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Rick Shapiro
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Standing Her Ground Pays Off Against Allstate

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By James C. Lewis, HSCLA Attorney

One of the clients of our firm was recently involved in an automobile collision which resulted in personal injuries to her. She had the nerve to stand her ground against Allstate’s low and unfair offer–and we achieved a nice victory for her. The careless defendant ran a red light and crossed out in the road in front of her. She was unable to avoid colliding with his automobile with the front end of her car. The damage was severe enough to crush in the hood of the car and to activate the driver’s side airbag.

Our client sought medical treatment that same day from her family doctor who prescribed pain medicine for her. She returned to him several days later with continuing complaints and was referred to a pain management doctor. This doctor sent her for various forms of physical therapy treatment and gave her several trigger point injections in her neck and back. Over the course of between six and eight weeks, our client recovered nicely from her injuries and was left with medical bills in the amount of $3,200.00.
The at-fault driver was insured by Allstate Insurance Company who analyzed the case in their typically stingy fashion and, after much negotiation, offered our client $7,000.00 to settle her case. Our client was unhappy with that offer and authorized us to file a lawsuit on her behalf in the Civil Division of the General District Court, Virginia’s version of small claims court.
At the trial, our client explained how the collision occurred and how it negatively impacted her private and professional life. At the end of the evidence, the trial judge awarded our client $15,000.00, the maximum amount that you can recover in the General District Court in Virginia (there are no jury trials in small claims court).
This case clearly demonstrates that if you stand your ground against the insurance companies and demand that you be treated fairly, even if it means going to Court, it will frequently pay off for you. Even from a Judge!