In the state of Virginia, all vehicle owners are required to carry automobile liability insurance, however – as a Virginia car accident attorney can attest – there is no guarantee that at-fault driver’s insurance company will pay you the financial compensation you are entitled to if you have been injured in a crash. And even though you pay your premium every month, there is also no guarantee that your own insurance company will pay you that financial compensation if there is an issue with the insurance coverage by the at-fault driver (i.e. uninsured driver, hit and run accident).
Being injured in a car accident is difficult and stressful enough, but having to fight with an insurance company to get the damages you’re entitled to can add even more stress to this situation and even interfere with your healing process. This is why many car accident victims turn to personal injury law firms like Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn for legal assistance.
How to File a Car Accident Claim
As soon as the crash happens, a victim should begin the steps that will later be used as the foundation for their car accident claim. At the scene, the first thing you should do is call 911 to report the accident. An officer will arrive on the scene, which will provide an official police report that will document the details of the crash, as well as the police officer’s professional evaluation of which driver was liable for the crash. The police report will also document whether the driver was cited for any traffic violations and/or arrested for criminal violations, such as driving under the influence.
While waiting for the police to arrive, make sure to obtain the other driver’s name, contact information, registration number, and insurance company information. You can also take the names of any witnesses who may have seen what led up to the accident.
When you are physically able, contact your insurance company and give them the information regarding the crash. An insurance adjuster will be assigned to the claim. Your insurance company will then contact the at-fault driver’s insurance company and the process will begin. In the best of situations, the insurance company that is responsible for paying the claim will do so, but it is not uncommon for the company to deny the claim.
The following is some of the more common reasons why a car accident claim may be denied:
- There is a limit on how much the insurance policy will pay out: The higher a client’s insurance premium is, the more level of coverage they have in the event of a crash. If the amount of damage in the claim exceeds the amount of coverage of the insurance policy, the claim may be denied. A claim may be denied if there is no coverage in the policy for the specific damage cited in the claim.
- There was a delay in a part of the claim process: If a victim does not report the accident to the police right away, not seeking medical attention right away, or other delays can give the insurance ammunition to deny the claim on the grounds that the victim is trying to claim an injury that occurred after the car crash and not because of it.
Contact Our Office Today
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries as a result of another party’s negligent or reckless actions, contact a Virginia personal injury attorney from Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn. Do not speak with the other driver’s insurance company before contacting our firm, otherwise, your claim could be jeopardized.
It is also important to remember that Virginia has placed a statute of limitations on how long victims have to file a claim for damages against those responsible for their injuries, so do not delay. Failure to file before that legal deadline could mean you lose any chance of ever filing your claim or getting justice against the person responsible for you or your loved one’s injuries.
Contact our office today at 800-752-0042 to set up a free and confidential case evaluation with one of our dedicated Virginia accident attorneys. You may be entitled to financial compensation for medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering, emotional anguish, permanent disability, scarring, and disfigurement. Call our office to find out how we can help.