Virginia law requires that all driver maintain a certain level of insurance coverage in order to legally drive on the state’s public roads. Indeed, car insurance is very important in the event of a Virginia car accident, especially those that result in serious bodily injury. These accidents often result in significant expenses, including medical bills and lost wages, not to mention the emotional toll that being involved in a serious accident can take.
In theory, car insurance should help with these issues by compensating motorists for their injuries. However, in practice, insurance companies often tend to view claims with an eye toward denial or low-ball settlements. This can result in a major headache for accident victims.
Given the realities of insurance coverage, it is important that accident victims do everything they can to comply with all the requirements contained in their policy. A recent case illustrates the difficulties that an accident victim may encounter when filing a claim with an insurance company.
The Facts of the Case
The plaintiff was involved in an accident with an uninsured driver. At the time, the plaintiff was driving a car that was owned by her ex-husband, who maintained an insurance policy with the defendant insurance company. That policy contained an uninsured motorist clause, providing coverage in the event of an accident with a driver who did not have insurance, or did not carry sufficient insurance.
After the accident, the plaintiff sought medical treatment for her back and neck. However, after months of treatment, the plaintiff realized that it was not helping. She later had to quit her job. The plaintiff then filed an uninsured motorist claim with the defendant insurance company, seeking compensation for her injuries. However, because the plaintiff did not notify the defendant until about eight months after the accident, the insurance company denied her claim.
The insurance company pointed to a clause in the policy requiring that the insured immediately notify the company in the event of an accident. The insurance company claimed that by waiting eight months, the plaintiff failed to comply with the policy.
The Court’s Decision
The court agreed with the insurance company that the plaintiff needed to provide immediate notice in order to obtain benefits under the policy. The court also agreed that the plaintiff failed to comply by waiting nearly eight months. However, the court explained that the plaintiff may have had a valid reason for failing to comply in that she was not fully aware of the extent of her injuries until after she realized that the medical treatment was not working. However, the court determined that a jury should make the ultimate decision whether the plaintiff was excused from complying with the “immediate notice” requirement, and permitted the case to proceed to trial.
Have You Been Injured in a Virginia Car Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a Virginia car accident, and are currently dealing with a difficult insurance company, Attorney The Schupak Law Firm can help. Attorney Sidney Schupak has decades of experience handling Virginia personal injury claims, and knows what it takes to succeed on behalf of his clients. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with Attorney Sidney Schupak to discuss your case, call 703-491-7070 today. Calling is free, and we will not bill you for our services unless we are able to help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
See More Blog Posts:
Court Rejects Plaintiff’s Slip-and-Fall Lawsuit Based on Defendant’s Argument that Plaintiff Had Equal Knowledge of the Hazard that Caused Her Fall, Virginia Injury Lawyers Blog, July 6, 2018.
Slip-and-Fall Accidents in Virginia Grocery Stores, Virginia Injury Lawyers Blog, June 18, 2018.