What Should I Expect When Filing an Accident Claim in Fairfax, Virginia?
After filing your accident claim in Fairfax, Virginia, you can generally expect these steps to occur:
- The insurance company will review your claim
- You will receive a call from a claims adjuster
- The claims adjuster may offer a settlement or deny your claim
- You can negotiate for a better deal
Every accident is different. Having a lawyer on your side could make the claims process easier.
What to Expect After Filing an Accident Claim in Fairfax County
After filing your insurance claim, the following will likely happen:
The Insurance Company Will Review Your Claim
The insurance company will take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks to evaluate your claim. You might think that reviewing a claim is as simple as checking off boxes before you get a settlement, but that is not the case.
Insurance companies look for any and every reason to deny claims. To discredit or undervalue your claim, the claims adjuster will try to find:
- Inconsistencies in the information you provided
- Any indication that you caused your accident
- A lack of evidence
- Reason to dispute paying for a certain damage
- Any language in the liability policy that limits your settlement
- If you filed your claim too late
The claims adjuster might even search your social media accounts for information to dispute your case. As your case unfolds, it is in your best interest to limit your social media use. A single post could derail your case.
You Will Receive a Call from the Claims Adjuster
Once the claims adjuster has reviewed your case, they will give you a call. After exchanging some pleasantries, they might ask you to give a recorded statement. You are not required to give one – in fact, we advise against it.
Recorded statements often give insurance companies reasons to deny claims, as you answer “loaded” questions and dodge unfounded accusations. If the claims adjuster asks for a recorded statement and you have a lawyer, refer them to each other. Your legal representative can answer any questions the insurance company wants answered.
The Claims Adjuster May Offer a Settlement
When the claims adjuster offers a settlement, they will consider one thing: how to save their company money. As such, the first offer may not fully cover your losses.
When you partner with a lawyer, they will consider every aspect of your situation to determine what constitutes a fair settlement, including your working ability, age, and the severity of your injuries.
You are more than welcome to accept the first settlement offer. However, you might find yourself without adequate funds to pay for your losses. Our team can evaluate any offers and explain if they actually meet your needs.
The Claims Adjuster May Deny Your Claim
The claims adjuster might not offer a settlement – instead, they might deny your claim altogether. While this is frustrating, it is not the end of the road. To get your claim approved, our team can:
- Gather more evidence to support your claim
- Consult with healthcare providers and accident reconstruction specialists
- Demonstrate your damages with invoices, billing statements, and other information
- Identify and protect you from bad faith insurance practices
You Can Negotiate a Settlement
If the insurance company denies or undervalues your claim, you can negotiate for a better offer. To do this, our team will:
- Emphasize any emotional elements of your case. We want the claims adjuster to see you as a person––not just another case number. During negotiations, we can emphasize your “pain and suffering” and inconvenience, your mental health, and other emotional factors.
- Ask for justification. The claims adjuster cannot deny or undervalue your claim for no reason. They must provide a reason why. Once we evaluate this reason, we can take measures to support a favorable outcome.
- Get everything in writing. The claims adjuster might say one thing, but then go back on their word entirely. When we negotiate with insurance companies, we get everything in writing. Sometimes, we can even use the claims adjuster’s words against them to get what you need.
Your Claim Might Progress Differently
As noted above, every situation is different. Your claim might require extra steps to reach completion. Or the claims adjuster might accept your claim upon its submission, making for a fast resolution.
When you partner with our team, we will keep you updated on all dealings with the insurance company.
If the Insurance Company Will Not Settle, We Can File a Lawsuit
While we resolve many injury claims through negotiations, we might have to file a lawsuit to get what you need. This process involves taking depositions, interviewing witnesses, and navigating the legal process.
It also involves abiding by Virginia’s statute of limitations. You generally have two years from the date of your accident or your loved one’s passing to file a lawsuit, per Va. Code § 8.01-243 and Va. Code § 8.01-244.
You can trust our team to handle everything your claim or lawsuit needs to reach a fair resolution.
Begin Your Free Case Review with the Parrish Law Firm, PLLC
Our lead attorney, Jim Parrish, once represented insurance companies. He soon realized how these companies routinely take advantage of injured people. So now, he has dedicated his practice to helping injured claimants recover the damages they need.
When you call us, we will explain more about what you can expect when filing an accident claim in Fairfax, Virginia. To get started, call (571) 229-1800 today.