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Special Reports

Auto Accident Victim

WARNING: Auto Accident Victim

If you have recently been injured in an auto accident because of someone else's fault, you are probably confused or worried about what steps to take next:

  • Will I be paid for the time I'm losing from work?
  • Will my medical bills be paid?
  • What do I do if the person who hit my car doesn't have auto insurance?
  • Will my car be repaired?
  • What if I don't make a full recovery and cannot return to my former work?
  • What will the insurance company offer me for my personal injuries?
  • How will I know that the insurance settlement is fair for my injuries?

If you or someone you care about has any of these concerns, then please keep reading this Special Report. My name is Richard L. Downey; I have been helping injured people as a trial lawyer in Virginia for more than thirty years. I am a Board Certified Civil Trial Advocate, certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, an accredited organization of the American Bar Association. (There are currently only eight of us in all of Northern Virginia). Virginia does not currently have any procedure for approving certifying organizations. I am also listed in, "Who's Who in American Law". I have obtained millions of dollars in insurance company settlements, court and jury awards during that time.

Unfortunately, I see people who are misinformed about their rights after being injured. I have seen honest, hard working, unsuspecting people who have not protected themselves after an accident. That is why I have taken the time to write this Special Report and offer it FREE. I am aware of cases where an injured person, entitled to receive compensation for injuries, did not take any action to submit a claim to obtain compensation. These days, doing nothing at all is one of the worst things you can do. It's difficult enough to make ends meet these days. Getting injured shouldn't have to make matters worse.

If you have been injured in an auto collision there are some facts the big insurance companies do not want you to know.


In representing the injured, I investigate their claim, hire necessary expert witnesses, interview the witnesses and doctors, examine the medical records, document and verify the damage claims. I apply the law and follow the proper procedures. With more than two decades of experience in personal injury law, I am able to analyze my client's situation, recommend the best course of action and obtain a just and fair settlement for them.


The harsh reality is that insurance companies try to pay as little compensation to an injured party as they can. The truth of the matter is that insurance companies are in business to make money and the less they pay you, the more profit they can put into their pockets.

Please do not let this come as a surprise to you, but there is a strong possibility that the insurance company you have been or will be dealing with will try to get you to accept a lesser amount than you should . Many of these cases happen each year with people recovering with far less compensation than they should.

Please, don't let this happen to you! Protect yourself by learning what you must do if you are in an automobile accident.

Any automobile accident is a traumatic experience. This report was designed with helpful guidelines for you to follow in the event of an accident. Many problems can be avoided or lessened if you know the correct steps to take, and what insurance coverage exists to compensate you for your damages.

When you are involved in an accident:

You need to know what insurance coverage is available to help you.

Bodily Injury Liability coverage exists to protect you if you cause injury to someone else - a passenger in your vehicle, a pedestrian, or a person in another vehicle. Conversely another driver's bodily injury liability coverage may be available to compensate you for your bodily injuries.

Uninsured Motorist coverage protects you, members of your household, or occupants of your vehicle if injured by an uninsured motorist or in a hit and run accident.

Underinsured Motorist coverage protects you if your damages are higher that the amount of liability coverage the negligent motorist has enforced.

Collision coverage pays when your vehicle is damaged by colliding with another vehicle or object. It covers repairs, less your deductible, up to the vehicle's actual fair market value.

Car accidents can cause injuries that insurance companies may dismiss as minor or irrelevant and not want to compensate you for them. You need an experienced lawyer who will fight for your best interest. Do not sign any documents until you have consulted with an experienced trial lawyer, you could be signing away your legal rights to a fair and just settlement if you do.


The first thing I want to tell you is that a rigid time deadline exists in which to file a lawsuit. Virginia generally has a two year statue of limitations for personal injury and wrongful death claims. While there may be exceptions, you must act to protect your rights. The failure to act timely to protect yourself can become a complete barrier to your right of recovery.


I want you to know that if you are injured through no fault of your own but by someone else's negligence, Virginia law entitles you to recover various types of damages:

  • Pain And Suffering: Ordinarily, the most "valuable" element of your bodily injury claim is the right to compensation for physical pain and mental anguish you have suffered and will endure in the future because of your injury. These general damages are in addition to and may be far more than the amount of your lost earnings and medical expenses.
  • Medical Expenses: The cost of all reasonable and necessary medical expenses incurred and that are reasonably certain to be incurred in the future because of your injury, are recoverable. These expenses include past (already-incurred) medical expenses and also future medical expenses, which may be the product of the original injury or that result from an increased susceptibility to future injury.
    All forms of care and treatment, whether hospital, medical, therapy, nursing, diagnostic testing, surgery, physical rehabilitation or pain management are included. You can recover the full value of your medical expenses from the responsible party even if your health insurer has paid all or part of your bills.
  • Loss Of Earnings: You are also entitled to recover the loss of earnings suffered from your injuries. Thus, wages, commissions, bonuses and all other earnings and fringe benefits are recoverable.
  • Future Loss Of Earnings: If your injuries permanently limit your ability to earn income, you can recover the value of the reduction in earning capacity with reasonable probability which will occur in the future. These damages compensate you for your lost earning power over the remainder of your working years.
  • Death: Damages for "wrongful death" may be available for the surviving spouse, the wife, husband, parent and child of the deceased person, or in some circumstances brothers and sisters of the deceased, and to any other relative who is primarily dependent on the deceased for support and services. Damages are not limited to economic loss and may include damages for sorrow, mental anguish, solace, emotional pain and suffering, loss of society, companionship, comfort, guidance. Compensation for reasonably expected loss of income of the decedent and services, protection, care and assistance provided by the decedent. Expenses for the care, treatment, and hospitalization of the decedent incident to the injury resulting in death, reasonable funeral expenses. Additionally, punitive damages may be recovered for willful of wanton conduct, or such recklessness as evinces a conscious disregard for the safety of others.
  • Disfigurement: If the injury causes scarring or other unsightly marks, you are entitled to recover for the disfigurement and humiliation or embarrassment associated with the disfigurement.
  • Damage To Your Vehicle Or Other Personal Property: You are entitled to be made whole for any damage to your personal property. Where they can repair your vehicle, you are entitled to recover the reasonable cost of restoring the vehicle to its condition before the collision. In addition, you may recover the cost of substitute transportation necessarily incurred while they are repairing your vehicle. If the cost of repair is more than the value of your vehicle (a "total loss"), you are entitled to recover the full value of your vehicle before it was damaged.


  • CHOOSING THE RIGHT DOCTOR: A doctor who is a specialist and has a good reputation in the medical community and with the courts lends credibility to your claim. Conversely, a doctor with a bad reputation can literally destroy your claim. Your family doctor may, or may not be, "THE BEST" choice.
  • TELL YOUR DOCTOR "EVERYTHING" THAT HURTS: One of the most critical pieces of evidence is how you feel and how your injuries have effected your ability to function on a daily basis. Your doctor is required to keep accurate and detailed records of your medical history and care. The records include your description of how you were injured, your physical complaints, and your injuries, the doctor's examination findings, and the treatment you received. The insurance companies will base their offer to you on this critical information. If you fail to tell the doctor everything that hurts, not only will it not be treated properly, but also no one will know about it. If you first begin to complain about some problem weeks or even months after you were hurt, the insurance company will claim that the problem was not from the accident and reduce their settlement offer to you.
  • FOLLOW YOUR DOCTOR'S ORDERS: If your doctor tells you to get therapy three days a week, but you only go once a week, you will damage your claim. The insurance company will say that "you could not have been truly injured or you would have followed your doctor's recommendations," and will reduce their settlement offer to you.
  • KEEP A DIARY TO DOCUMENT YOUR INJURIES: Few people ever think of writing down how they felt. You need to remember the details of your injury and how you felt on a day-to-day basis. A diary helps to provide accurate accounts of your injuries and how they affected your ability to function on a daily basis. Your diary will help you prove the extent of your injuries, and can mean a higher evaluation of your claim.
  • BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU SAY TO THE INSURANCE COMPANY: They will use anything and everything you tell them against you. And no matter what, DO NOT LIE. Even a small lie can ruin your credibility. The best policy is to always tell the truth. That way you will never have to worry about what you said.


If this Special Report makes sense to you in any way, then you probably have a few questions. Since you may be uncertain about whether you have a valid personal injury claim or what to do about it, I offer a free, one hour consultation and review of your case. Please call me while this report is still fresh in your mind. I will set aside one full hour to meet with you at no cost and with no obligation! This consultation will allow you to protect your rights and maximize the value of your case. You'll be able to get all of your questions answered and go forward with confidence and peace of mind.

Here's how it works: First, I will go over the facts of your case with you, ask you questions and review the police report and any photos, estimates or other papers you may have. Then, when I have a clear understanding of what happened, I'll give you my opinion about your case, including your chances for recover and any problems I see. Every case is different and I'll tell you what I think is best for you under your specific circumstances.

I will also explain your legal rights and your obligations. I'll tell you what papers need to be filed and what reports or claims need to be made. I'll also explain the entire claims process, so you'll know exactly what happens from start to finish.

I will also explain your legal rights and your obligations. I'll tell you what papers need to be filed and what reports or claims need to be made. I'll also explain the entire claims process, so you'll know exactly what happens from start to finish.

If the facts are in dispute, I'll tell you what can be done to prove your side. I'll also tell you how to protect yourself from insurance adjusters and investigators.

The biggest settlements often go to those injured people who do the little things right.

I won't give you an opinion of what your case is worth. It is impossible to evaluate a case until you have recovered from your injuries and all of the medical bills, records, loss of earnings and other evidence are in hand.

I will answer your questions. This way, you will understand exactly where you stand with your case.

As a result of this consultation, you will know what to expect in the coming weeks and months ahead. You will have the information you need to be able to make an informed choice about your case. You'll leave my office more knowledgeable and more confident about the future.

Of course, I'll also discuss my services with you. I'll tell you what I can do for you, should you decide to hire me and explain how the fees and costs work. I am willing to answer any questions you may have about my background and legal experience including the cases I've taken to court in front of "live" juries.

Again, the consultation is 100% FREE and without obligation. There will be no one to pressure you.

Now, you may be wondering how we earn our money and whether you ever have to pay us an hourly fee. We only get paid when we collect money. For my clients who have personal injury claims, we never require them to pay hourly fees. We only get paid if you get paid. So, we have an incentive to devote our time to your case and fight for your rights to receive the kind of compensation you truly deserve! We will invest our time, our resources and abilities into your case.


Sadly some people wish they had acted sooner before important witnesses moved and could no longer be found, before delays or gaps in their medical treatment reduced the value of their case.

When you call the office, please ask to speak with my secretary to arrange a one-on-one consultation with me for one full hour to discuss your case at no charge. I will be happy to answer your questions, give you the benefit of an objective analysis and then, it's up to you to decide what you want to do. Even after that, you are under no obligation to use me as your attorney. Protect yourself and let us help you obtain the compensation you deserve for the injury inflicted upon you.

Very truly yours,

Richard L. Downey, Esq.
Law Office of Richard L. Downey
4126 Leonard Drive
Fairfax, Virginia 22030
(703) 273-8800