Someone else caused the car accident in which I got injured. Do I have to notify my own insurance company in Virginia? | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

Definitely call your own insurance company after you get in a car crash caused by another driver. No matter how much evidence exists to show that the other person hit and hurt you, it can take months — and, sometimes, years — for that person’s insurance company to even offer a settlement for your claims.

Your own insurance policy can cover medical bills and car repairs while you deal with the other insurance company. In some cases, your own policy will cover all your claims and then go after the other insurer for you.

Note, though, that you can still benefit from consulting with a Virginia personal injury lawyer even if you speak only with your own insurance company. Insurers investigate all claims, and you may encounter some of the same hassles from your own insurer that you would while dealing with the other driver’s insurance company.