Auto Accident

Can You Get Compensation After a Crash Without a Lawyer?

by Staff Blogger | July 2nd, 2020

At Skolrood Law Firm, it’s our job to help injured victims get money after crashes that weren’t their fault. However, we know that many victims are hesitant to call a lawyer. Going through the legal system can be an intimidating process for people who have never needed it before, and many people don’t want to burden others by suing them.

We get it! And in fact, you can get compensation after a crash without ever speaking to a lawyer. But it’s important to keep in mind that it’s typically the insurance companies that pay settlements to crash victims, and they don’t like spending money. In fact, that’s how they report big profits year after year.

Sometimes, insurance companies even offer victims settlements just days after their accidents occur. While they may seem great initially, as it requires less work and almost no waiting for a check, the deal is almost always rigged to be in favor of the insurance company.

Adjusters know about crashes right away, and when they realize they can’t easily deny a claim, they act fast to minimize the damage. One tactic is to offer a lowball settlement right away. Victims are often in shock and worried about medical bills and lost wages, and they frequently accept. But when they do, they forfeit their rights to future compensation.

That’s just one tactic insurance companies use. Simply put—having an experienced Roanoke auto accident lawyer on your side means you can focus on your recovery without worrying about the insurance company taking advantage of you. In addition, we’ll work hard to get you paid fair and square, and we’ll never accept less than what your accident is worth. Contact us today.

Tips for Re-Acclimating to a Congested Commute

by Staff Blogger | May 28th, 2020

COVID-19 hasn’t gone away, but many cities and states are beginning to reopen. That will mean more people heading back to work and more traffic on Virginia’s highways and interstates.

Whether you were still doing your daily commute, or were just getting out to buy groceries and other essentials, you may have noticed that roadways had much less traffic than before, as more people were staying home. The loosening of restrictions and the reopening of offices and businesses may slowly result in traffic volumes returning to normal, and that can increase your risks of being involved in a crash.

Keep these tips in mind as you re-acclimate to your daily commute:

  • Maintain a safe following distance—With fewer cars on the road, this was more easily accomplished during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. But it’s still important to leave plenty of distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you, especially in heavy traffic.
  • Avoid distractions—Larger traffic volumes mean a higher chance of stop-and-go traffic or sudden slowdowns. It’s important to always keep your eyes on the road, your hands on the wheel, and your mind on the task at hand, particularly when driving in congested areas.
  • Stay calm—Many people rate their daily commute as the most stressful part of their day. Wide-open freeways were a nice respite, but traffic volumes are slowly increasing. Stay calm if you experience newfound congestion and traffic jams, as doing so will help you stay safe.

The Roanoke auto accident lawyers at Skolrood Law Firm are here to help if you or someone you love gets injured in an auto accident, whether it’s during your daily commute, on a vacation road trip, or just while driving to the store. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Reduced Traffic Isn’t an Excuse to Lose Focus

by Staff Blogger | April 9th, 2020

Virginia is currently under a stay-at-home order, and that means many businesses are closed or have reassigned employees to work from home. If you’re considered an essential employee and still need to go into work, or if you’re driving to complete essential tasks and errands, you may have noticed that previously jammed highways and interstates are relatively traffic-free.

This can be a nice change of pace, especially if you’re used to daily delays during your morning and evening commutes. But fewer cars on the roads doesn’t mean you should take your mind off of safe driving. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that drivers on rural roads—with little to no traffic—die at a rate 2.5 times higher than drivers on urban highways.

That statistic goes to show that traffic doesn’t mean you have a higher risk of a fatal crash, and decreasing it also doesn’t mean you’re any safer. It’s up to you to drive as safely as possible to protect yourself, your passengers, and other motorists, regardless of what’s going on in the world or how busy the roadway is. Safe driving during a pandemic or at any other time of year means avoiding distractions, staying at or under the speed limit, never following too closely, staying in your lane, and never driving while impaired.

The Roanoke auto accident attorneys at Skolrood Law Firm know that even the safest drivers can still be involved in crashes, especially when other drivers fail to do their part. If you were hurt in an accident caused by a negligent driver, we want to help. Contact us today for a free consultation.

How to Handle the Insurance Companies After an Auto Accident

by Staff Blogger | February 21st, 2020

After a crash that wasn’t your fault, you need compensation for your medical bills and lost wages. For injured drivers and their passengers, settlements typically come from the at-fault drivers’ insurance policies, their own insurance policies, or both. But despite spending big money every year to convince people that they have their best interests in mind, insurance companies are instead focused on protecting their profits.

Big insurers generate huge profits year after year because they reduce or deny the payments that innocent victims are owed. One of the most effective ways they do that is by giving victims a chance to jeopardize their own claims. For example, insurance companies often contact victims in the hours or days after their accidents occur to ask them questions or offer them settlements. If victims admit fault, make contradictory statements, or accept the initial settlements, they may end up with far less money than they deserve.

Whether or not you have personal injury protection or MedPay insurance, you’re still required to alert your own auto insurance provider of a crash. When talking to your insurance company, stick to the facts of what happened. And if the other driver’s insurance company contacts you, the same strategy applies, though you should know that you aren’t obligated to speak with a representative of someone else’s insurance company.

The adjuster you speak to may seem friendly, but remember that their job is to either reduce or deny your settlement. If you have an attorney handling your claim, refer representatives of any insurance company that isn’t your own to your lawyer.

At Skolrood Law Firm, our Roanoke auto accident attorneys know how insurance companies operate, and we want to protect you from their tactics. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Using Social Media After a Crash Can Hurt Your Claim

by Staff Blogger | January 2nd, 2020

A recent study found that 223 million Americans used at least one form of social media in 2019. Whether you use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat, it’s important to understand the effects that social media can have on your auto accident claim after a crash.

Insurance companies report big profits every year, and that’s primarily because they’re adept at finding ways to reduce or deny compensation claims. They have teams of adjusters who dig into claims and the histories and daily lives of the people who file them, including their social media accounts. If they get access to your posts, tweets, or pictures, they may find information that can be used against you—even if they take it out of context.

If you talk about your accident or your claim in a post or tweet and any of the facts don’t line up with what’s in your official compensation claim, it may result in less money or an outright denial. Additionally, if pictures of you are posted on social media that appear to show you taking part in activities that might be difficult due to your injuries, the insurance company may argue that you aren’t as hurt as you say you are.

At Skolrood Law Firm, our Roanoke auto accident attorneys do everything we can to protect injured victims from the insurance companies trying to deny them, and a part of that is informing victims what not to post on social media. If you have questions or concerns about what to do after a crash that wasn’t your fault, contact us today for a free consultation.

3 Post-Auto Accident Dos and Don’ts

by Staff Blogger | November 7th, 2019

The aftermath of an auto accident is a confusing, stressful, and often painful time. It can be difficult to think straight after a crash that leaves you injured, but if you’re capable of doing so, following a few steps—and avoiding a few mistakes—can help you protect your health and your right to compensation.

After the crash, DO:

  1. Get medical attention—Even if you don’t think you were seriously injured, getting medical attention helps prove your injuries are accident-related and rules out internal injuries.
  2. Get the other driver’s contact information—Exchange insurance details with the other driver and get their name, phone number, and email address.
  3. Get a lawyer—Having a Roanoke auto accident lawyer on your side right away after a crash can improve your chances of getting compensation, especially when evidence is still easily obtained.

After the crash, DON’T:

  1. Leave the scene before police arrive—Always call 911 after the crash, and never assume someone else already has. When police arrive, remain at the scene until either you leave with EMS or you’re told you can go.
  2. Admit fault for the accident—Admitting partial or full fault for the crash can jeopardize your chances of getting compensation, even if it’s later proven you didn’t cause the accident.
  3. Exaggerate or downplay your injuries—When talking to the police, your doctor, or your lawyer, always be truthful about your injuries. Making false statements about your injuries can jeopardize your chances of getting a settlement.

Need an experienced law firm after an accident that wasn’t your fault? Contact Skolrood Law Firm today. We’re here to help.

Why Are Some Auto Accident Claims Denied?

by Staff Blogger | October 3rd, 2019

Virginia drivers are legally required to carry valid auto insurance to drive on public roads. This insurance coverage is supposed to protect drivers after accidents, as the injuries associated with crashes can result in expensive medical bills and prolonged time away from work. However, getting compensation via your own or someone else’s insurance after an accident isn’t easy, and insurance companies are well known for reducing or denying claims whenever possible.

At Skolrood Law Firm, our Roanoke car accident attorneys know how insurance companies work from the moment they first learn of a crash involving one of their policyholders. They have teams of employees called adjusters whose primary job is to find ways to pay claimants as little money as possible. They’re often able to accomplish that because of these common mistakes:

  • Victims wait too long to file claims—Virginia’s statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two years. When victims wait longer than that, they’re ineligible to seek compensation.
  • Claims are incomplete or contain inaccurate information—Insurance companies never overlook anything when reviewing claims, and if they find missing information or inaccurate facts, they won’t hesitate to deny them.

Other common causes of reduced or denied claims include admitting fault for the crash, making misleading statements about the severity of injuries, failing to see a doctor in the immediate aftermath of the crash, and having a pre-existing injury that’s similar to the injury suffered in the accident.

Our legal team knows these common mistakes and causes of denied claims, and we’ll do everything we can to prevent them from happening to you. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Where Can You Turn for Compensation After an Auto Accident?

by Staff Blogger | August 22nd, 2019

In addition to being painful, disabling, and traumatic, auto accidents are also expensive. They can result in totaled vehicles and big medical bills, not to mention weeks, months, or years away from work. That means no paychecks, which further compounds any expenses incurred from crashes.

If you were recently injured in an auto accident that wasn’t your fault, you may be eligible to receive compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. For most auto accident victims, compensation comes from two primary sources:

  • The other driver’s auto insurance provider—If the other driver was clearly at fault for the crash and they carry valid auto insurance, you can file a claim against them. If their insurance company agrees that they were at fault, you’ll be paid via their insurance policy.
  • Your own auto insurance provider—You also may be eligible to file a claim against your own insurance provider, especially if you purchased personal injury protection or have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.

In rare cases, an injured driver can even get compensation via punitive damages, which may be paid out if it’s determined that the other driver intentionally caused the accident.

At Skolrood Law Firm, our Roanoke auto accident lawyers can review your accident and claim to determine how to maximize your chances of getting compensation. Contact us today for a free consultation.

 

3 Common Post-Auto Accident Mistakes to Avoid

by Staff Blogger | July 11th, 2019

After an auto accident, your priorities are making sure that you and your loved ones get the medical attention and time you need to recover from your injuries so that you can go back to work. However, auto accident injuries can result in big medical bills that you may have difficulty paying, especially if you’re too hurt to go back to work for the foreseeable future.

If the accident was caused by a negligent driver, you may be eligible to get compensation for your medical bills and lost wages by filing a damages claim against their insurance policy. Unfortunately, getting compensation isn’t always easy, and insurance companies do everything they can to reduce or deny claims—including capitalizing on injured victims’ mistakes.

Three common mistakes that can harm compensation claims include:

  1. Admitting fault—Never admit fault for the crash to the other driver, the police, or the insurance company. Evidence may prove you didn’t contribute to the accident, but admitting fault can make it difficult to get compensation.
  2. Exaggerating or downplaying your injuries—Always be completely honest about your injuries. Making them sound worse than they are or even downplaying their severity can jeopardize your claim.
  3. Waiting too long to file a claim—In addition to a two-year statute of limitations in Virginia, the clock is also ticking on things like witness statements, crash scene evidence, and the insurance company’s perception of your claim and your injuries.

At Skolrood Law Firm, our Roanoke auto accident lawyers can take over your claim and help you avoid potentially damaging mistakes. Contact us today for a free consultation.

The Insurance Company May Use Your Words and Actions Against You After a Crash

by Staff Blogger | May 16th, 2019

Insurance companies spend millions of dollars every year trying to convince the public that they have their best interests in mind. But ultimately, insurance companies want to maximize their profits—and that’s hard to accomplish when they’re paying fair settlements to accident victims.

If you were recently hurt in a crash, the insurance company will do its best to pay you as little as possible or even deny your claim altogether. To do that, it will compile evidence against you, and some of that evidence may include your own statements about the crash and your injuries.

To protect yourself and your rights to compensation, it’s important to keep the following rules of thumb in mind in the days, weeks, and months after your crash:

  • Don’t talk about your accident on social media—When you file a compensation claim, an official record of what happened during the crash will be created. If any of your statements, including ones on social media, are contrary to that report, your claim could be jeopardized.
  • Don’t prematurely admit fault for the accident—Auto accidents are often traumatic and confusing. It can be difficult to remember what happened, and you may believe you were fully or partially at fault. If you admit fault, you may be unable to get compensation, even if evidence later disproves that.

Contacting an experienced Roanoke auto accident lawyer right away after the crash can help you focus on recovering and avoid the worries and hassles associated with the insurance company and its team of adjusters. Call Skolrood Law Firm today for a free consultation.