When you have been in a car accident that was not your fault several claims usually arise:
- Claim for personal injuries against the person who caused the accident
- Claim for property damage against the negligent party
- Claim for medical payments under your own Virginia car insurance policy
- A claim against your own insurance company for underinsured motorist benefits if you have a lot of medical bills and the other party carries less car insurance than you do.
The first thing you will need to do is to keep all of these claims straight. Depending on your situation you may or may not have all four claims. For your medical payments claim against your own company you should fully cooperate. You should also fully cooperate if your own car insurance company is handling the property damage claim.
When you are contacted by the insurance company of the person who caused the accident you should always be polite. You are not required to give a recorded statement. You should not give a recorded statement if you are under the influence of narcotic pain medication, are still in the hospital, or are still in substantial or severe pain. At some point, if you are going to settle your case yourself, you will probably have to give a recorded statement to the insurance company of the person who hit you. If you are going to make a claim against your own insurance company for underinsured motorist benefits then the same "rules" apply.