What to Expect When Dealing with a Car Accident Claim

Law Blog

Seeking compensation following an incident involving an automobile can be a very long and complicated process, especially if you're dealing with injuries. It's a good idea to schedule a consultation with a car accident lawyer in order to learn about your options. If you are curious about what that the legal process will be like, read on. 

Evaluating What Happened

The first thing an attorney will want to do is get an idea of how things unfolded. If possible, try to have the names of people who were at the scene following the accident, especially police officers, witnesses, and first responders. Your lawyer will then try to figure out if you have a basis for pursuing compensation.

Filing a Claim

In the large majority of cases, paperwork will be sent to the insurance company informing them of your intent to seek damages in relation to what happened. The statute of limitations for doing this is different in each state, but it usually ranges from one to three years from the time of the incident in question. Your attorney may want to wait a little while to see how medical evaluations of your health turn out.

In the absence of an insurer, action will be pursued against any parties who might be deemed responsible. This can present major challenges, as it's possible that a driver without insurance may not have a lot of money. A lawsuit, however, is still a possibility.

Waiting for the Insurer to Respond

Once your claim has been delivered to the insurance company, they'll have a statutorily limited amount of time to accept or reject it. In most states, this will be between three weeks and two months. If the claim is accepted, the insurance carrier will have to issue payment, usually within 6 weeks or so. Should they reject the claim, the process gets more involved.


The image of a lawyer fighting things out at trial is tilted by what people see on television and in movies. The reality is that about 95 percent of cases will never see the inside of a courtroom. It's the threat of a trial, however, that may compel a stubborn insurer to give out a settlement.

A claims adjuster will be appointed by the insurance firm to calculate the settlement they're comfortable with. Both sides are expected to work toward an agreement, but the matter can still be taken to trial if negotiation fails.


17 October 2018