Five Tips for Dealing With Insurance Adjusters after a Car Accident In Virginia Beach

Posted By Carlton Bennett
Five Tips for Dealing With Insurance Adjusters after a Car Accident In Virginia Beach

Even a safe and skillful driver can still end up in a serious crash. Indeed, motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of accidental injuries in our region. The Virginia Highway Safety Office (VHSO) reports that there were 128,172 accidents reported in the Commonwealth in 2019. Altogether, these wrecks resulted in 65,708 reported injuries and 827 confirmed fatalities. 

If you were hurt in a crash in Hampton Roads, you need the maximum available compensation to pay for medical care, cover any lost wages, and support your family. Sadly, large insurance companies never make the claims process easy for people. In this article, our Virginia Beach car accident lawyer offers five actionable tips to help you deal with the insurance company after a crash. 


1. Know that Insurance Adjusters are Not on Your Side

As a starting point in the claims process, it is important to understand the role of the insurance companies. Insurers are profit-making institutions. They are primarily focused on promoting their own bottom line. It is not in the financial interests of the insurance company to pay out the maximum amount of compensation in every car accident injury claim. 

Even if you are dealing with your own insurer, it is imperative that you remember that the insurance adjuster is not looking out for your best interests. Instead, they are hired to do what is best for the company. You should not rely on an insurance company representative for help with the car accident injury claims process.  


2. Decline to Give a Recorded Statement 

In the immediate aftermath of a Hampton Roads, VA traffic collision, you may receive a call from a representative of the insurance company. On the other line, you will often find a friendly sounding insurance adjuster. They will likely say that they just want to ask a few questions about your crash or to gather information. 

 Please know that Virginia law does not compel you to give a recorded statement immediately after an accident. Indeed, it is not in your best interests to answer questions from an insurance adjuster without speaking to an attorney. You have the legal right to take your time and recover from the pain and trauma of your wreck. 

 Insurance adjusters are trained to elicit statements that they can use against you in the car accident claims process. They are not neutral third parties. Notably, Virginia is one of the only remaining contributory negligence jurisdictions in the United States. Under this unusually harsh legal standard, being found partially liable for your own crash can prevent you from recovering personal injury compensation. 


3. Do Not Sign a Release for Medical Records

As mentioned above, the insurance company is not on your side in the claims process. They are looking for any excuse that they can find to limit your financial recovery or deny your claim altogether. A common tactic is to pressure injured victims into signing a full release for their medical records. 

Insurance companies want extensive information—including medical records they do not need and are not entitled to under the law—to look for any reason they can find to reduce the value of a claim. They may try to blame your injuries on a pre-existing condition, instead of on the motor vehicle crash. 


4. Consult With a Virginia Car Accident Attorney 

 Perhaps the single best thing you can do to protect rights after a crash is set up a free consultation with an experienced attorney. A lawyer will review your case, handle correspondence with the insurance provider, and make sure that you comply with all requirements of Virginia law. 

As an example,  auto accident injury claims in Virginia are generally subject to a two-year statute of limitations (Code of Virginia § 8.01-243). You must initiate any legal action before the statute of limitations runs out on your case. 


5. Be Patient in Settlement Negotiations

An insurance company is unlikely to lead with its best settlement offer—particularly in a serious injury case. Be patient in settlement negotiations. You should take the time to build a strong case that is backed up by comprehensive, well-documented evidence of liability and damages. Only when an insurance adjuster understands the full value of your case will the insurer begin to offer a fair and reasonable settlement. In Virginia, car accident compensation is based on the actual damages sustained by the victim. 

Schedule a Free Car Accident Injury Consultation Today

At The Law Firm of Carlton F. Bennett, P.L.L.C., our Virginia auto accident attorney has the skills and experience you can rely on to get results. We will protect your rights and fight to maximize your financial compensation. Contact us today for a free, no obligation review of your car accident injury claims. With an office in Virginia Beach, we represent victims throughout Hampton Roads, including in Petersburg, Hampton, Norfolk, Newport News, Suffolk, and Smithfield. 

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About the Author:

Carlton Bennett

Attorney Carlton Bennett is recognized as an expert in traumatic brain damage litigation, nursing home malpractice, and wrongful death cases. Mr. Bennett was co-counsel in the largest mild-traumatic brain injury verdict, $10.2 million, ever awarded in Norfolk Circuit Court. Mr. Bennett specializes in mild brain damage cases, but also handles moderate and severe cases. He has obtained numerous multi-million dollar settlements and verdicts for traumatic brain injury survivors, and other cases involving serious injuries.Mr. Bennett is licensed to practice law in Virginia and Florida. He is a member of the Traumatic Brain Injury section of the American Association for Justice and is a member of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association. He is board certified in civil trial advocacy by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. He has an "AV" peer rating by Martindale-Hubbell, which is the highest peer rating that an attorney may obtain. He is listed in The Best Lawyers in America. ... View full business profile here: Carlton Bennett