  These types of law firms are basically telling you that they are basically “average at everything.”

3)         Narrow your choices to a couple of attorneys and ask them these questions:

a) How long have you been in practice?

b) Do you have actual experience handling personal injury (or your type) cases?

c) Can I read about your track record of successes in personal injury cases?

d) Have you published any books or guides for injured people?  (Check out our firm’s “Your Rights After a Serious Auto Accident” book here)

e) Are you board certified?

f) Are you listed in SuperLawyers?

g)  What is your Martindale-Hubbell rating?

**** See Ritchie Law Firm’s board certifications, Super Lawyers designation, and Martindale-Hubbell rating here.

h) Do you spend at least 80% of your time representing individuals against insurance companies in injury, disability, and malpractice cases?

A Final Word

One last important piece of advice. . . You should be careful of some of those 1-800-LAWYER type phone numbers.  In some instances, people who call those numbers are routed through a call center which randomly sends your call to the next attorney in line.  You may think you’re calling one lawyer when in fact you are routing to another.

Read more about finding a personal injury lawyer in our article “The Virginia State Bar Won’t Let Us Say” here.

Check Us Out

If you’ve been injured in an accident, check out the credentials of the Ritchie Law Firm.  We have a proven track record of success and have been certified as well as highly ranked and rated by the above listed agencies.  Talk to us and ask us what we bring to your case that other lawyers do not.  There is absolutely no charge to talk to a lawyer.  If you decide you’d like our help, we don’t charge a fee unless we win your case.

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