What to Expect From the Claims Process in VA Auto Accident Cases
Thomas Soldan, an auto accident attorney in Virginia, answers questions about what to expect from the claims process in Virginia motor vehicle accident cases.
What Should Someone Expect When Filing an Accident Claim for the First Time?
First of all, if someone is injured in a motor vehicle accident and they are not comfortable talking to the adjuster after the accident occurs, that would be a clear sign that having a personal injury attorney to handle the claim may be in their best interest.
Motor vehicle claims investigators and claims adjusters are very aggressive in trying to resolve claims as fast as possible because the insurance companies do not want lingering exposure for claims. They want to make sure that if one of their insured drivers is involved in an accident and it was their fault, they back up the claim as efficiently and as quickly as possible.
That quick lowball recovery may be appropriate for some cases, for example it may be appropriate for a case where there are no real personal injuries and there is minimum property damage. However, in a case where a person has suffered a real injury and is undergoing treatment, the last thing they want to do is discuss the ending of the case when their personal saga has just begun.
That is one of the reasons why they should get an auto accident attorney involved as soon as possible in the process so that they can deal with the claims assessor and insurance company. The victim can work on recovery and the attorney could focus on the claim.
What Should I Do If the Insurance Company Tries to Contact Me After an Accident?
My first advice to the person is that they are under no obligation to talk to the other driver’s insurance company. I would not tell them “don’t talk to any insurance company” as most of the time, by virtue of having their own insurance, they are required to cooperate with the investigation. After a motor vehicle accident, it is typically not a good idea for a person to ignore calls from their own insurance company, but they are certainly under no obligation to talk to the at-fault driver’s insurance company. They are certainly not looking out for the victim’s best interests; they are looking out there for their own interests and their interests are to keep as much money in their pockets as they can. They will try to set up their case so that they can resolve it as quickly and as cost-efficiently as possible. That is not always in the victim’s best interests, so my advice for the potential client is not to discuss the case with a claims adjuster or representative of the other driver’s insurance company and speak to an attorney about what their best next steps are.