Car accidents happen infrequently enough that it is easy to forget the steps to take afterward to protect your rights. It is important to contact your insurance carrier right away. The contact information is on your insurance card, which should be kept in the glove compartment. An insurance representative will ask you a series of questions about the accident and your condition to open the case.
Who, What, When, and Where?
It is important that the insurance company know the details of when and where the accident happened and who was involved. They will also want to know the insurance carrier of others involved in the accident and if there were any witnesses. It is important to avoid placing or accepting blame for the accident. Instead, state the damage to the vehicles involved. Even though your recollection will be fresh, you will most likely be agitated; try to remain calm. Avoid blurting out something that can be construed to hurt your case later.
Insurance Company Assessment
An insurance adjuster will be assigned to investigate the accident and assess damage to the property, as well as your injuries. Remember that the insurance adjuster represents both you and the company. Be courteous with the adjuster. Taking out your frustration on them can have a boomerang effect. Avoid saying you feel fine after being asked if you are hurt. It is nearly impossible to determine internal injuries before being evaluated by a medical professional; in the initial moments after an accident, the rush of adrenaline can mask pain.
Providing Medical Information
An insurance adjuster will often request that you sign a general medical release form. The release can be overly broad and entitle the adjuster to all your medical records. This extensive disclosure is not necessary to review your case. There may be personal health records that could be used against you in some cases.
Settling the Case
Determining the full value of a fair settlement is complex. Adjustors evaluate claims based on an assessment of extensive data the insurance company has on prior claims using computer programs. Before settling a car accident claim, consider whether you would be better represented by counsel. An experienced car accident lawyer will have an understanding of the likely range of a fair settlement for your case.
If your claim involves liability disputes, issues on injury causation, or the accident resulted in permanent physical injury, then documenting the claim adequately can be quite difficult. Our experienced car accident lawyers have the resources to develop the necessary evidence to support your claims.
Our Virginia Car Accident Lawyers Help Victims Obtain the Compensation They Deserve
If you were involved in a car accident, contact one of our experienced Virginia car accident lawyers today. At East Coast Trial Lawyers, we will review your case and hold the negligent party accountable for your injuries. Call us at 757-352-2237 or complete an online form for a free consultation. Located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, we serve clients throughout Chesapeake, Eastern Shores, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Suffolk, as well as North Carolina and nationwide.