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Motor Vehicle Accident

How to File an Insurance Claim After a Motor Vehicle Crash

Learn how to file insurance claims and secure maximum compensation


In the blink of an eye, a motor vehicle accident can turn your world upside down. In the aftermath, dealing with insurance claims can be tricky and confusing in terms of what steps to take to claim insurance. You're not alone. Many accident victims face the same challenges when attempting to file insurance claims and secure the compensation they rightfully deserve.

In this blog, we will explain the different insurance coverage types, guide you through the process of initiating a claim, provide insights on how to meticulously document the accident, and offer some advice for handling insurance adjusters. We'll also dive into common challenges claimants might encounter and share helpful tips on maximizing your insurance settlement.

The information provided in this blog is intended for general informational purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be considered as such. Readers are strongly encouraged to seek professional legal advice tailored to their specific situation. Always consult with a qualified personal injury attorney to address your concerns relating to motor vehicle accident claims.

Types of Insurance Coverage

The road to a successful insurance claim begins with a clear understanding of the various types of insurance coverage. Whether you're dealing with your insurance company or the at-fault driver's insurer, these coverage types can significantly impact the outcome of your claim. Most states require you to have a certain level of insurance. Let's break them down:

  1. Liability Insurance covers the at-fault driver's responsibility for the accident. It typically includes property damage and bodily injury liability coverage. When the other driver is at fault, their liability insurance should compensate you for the damages. This is required in all states.
  2. Personal Injury Protection (PIP) or Medical Payments Coverage provides compensation for your medical bills, regardless of who's at fault. PIP is mandatory in some states and can also cover lost wages and other related expenses. This is required in some states.
  3. Uninsured Motorist Coverage applies if the at-fault driver is uninsured or doesn't have enough insurance to cover your damages, this coverage can bridge the gap. This is required in some states.
  4. Collision Coverage handles the repair or replacement of your vehicle, regardless of who is at fault. If you have collision coverage, your own insurance company will pay for the repairs, and you may be responsible for a deductible. This insurance is typically required if you finance your vehicle.
  5. Comprehensive Coverage extends beyond accidents, covering damages from theft, vandalism, or natural disasters. This too is required if you finance your vehicle.
  6. No-Fault Insurance applies to no-fault states, where your own PIP coverage pays for your medical bills, and you generally can't sue the at-fault driver unless certain thresholds are met.

Knowing these insurance coverage types is the first step to ensuring you're adequately compensated after an accident. It's best to also know the minimum car insurance requirements by state.

Initiate the Claims Process

The next steps involve initiating the claims process. If you’ve been in an accident, take prompt and appropriate action.

Here's how to initiate the claims process:

  1. First and foremost, make sure everyone involved in the accident is safe. If you’ve faced any injuries, seek medical attention as soon as you can.
  2. Notify the police and file an accident report. Exchange information with the other party involved, including insurance details.
  3. Contact your insurance company as soon as possible. They will guide you on the initial steps and requirements for filing a claim.
  4. Document the accident scene by taking photographs, obtaining witness statements, and collecting all relevant information. This evidence will be invaluable during the claims process.
  5. Seek medical treatment if you have injuries. Ensure all medical records are well-documented, as they will be necessary to support your claim.
  6. Consult a motor vehicle accident lawyer at this stage. An attorney can provide you with legal advice to help you increase the likelihood of a favorable outcome.

Meticulously Document the Accident

Proper documentation is key to a successful insurance claim. You can never have too much evidence. Here are some pieces of evidence you can collect after an accident to support your insurance claim:

  • Take photographs of the accident scene, every inch of vehicle damage, injuries, and any visible clues about what went down.
  • If there are witnesses around, get witness statements. Get their take on what happened and, most importantly, their contact info. You never know when you might need a backup story.
  • Request a copy of the police report and review it for accuracy. The police report is like the accident's official story. Make sure all the details align with what actually happened.
  • Keep it thorough when it comes to medical records. Note down diagnoses, treatments, and all the dollar signs linked to your injuries. The more detailed, the better.
  • Keep records of repair estimates for your vehicle, rental car expenses, and any other accident-related costs.
  • Keep a log of all conversations and correspondence with insurance companies, adjusters, and other relevant parties. It's your paper trail.
  • Did work take a hit because of the accident? Document any proof of lost income due to the accident, including pay stubs and messages, emails, or statements from your employer.
  • Consider maintaining a pain journal to track the physical and emotional toll of the accident on your daily life.

Tips to Deal with Insurance Adjusters

Insurance adjusters will play a significant role in the outcome of your claim. Here's how to interact with them wisely:

  1. Be Cautious and Understand the Game

Keep in mind that insurance adjusters represent the insurance company, not your best interests. Approach conversations with caution, being mindful of what information you disclose to them. Their goal may not necessarily be to make sure you get the best settlement.

  1. Stick to the Facts

When dealing with adjusters, stick to the facts. Provide accurate and truthful information about the accident. Avoid speculating or making statements that could be twisted or misinterpreted. Clear, factual details will strengthen your position.

  1. Consult an Attorney for Expertise

If the process becomes overwhelming or you feel uncertain about handling adjusters, it's wise to consult with a personal injury attorney. Lawfty attorneys are well-versed in dealing with insurance adjusters and can communicate on your behalf. With their expertise, they can make sure your rights are protected, and negotiate on your behalf.

  1. Negotiate. Don't Settle for Less

Negotiation is a crucial part of the insurance claims process. Adjusters may initially offer settlements that are lower than what you truly deserve. An attorney skilled in negotiation can be your advocate, ensuring you receive fair compensation for your losses. Their expertise is invaluable in pushing back against lowball offers and securing the best possible outcome.

In the U.S., insurance adjusters are key players in the claims process. By approaching interactions carefully you can deal with insurance adjusters and work towards securing a fair settlement for your claim.

Common Challenges

Along your claims journey, you may encounter common challenges such as denial of coverage, disputes over fault, or low settlement offers. Here are expert tips to address these issues:

  1. Review your insurance policy. Familiarize yourself with the terms, conditions, and limits. Understand your rights and coverage so you can navigate the process with confidence.
  2. Don't rush to accept the first settlement offer. When presented with the first settlement offer, resist the urge to jump at it. Lowball offers are common, and accepting them hastily can leave you shortchanged. Consult with a personal injury attorney to evaluate the offer and ensure you're receiving fair compensation that truly covers your losses.
  3. If your claim is denied, don't give up. Appeals can sometimes reverse unfavorable decisions. Dig into the reasons for denial, gather additional supporting evidence, and present a compelling case. Insurance companies can reconsider their stance with the right arguments.
  4. Continue gathering strong evidence, and ensure it supports your claim. This includes detailed records of the accident, medical reports, repair estimates, and any correspondence with the insurance company. The stronger your evidence, the more robust your case.
  5. Get legal advocacy from an experienced motor vehicle accident attorney. They can be your strongest advocate as they understand the nuances of insurance claims, know the tactics used by insurance companies, and can fight fiercely for your rights.


Navigating insurance claims after a motor vehicle crash is no easy task, but with the right knowledge and legal representation, you can maximize your claim. At Lawfty, we're here to guide you through this complex process, ensuring your rights are protected. Get in touch with us and direct any insurers to speak with your attorney. You're not alone in this.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What happens when a car accident claim exceeds insurance limits?

When a car accident claim exceeds insurance limits, it can present a challenging situation for the claimant. The insurance limits represent the maximum amount an insurance company will pay for a covered claim. If the damages surpass these limits, the at-fault party may be personally responsible for the remaining costs. In such cases, the claimant has a few options.

Seek legal advice from an attorney experienced in motor vehicle accident claims and they can guide you in pursuing the most favorable course of action and ensure you receive fair compensation for your damages.

Q: How long do you have to file a car insurance claim?

The time frame to file a car insurance claim in the US can vary based on state laws and individual insurance policies. Generally, it's advisable to report the accident and file a claim as soon as possible after the incident. Some states have specific deadlines for filing claims, ranging from a few days to a few years. Review your insurance policy and familiarize yourself with the regulations in your state to make sure you adhere to the required timeline.

Q: How long does it take to investigate a car insurance claim?

The duration of investigating a car insurance claim in the US can vary based on the complexity of the case, the extent of damages, and the cooperation of all involved parties. Insurance companies typically aim to resolve claims efficiently, but the timeline can range from a few weeks to several months. Hiring a lawyer can play a crucial role in expediting the process and ensuring a thorough investigation.

Contact Lawfty for Help with Your Insurance Claim

If you find yourself overwhelmed by the insurance claims process or facing challenges with your accident claim, don't hesitate to reach out to Lawfty to get an accident lawyer for your case. We're here to provide guidance and make sure you receive fair compensation for your vehicle crash. Contact us for a free consultation to discuss your case and explore your legal options.

Free Case Consultation

To schedule your free and confidential case review call us at (844) 997-5100 or fill out the contact form below.

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