When you have been injured in a car accident caused by another driver, you will need to file a claim with that driver’s insurance company. When you file, you will almost immediately receive a call from an insurance adjuster who works for the company. The adjuster will want to speak with you to get details of the crash, including how the accident happened and what type and extent are your injuries. Many victims think they are legally required to speak with the insurance company, however, doing so can actually jeopardize your claim.
If you would like to find out the best way to protect your car accident injury case, contact a Virginia car crash lawyer to find out what are the best legal steps to take. In the meantime, the following is a brief overview of how to deal with the other driver’s insurance company.
When the Insurance Company Calls
When a crash occurs, those involved – if they are physically able – move their vehicle off the road, make sure no one has been injured, call 911 to report the accident to police and request EMT assistance if it is needed. Usually, while waiting for law enforcement to arrive, the drivers involved in the accident will exchange contact and vehicle insurance information.
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When police arrive, they will take statements from all the parties involved in the crash, as well as any witnesses to the crash. The officer will take all of the information he or she collects at the scene and will write up an accident report which will also include what the officer has determined caused the crash, including which driver was at fault and if anyone was cited for violating traffic laws.
The information contained in the police reports is often critical to how smoothly any injury claim will be processed. The insurance adjusters handling the claim will also use that police report to determine what – if any – the insurance company’s financial liability will be.
Both drivers will report the crash to their insurance companies, however, only one company will be responsible for damages. In the best-case scenario, the at-fault driver will admit their fault in the accident and since all evidence confirms this, the victim’s insurance company will likely not have to proceed any further. The at-fault driver’s insurance company will then negotiate a settlement amount for the victim’s losses.
It is often no so simple, however, and there are many cases where neither driver admits fault and there is no clear evidence that allows even the police officer at the scene to come to a definitive conclusion. In these accidents, both insurance companies will conduct their own investigations as to what caused the crash and which driver is liable for damages.
Both claims adjusters will want to speak with the drivers, but you are only required to speak with your own insurance company’s adjuster. You are not required to speak to the other driver’s adjuster. In fact, you DO NOT want to speak with the other driver’s insurance company. They will do everything they can to manipulate the conversation, ask leading questions, and other tactics to get you to admit some fault to the crash.
If you are in this position, you will want to speak with your insurance company and consult with a Virginia car accident attorney. It is best to let them deal with the other driver’s company and not risk getting the financial compensation you are entitled to for the losses your injuries have caused. Contact Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp to set up a free case evaluation and find out how we can help you get the financial justice you deserve.