insurance policy terms and conditionsThere’s a lot to do after being involved in a Virginia car accident. For one, you will most likely have to contact your insurance company and file a claim. This process can be quite lengthy and cumbersome. Usually, you’ll need to speak with at least one person to actually file the claim, and you may also need to speak with an adjuster as well. Depending on the circumstances of the accident and who else was involved, you might find it necessary to deal with the other party’s insurance company as well. Making a mistake with these adjusters could lead to a denial of your claim.

What to Do and What Not to Do When Filing an Insurance Claim

Below are a few dos and don’ts that could come in handy as you begin the process:


  • Do take the time to read and understand your auto insurance policy. It’s best to do this each time you renew your policy, but if you haven’t already done this, do it before you attempt to file your claim. This will help you to understand what the insurance company will cover.
  • Do contact your insurance agent as soon as possible. The sooner you get the claim going, the sooner you can get your vehicle fixed.
  • Do try to get as many details about the accident as possible, especially regarding any injuries that occurred in the accident. If there were any witnesses, it’s always a good idea to get their contact information.
  • Do get contact and insurance information from any other drivers involved in the accident. This is crucial information for your claim.


  • Don’t admit to any liability immediately. This is for the adjusters and (possibly) attorneys to figure out. It’s not your responsibility to decide who is at fault at that moment.
  • Don’t let any time limits regarding filing your claim expire. All insurance companies limit the amount of time you can take to file a claim. If you disregard this time limit, you might find that the insurance company will refuse to cover your damages.
  • Don’t sign any paperwork that is a release or waiver of any kind. If you are unsure what the document is about, contact a Virginia personal injury attorney for assistance.
  • Don't allow your statements to be recorded.

There’s a lot to keep in mind in the days and weeks following an auto accident. It’s OK if you don’t remember everything. There are always people who can help you with your case. If you or someone you know needs legal help, the knowledgeable attorneys at Dulaney, Lauer & Thomas would be happy to talk with you.

Richard A. Dulaney
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Richard has over 30 years of experience in personal injury law.

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