A car accident is a very stressful and traumatic experience. You may be thinking about lost wages, financial recovery, and your health. The last thing you need is someone bugging you about insurance issues. Fortunately, there is no rush if you intend to pursue a claim. In Virginia, generally, you have two years from the date of your accident to file a lawsuit.
When it comes to talking with the automobile insurance companies, you will likely be dealing with two companies – your own insurance and the defendant’s insurance.
If you are speaking to your OWN car insurance company, you will need to report the accident. When you do, you should give them basic information:
- Ask your insurance company if you have “no-fault insurance” coverage.
- Report any information about property damage during the initial phone call with your insurance adjuster.
- Alert your company’s insurance adjuster if you believe the other driver involved may be under-insured.
- You do not need to give a recorded statement upfront. Usually, your insurance company will not ask you to give a recorded statement right away.
Sometimes your insurance company’s insurance adjuster will ask for more information than you are required to give. Keep your communication with your insurance adjuster simple, restrained, and polite.
When it comes to the defendant’s insurance company, your communication should be very limited until you speak with an attorney. Likely, they will contact you upon learning about the accident. However, keep in mind, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. Therefore, there is no need to rush.
While being polite and courteous, simply tell the insurance adjustor that you are in the process of treating for your accident, you are interested in talking to attorneys, and please refrain from contacting you until you’ve had the opportunity to speak with an attorney.
You do not have to give a recorded statement. You do not need to sign a medical authorization form. And you do not need to settle your claim just to appease the insurance adjustor.
However, keep in mind, the adjustor will need the opportunity to evaluate your claim when you do decide to pursue it. Information they need will include details of the accident, police reports, photographs, and how your injuries affected you. But before you provide that to them, you should speak with a Virginia Personal Injury Attorney so you understand your rights.
What Can You Do Right Now If You are Dealing With a Car Accident?
If you’ve been in a car accident and want to know what to say to your adjuster, talk to us first. Just call 703-584-7277 and we will help answer your questions free of charge. You can even get our book, Five Deadly Sins That Can Wreck Your Injury Claim absolutely free.