Even the most experienced Virginia driver finds a car accident stressful. After the accident, you have concerns about your health, the safety of the other driver and all passengers involved. The focus then quickly shifts to financial aspects, such as covering insurance claims. If you are familiar with some of the general concepts associated with insurance and car accidents, you will be better equipped to navigate these challenges when they arise.
Dealing with a total loss
To cover the damage to your car in a car accident, you have two options. You can file a claim against the at-fault driver’s policy or rely on your collision coverage. If the cost of repairing your car is more than its actual value, the insurance company considers it a total loss. The same applies if your car gets stolen. If you disagree with the adjuster’s evaluation, you must provide evidence that your vehicle is worth more than the insurer’s estimate. This evidence may include documentation about any improvements you’ve made to the car.
Responding to a lowball offer
Carefully reviewing any offer received from your insurance company is beneficial. If you are dissatisfied with the estimate provided by your insurance company, you can obtain an independent estimate of the repair costs. Getting estimates from multiple mechanics will provide you with a wider range of information to present to the insurance company. In case the compensation offered is lower than expected, you can write a counteroffer to the insurance company.
Handling the aftermath of negotiations
After completing negotiations with the insurance company, you and your lawyer will work together to draft a written settlement, and you will receive the agreed-upon payout minus the deductible. Some insurance companies restrict the use of the funds to the purpose defined in the payout, while others allow you to cash the check and use the funds at your discretion.
Being involved in an automobile accident always brings some level of stress. However, having a firm understanding of your insurance coverage and your responsibilities after the accident can help reduce that stress.