If a negligent driver caused your car collision and you suffered injuries in Virginia, you will need to file a claim with their insurance company. You can avoid some of the confusion and frustration of going through the process of settling your claim if you understand how your claim is investigated. This can also help you protect your right to compensation for your injuries.
Why the Insurance Company Will Investigate Your Claim
The insurance company would not agree to settle your case until they complete an investigation of your claim. Reasons they would want to conduct an investigation first include the following:
- Determine the validity of your claim and the amount of compensation you are entitled to under Virginia law
- Ensure that you are not committing insurance fraud
- Look for reasons to deny your claim or pay you less compensation than you deserve in your settlement
Steps in a Car Accident Claim Investigation
There are a number of steps involved in an insurance company’s investigation of an auto crash injury claim. The investigation could take longer and be more extensive if you suffered a long-term injury because the value of your claim will be higher. Here are the steps that the insurance company could take:
- Assign an adjuster. The first step the insurance company would take would be to assign an insurance adjuster to your claim.
- Review the police report. The insurance adjuster would obtain a copy of the police report and review it. It will provide them with valuable information about the details of the collision and the officer’s conclusions as to who caused the wreck.
- Conduct interviews. The insurance adjuster could interview other drivers, passengers, and eyewitnesses to the accident and other witnesses, such as your co-workers and neighbors.
- Ask for a recorded statement. The insurance adjuster will most likely ask you to give a recorded statement, which is a question and answer session that is recorded and transcribed into a written document. You do not have to give one to settle your claim. You should refuse to provide a recorded statement because you could say something that hurts your claim.
- Review photos, videos, and your car’s damage. Another step in the investigation would be to review photos and videos of the accident and inspect the damage to your vehicle. This can help the adjuster determine the cause of the wreck.
- Review medical records. The insurance company will examine your medical records to determine the seriousness of your injuries, the medical treatments you need, and the cost of your medical care. They may also be looking to see if you sought immediate medical care and if there are gaps in your medical treatment that they can use to dispute how severe your injuries are.
- Examine your wage loss records. The insurance company will need to review your paystubs and other wage loss documents to determine the value of the wage loss portion of your claim.
- Search your social media sites. The insurance adjuster would likely search your social media sites multiple times to look for statements you made admitting fault for the collision or for posts showing that your injuries are not as severe as you claim.
Have you been injured in a car accident in the Virginia Beach or Norfolk area? Call our Norfolk office at 877-960-3441 or contact us online to schedule your free initial consultation today with our experienced car accident lawyers to learn more about how we can assist you.