In Virginia, you are entitled to compensation for your injuries in a car collision from the negligent driver who caused it. In order to be compensated, you will need to file a claim with their insurance company. You need to understand what is involved in filing a claim to know what to expect and obtain all the compensation you deserve in your settlement.
How to File an Auto Accident Claim With the Negligent Driver’s Insurance Company
An insurance claim is a request for financial compensation that you would need to file with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. It is always best to retain an experienced car accident lawyer to file your claim on your behalf because they will be able to collect the evidence you need to prove your case and accurately value your claim.
Whether you hire a lawyer or file it on your own, you should understand what is involved in filing an insurance claim. Here are the steps you will need to take:
- Contact the police. You should call the police and obtain a copy of the police report. It will contain helpful information, such as details of how the crash occurred and the officer’s conclusions as to who was at fault. You will need to provide the insurance company with a copy of it when you file your claim.
- Obtain contact information. Get the contact information for the other driver and their insurance company. You cannot file an insurance claim without it.
- Gather evidence. Take pictures of the crash scene, damage to the vehicles, your injuries, and anything else you believe would help prove the other driver’s negligence and obtain contact information for witnesses who can corroborate who caused your accident. You should also save medical bills and wage loss documents to establish the amount of compensation you should recover in your settlement.
- Notify your insurance company. Even if you do not plan to file a claim with your own insurance company, you should report your auto crash to them. You have a duty to do this under your insurance policy. In addition, you protect your right to file a claim later if you discover the other driver was uninsured or did not have enough insurance coverage to fully compensate you.
- File your claim. If you are filing your claim on your own, you can most likely file it online or by calling the insurance company. However, it is best to leave this step to your lawyer. They will send the insurance company a demand letter that outlines how their insured’s negligence caused your accident, the seriousness of your injuries, and the amount of compensation you should receive.
Once your insurance claim is filed, an insurance adjuster will be assigned to investigate and determine how much to offer in the settlement of your claim. The insurance adjuster and your lawyer will go through negotiations in an effort to settle your case. If the insurance adjuster refuses to be reasonable or the statute of limitations, which is the deadline you have to sue, will expire soon, your attorney would file a lawsuit on your behalf.
Did you or a family member suffer injuries in a car accident in Virginia Beach or Norfolk that was not your fault? Call our Norfolk office to schedule a free case evaluation to discuss your options and find out how we can assist you in obtaining all the compensation you deserve from the insurance company.