Faq Car Accident Insurance Claims
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FAQ – Car Accident Insurance Claims 

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If you’ve been injured in a wreck caused by someone else’s negligence, it’s normal to have questions about your legal rights.

Accident claims and the process of making a claim for damages can be quite complicated if not downright confusing.

We help people recover damages for their injuries, including things like medical bills, physical therapy, pain and suffering – Ralph Meekins, Shelby Accident Lawyer

Here are some common questions people have about their car accident insurance claims:

What Should I Do Immediately After a Car Accident?

The first thing you should do after a car accident is to stop your vehicle and assess the situation.

If there are injuries or significant damage, you should immediately call the police.

Dial 911

Once the police arrive, ask them to create an accident report.  That will be important for filing your insurance claim.

How Do I File a Car Insurance Claim?

While that is a common question, we think it’s a better idea to first speak with an experienced accident lawyer.

Why?

Filing a car accident claim is not as simple as many people think.

Car Accident

If you make a mistake, it could cost you thousands of dollars – or even result in your claim being denied entirely.

We firmly believe you should not speak with the at-fault driver’s insurance company without the benefit of legal counsel.

An experienced lawyer will be able to help you understand the process and ensure that you take the necessary steps to protect your rights.

The process of formally filing a claim for damages may take weeks, if not months, from the date of the wreck and after you’ve been released by your doctor.

People tend to confuse putting the carrier on notice of a potential claim with making a formal claim for damages. There is a difference and it is important to protect yourself from any effort of the adjuster to limit or deny the value of your claim – Ralph Meekins, Shelby Accident Lawyer

What Information Do I Need to File a Car Insurance Claim?

To file a personal injury claim after a car accident, you will need the following information:

  • The At-Fault (Negligent) Driver’s personal information – Name, address, telephone number, and email
  • The other driver and other drivers’ insurance information – Insurance Company name, policy number, contact number
  • The Police Report (if one was filed) – Accident Report
  • Documentation of any injuries or property damage

To file a car insurance claim, we believe it’s better to have your attorney contact the appropriate insurance company about your personal injury claim and provide them with information about the accident.

The carrier will then likely send an adjuster to inspect the damage on your vehicle and determine how much your “property damage” claim is worth.

How Long Does It Take to Process a Car Insurance Claim?

The time it takes to process an auto accident claim and property damage claims can vary depending on the severity of the accident and the insurance company’s claims process.

Hospital Staff

However, most auto insurance companies want to do everything they can to settle as quickly as possible, for as little as possible.

The insurance company is not your friend. They are not looking out for you or your best interests or your personal injury protection.

They make money by denying claims or paying less than they should even when their insured is 100% at fault. It’s all about their profit margin and money.

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What Are the Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing a Car Insurance Claim?

There are several common mistakes people make when filing a car insurance claim:

  • Not seeking medical attention right away – This is a mistake because some injuries, such as whiplash, concussions, and brain injuries may not be immediately apparent
  • Not contacting an attorney – Some people believe they can save money by handling their own bodily injury and property damage claims
  • Giving a Recorded Statement – It is common practice for the insurance adjuster to ask for a recorded statement, despite the fact that is not required under the NC Accident laws
  • Not Keeping Accurate Records – One of the most important things you can do when filing an insurance claim is to keep accurate records of your damages, injuries, and expenses
  • Not understanding the claims process

All too often, people representing themselves with the carrier settle for less than their claim is worth. In some instances, without legal protection, they find themselves dealing with allegations of Contributory Negligence and a denial of a claim altogether.X Ray Images

An attorney with substantial experience handling car accident claims is in a better position to negotiate with the insurance company to get a full and fair settlement.

Providing a statement to the insurance adjuster, whether it is recorded or not, gives the adjuster the opportunity to trip you up and use something you say against you later on.

An innocent, off-handed, or out-of-context comment can easily create problems for a valid claim for damages.

We think it’s best to let your attorney handle all communications with the insurance company.

Be sure to save all medical bills, receipts, and documentation of any lost wages or income and the costs to get your car repaired.

This will be vital in support of your claim for damages.

The car insurance claims process is often confusing and complicated.

An experienced lawyer will be able to help you navigate the process and ensure that you take the necessary steps to protect your rights.

The only person on your side is your attorney. The insurance company adjuster represents the carrier and their financial interests.

  • Big insurance companies profit by denying legitimate claims they should, by all rights, pay
  • Big insurance companies profit by paying less than they should for valid claims
  • Big insurance companies profit by taking advantage of unrepresented victims of car accidents

How long does it take to process a claim?


The time it takes to process a claim can vary depending on the severity of the accident and the insurance company’s claims process.

However, most car insurance companies want to do everything they can to settle as quickly as possible, for as little as possible.

What Are Some Tips for Getting the Most Out of My Car Insurance Claim?

There are several things you can do to increase your chances of getting a fair settlement from your car insurance company:

  1. Gather all pertinent documentation. This should include a copy of the police report (if applicable), estimates for repairs, and any other relevant paperwork. Your attorney will ordinarily handle gathering documentation and preparing a demand.
  2. Keep detailed records. Make sure to keep track of all correspondence with your insurance company, including phone calls and emails.
  3. Be patient. The claims process can be slow, so it’s important to be patient and keep following up with your insurer.
  4. Know your rights. We do this for a living. We will explain the process to you and help explain your legal rights and options.
  5. Consult with an attorney. If you feel like you’re not getting fair treatment from your insurer, consider consulting with a lawyer who has substantial experience handling accident claims.

What Are Some Common Pitfalls of Car Insurance Claims?

There are a few common pitfalls that can occur when filing a car insurance claim.

Leg Injury

One is if you do not have the proper documentation.

It is important to have all of the necessary paperwork in order before you begin the claims process. Otherwise, you may find yourself having to start over or worse, not being able to get your claim approved at all.

Another potential pitfall involves failing to keep good records of any communication you have with your insurer throughout the claims process. This will come in handy if there are any discrepancies or disagreements down the road.

What Should I Do if My Car Insurance Claim Is Denied?

Frankly, carriers regularly deny valid claims.

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If that weren’t the case, there would be no need for lawyers. We think one of the best ways to avoid a denial of an insurance claim is to establish an attorney-client relationship immediately after the accident.

This is especially important if the injuries are serious, or if there is significant damage to your vehicle. An experienced personal injury lawyer will know how to investigate the accident, how to deal with the insurance company, and how to maximize your chances of recovering for your losses.

In some cases, it may be possible to negotiate a favorable settlement with the insurance company without filing a lawsuit. However, if the insurance company refuses to offer a reasonable settlement, then filing a lawsuit may be the best option.

Why Can Negligence Be Hard to Prove?

If you have been involved in an accident and your insurance claim has been denied, contact us today for a consultation. We will review your case and advise you on the best course of action.

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