Dealing with the Insurance Company in a Car Accident Claim

Under Virginia law, when a person is injured due to the actions of another party, that party can be held liable for the losses the victims suffer as a result of their injuries. In many cases, depending on the severity of those losses, the at-fault party may not have the financial resources to compensate the injured party for medical bills, property damage, pain and suffering, and other damages. This is why many states require vehicle owners to carry automobile liability insurance. The insurance company will cover damages for victims in any personal injury claims should the vehicle owner be liable for a crash.

The following is an overview of how this process works. If you have been injured in a crash, a Virginia Beach car accident lawyer from our firm can provide more detailed information based on the circumstances of your case.

Insurance Coverage

When a person is injured by another’s negligence, the first step is determining whether the negligent party has insurance. Sometimes, the party at fault does not have insurance or cannot be located, such as in a hit-and-run accident. The injured party’s auto insurance may cover the injuries in those situations. Many drivers carry uninsured motorist coverage, which can compensate the injured party if the other driver is uninsured or unable to be located.

Underinsured motorist coverage compensates injured drivers when the negligent party has insurance, but it is not enough to fully compensate the victim for his or her injuries. In that case, uninsured motorist coverage can make up the difference.

The Process

When an injured person files a claim with an insurance company, a claims adjuster is responsible for processing the claim. It is important to remember that the claims adjuster represents the company, not the injured person. Insurance companies are in business to make money. When they have to pay out a claim, that cuts into the company’s profits, so it is the adjuster’s job to pay out as little as possible for the injured party’s claim—if not completely deny it.

 To demonstrate reasons for a higher settlement amount, the victim and their Virginia personal injury attorney need to document as much evidence as possible. This evidence can include medical records, doctor’s testimony, written statements from employers verifying the amount of lost wages from being unable to work while recovering, photos of the accident scene, photos of the victim’s injuries, witness statements, and more.

 Should the victim’s attorney and the insurance company agree on a fair settlement amount, both parties will sign a settlement agreement. That agreement states that the insurance company gives the victim the agreed-upon amount for their injuries in exchange for the victim waiving their right to pursue further legal action against them for the accident claim.

If the parties fail to reach an agreement, the victim’s attorney will file the legal documents required to pursue litigation and have a jury decide the case. However, due to the time, money, and stress involved in personal injury lawsuits, most personal injury claims are resolved in settlement agreements.

Call Our Personal Injury Law Firm for Legal Assistance

All accidents have the potential to permanently change the trajectory of a person’s life. If you suffered injuries in an accident caused by another party, contact Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our dedicated Virginia car accident attorneys to discuss all of your legal options.

Accident injuries should not be ignored, and you deserve compensation for your suffering. Our firm has more than three decades of experience successfully advocating for injured victims and their families and will work diligently to get you the financial compensation you deserve, like the $130,000 insurance settlement we obtained for one client who suffered back and neck injuries when another driver rear-ended her car.

For your convenience, we have offices in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Hampton, and Portsmouth.