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How do car accident claims work?

No one expects to be in a car wreck, and many people are unprepared for what to do when an accident actually happens. One of the most important parts of the after-accident to-do list is filing an accurate and timely insurance claim.

Action items when filing an insurance claim after an accident

1. File your insurance claim ASAP after an accident.

To file a claim, you'll need a few pieces of information. These items include, but aren't limited to the following:

  • Your name and policy number
  • The date and time of the accident
  • The contact information for other involved parties
  • Driver's license number and license plate number of other involved parties
  • Insurance information for other involved parties

To help with the process, we encourage you to take pictures of the vehicles in the accident and ask for a copy of the police accident report, no matter who is at fault.


2. When filing a claim, speak about things objectively as possible.

As emotional as an accident can be, it's best to stick to the facts. Either insurance company involved may ask you to make a recorded statement, which is something you should NEVER do until speaking with an attorney. Taking a few minutes to write down everything immediately after an accident in addition to taking notes during and after ANY calls from insurance adjusters. This will help you maintain consistency and accuracy and provide much-needed information to your attorney.

3. After you've filed a claim, there is a five step process to how your case is handled.

According to the National Department of Motor Vehicles, these five steps are Case Assignment, Claims Meeting, Evaluation, Resolution, and Closing of the Case.

Case Assignment: If you call and file a claim over the phone, or file through an application online or on your phone, your case will be assigned to a representative. They'll work with an adjustor, who will take you to the next step.

Claims Meeting: After you've filed a claim, you'll either sit down or talk over the phone with a representative to discuss your current coverage and what the next steps are. They'll take notes on the situation, and if necessary, make a recorded statement.

Evaluation: An insurance adjustor will examine your car, inspect the damage, consult with you and the other parties about the extent of damages and injuries, and offer an initial payment.

Resolution: If the initial payment is accepted, then the case is on its way to being closed. If not, this can enter an arbitration period.

Closing: Once the finances are finalized, checks are cut, and records are made, the case is closed


We know that filing insurance claims and dealing with the fallout of an accident is difficult, so we're here to help. If you've been hurt in a big truck or auto accident and need representation, we'd like to help. Call us anytime at 615-242-9000 or contact us online. We're here 24/7 for you.

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