How to File a Personal Injury Claim

If you’ve suffered a personal injury in Virginia or West Virginia, you may be concerned about the next steps to take to file your personal injury claim.

If you got insurance company information from the responsible party after the accident, FOLLOW THESE STEPS:

  • Locate the phone number or email address for the responsible party’s insurance company.  You may have to do an internet search to find this information.
  • Call or email the responsible party’s insurance company and tell them you want to report a claim.
  • Give the insurance company the policy number and name of the person who has the insurance.
  • You can briefly describe the events surrounding the accident, but DO NOT AGREE TO A RECORDED STATEMENT.  Give as few details as possible.  Insurance companies will often try to use this information against you to deny your claim.
  • Be sure to write down the claim number and name of the adjuster that the claim will be assigned to.

If you didn’t get insurance information at the time of the accident, FOLLOW THESE STEPS:

  • Contact the police officer who came to the scene of the accident to obtain the insurance information for the other party.
  • If no police officer came to the scene, contact the person who hit you and ask for the name of their insurance company and policy number.
  • Follow the steps above to report your claim.

What Happens After I File a Personal Injury Claim?

After you report your personal injury claim to the insurance company, the insurance adjuster may want you to give a recorded statement and sign an authorization to release your medical records to them.  Again, DO NOT GIVE A RECORDED STATEMENT until after you’ve sought the advice of a lawyer.

We also advise our clients not to sign a medical authorization form.  When an accident victim signs those forms, the insurance company then has access to all of the injured person’s medical records, even those that have nothing to do with the accident.  If you decide to handle your personal injury case on your own, the insurance company may require that you sign the medical authorization.  But, BEWARE, as a signature on that form can lead to problems down the road.

How To Avoid Trouble When Filing a Personal Injury Claim

If you’ve decided to handle your personal injury claim on your own, the insurance company might tell you that they can’t settle your claim or help you until you give a recorded statement or sign the medical authorization form. If this happens, it’s best to talk to a lawyer who is experienced in personal injury claims to get some advice.  Most lawyers will give you a free consultation and a little advice about the pitfalls you need to watch out for.

Talk With A Virginia And West Virginia Personal Injury Lawyer

If you or a loved one suffered a personal injury in Virginia or West Virginia, the Ritchie Law Firm is here to help.  The experienced personal injury attorneys at the Ritchie Law Firm have helped thousands of injured victims and their families recover the compensation they deserve after an accident. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means we are not paid a fee unless we win for you!  Contact us by phone at 800-277-6124 or by using our online contact form.

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Ritchie Law Firm is a personal injury law firm devoted to helping individuals who have suffered serious and catastrophic injuries or lost a loved one as a result of someone else’s negligence. Ritchie Law Firm serves all of Virginia, while helping clients in cities and surrounding areas of Winchester, Harrisonburg, Charlottesville, and Staunton, and also serves clients in West Virginia, including Martinsburg, WV.



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