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Forbes Law Firm Feb. 7, 2024

Car Accidents Claims Process in Virginia

Dealing with a car accident can be an overwhelming experience on its own. But what people don't always disclose is that, depending on the details of the accident, the insurance claims process can be the most painful part of the whole ordeal.  

That's why we've put together this comprehensive guide to help you navigate through the car accident claims process in Virginia. But if you're seeking immediate legal assistance, don't hesitate to contact an attorney in your area for the personalized guidance you need. We're located in Hampton Roads, Virginia; call today for a free consultation.  

Car Accident Settlement Timeline in Virginia 

Car accident claims should be filed with the insurance company as soon as possible after the accident. The exact timeline may vary based on the details of your specific case and the insurance company's procedures. Once your claim is filed, the insurance company will launch an investigation, which can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. Then, the negotiation for your settlement can begin. This process can be quick, taking only a few days, or it could drag out over several months. It's important to note that each case is unique, so timeframes can vary widely. 

What to Do After the Accident 

First, you must report the accident if someone is injured or killed, or if there's damage to an attended vehicle or property. You'll need to provide your name, address, driver's license number, and vehicle registration number to either the State Police or a local law enforcement agency. Please know that failure to comply with these reporting duties could result in criminal liability. So we can't stress the importance of this first step enough. 

Next, anyone involved in the accident needs to seek medical assistance, even the ones who don't feel hurt. Injuries sustained in car accidents can be deceptive; you might feel fine initially, but symptoms could arise later on. Also, be sure to track of all the records and bills from your medical treatment as they'll become important evidence in your claim. 

Speaking of records, you should also document the accident scene as thoroughly as possible. Take pictures and videos of any damage to your vehicle, other vehicles involved, and any injuries sustained. This evidence could help strengthen your case during the claims process. 

The Settlement Process 

When you're filing a car accident claim in Virginia, you'll need to kick off the settlement process with the insurance company. This involves filing a claim and detailing your property damages, injuries, and other compensable losses. The insurance company will then conduct an investigation into your claims and may propose a settlement offer. If both parties agree on a figure, you waive your right to sue in exchange for the agreed amount.  

However, if you can't reach an agreement, you may need to file a lawsuit in civil court. If you haven't spoken to an attorney by this point, now would be the time to do it.  

What if I'm Filing a Claim for an Accident My Teen Driver Caused?  

In Virginia, parents or guardians are financially responsible for any damages caused by their minor children. This means that if your child was involved in a car accident, you may be held liable for the damages. In this case, your insurance coverage will come into play to help cover the costs. The process for filing your claim shouldn't look too different than if you were filing for your own accident. However, it's always best to consult with a personal injury attorney to ensure you're taking the necessary steps and protecting yourself legally. 

Factors Influencing Car Accident Settlements in Virginia 

There are many factors that can impact the outcome of a car accident settlement in Virginia. Here are some key elements that could influence your claim:  

  • Fault: In most cases, the insurance company will determine fault based on police reports and other evidence. If you're found to be partially responsible for the accident, this could reduce the amount of compensation you receive.  

  • Injuries: The severity of your injuries, the cost of treatment, and the impact on your daily life can all play a role in determining your settlement amount. This is why it's crucial to keep track of all medical records and bills related to the accident. 

  • Property damage: The extent of damage to your vehicle will also be factored into the settlement amount. It's important to document all damage and provide estimates for repair or replacement costs. 

  • Insurance coverage: As mentioned earlier, having adequate insurance coverage is crucial in protecting yourself financially in the event of a car accident. The amount of coverage available will play a role in determining your settlement amount. 

When to File a Lawsuit 

In Virginia, all drivers are required to have adequate insurance. The minimum coverage required by Virginia law includes $25,000 for injury or death of a single person, $50,000 for injury or death of two or more persons, and $20,000 for injury or destruction of property in a single accident.  

If the damages from your accident exceed these limits, you may need to file a lawsuit to recover the remaining costs. Additionally, if the insurance company denies your claim or offers an inadequate settlement, you may also need to file a lawsuit. 

In Virginia, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. Failing to file a claim within this time frame can result in the loss of your right to seek compensation through the court system. 

Why You Should Seek Legal Assistance 

The car accident claims process in Virginia can be complex, especially when dealing with insurance companies and legal procedures. That's why we highly recommend seeking the assistance of an experienced car accident attorney. We're here to guide you through the process, protect your rights, and help you pursue fair compensation for your damages. 

We hope this guide has helped you better understand the car accident claims process in Virginia. Remember, we're here to support you every step of the way. If you've run into an issue with insurance, contact Forbes Law Firm in Hampton Roads today to enlist personal legal representation.


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