Defense and Insurance Company Tactics in Car Accident and Injury Cases : A Virginia Beach, VA Auto Accident Lawyer’s Advice
The common way that insurance companies handle their responsibility in car and truck accidents in Virginia courts is to wait until the last possible minute close to trial before saying ‘yes we were negligent and the plaintiff is entitled to a recovery.’
Having practiced car accident and injury law in Virginia Beach for over 20 years I see it in almost every case that has to be litigated. The insurance company and their lawyer will never admit in their initial answer that their driver did anything wrong. They will even typically plead without any factual basis that the person who was injured was partially at fault in causing the collision. This is just their standard operating procedure.
Then during the course of the year it takes to get to trial, the insurance defense lawyer will try to make excuses to get out of the responsibility for the defendant at-fault driver. If they can come up with any facts to try to say that the person who was hurt could have or should have prevented the accident they will attempt to do that through written questions under oath, interviewing of witnesses and taking of depositions which are questions under oath before a court reporter. Then, only if they have absolutely no choice at all, will they admit liability for the injury. Typically this occurs in the last weeks or months before trial if not days.
Then to add insult to injury they will argue at the trial that they are being the good guys because they have come to court admitting that their client was at fault. The injured person generally is not allowed to put on any proof of just how outrageous the conduct of the defendant was once they admit liability. So in an admitted liability case the jury will never know that the bad driver was on his cell phone at the time of the crash because it becomes irrelevant once they finally admit liability.
This pattern especially galls me when I see the advertisements for the big car insurance companies touting what good citizens they are whether it is Liberty Mutual talking about “responsibility, what’s your policy” or Allstate saying you are “in good hands.”