Five Tips to Help Your Car Accident Injury Claim in Virginia
By Griff O'Hanlon, Portsmouth Car Accident Injury
If are injured in a car accident and need to make a claim against the insurance policy of the at-fault driver, you should be aware that there are a lot of potential pitfalls to making a claim. Careless words or actions could cost you a considerable amount of money.
Here are five top tips to help your car accident injury claim, taken from Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers’ book The Best Book About Virginia Car Accidents and Injuries.
1 – Don’t Rush to Settle Your Case
After a car wreck, many people who have been injured will feel they are in dire need of money. Typically, the insurance company will wave a few thousand dollars in front of your nose immediately after the accident to settle your claim. This may appear to be tempting, but you should remember the other side’s insurance company is not your friend.
Once you have signed a legal release, you have also signed away your rights to receive more money. If you settle your case too quickly, you may not be adequately compensated for medical bills and pain and suffering or lost wages. And maybe you will realize you need surgery after you have settled. By hiring a personal injury lawyer early in the process, you can receive more objective advice.
2 – Be Wary About What You Say to Insurance Adjusters
Insurance adjustors sound very plausible and are good at persuading you not to hire a lawyer. You may want to deal with the insurance company without a lawyer if your injury is a minor one or if you have just suffered property damage to your vehicle. But if you have been seriously injured, you are more likely to get a favorable result if you use an attorney.
3 – Do Not Provide a Statement to the Insurance Adjuster
Giving an official statement to the other side’s insurance company could hurt your case. You never have to give a recorded statement and should refuse to do so. Even questions that are couched as being friendly could be intended to catch you out. Tell the adjuster you have hired an attorney and will deal with the matter through your lawyer.
4 –Start a File
Start a file and write down everything about the case. Document everything and keep copies or records that could be important to the case. If you have an attorney, make sure to share this data.
5 – Be Honest
Honesty is always the best policy after a car accident. You should be honest when dealing with any and all injuries. If you are not injured, there is no need to seek medical attention. Any inconsistencies in your story will be seized on by the attorneys for the insurance company.
If you are hurt in a car accident, it can be a bewildering and frightening time. Call our experienced Virginia auto accident attorneys for a free consultation at 757.455.0077