The Three Stages of Car Accident Insurance Claims

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The Three Stages of Car Accident Insurance Claims
Written By: Josh Lowell ~ 12/5/2022


If you have been injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation for the damages you incur because of the collision. The purpose of the personal injury claim is to bring those damages to the attention of the at-fault driver’s insurance provider to establish your damages. The goal, of course, is for the insurance company to agree with your assertions and send you a check for the damages claimed.

But, how does this process actually work?

Stage 1 – The Car Accident Aftermath

Immediately after your car accident, your mind will be racing. Calling the police is best practice to ensure the collision is properly documented. If you’ve been injured, waiting for EMTs, going to the emergency room, or making an appointment with your primary care doctor is a great next step. You may even want to advise your employer especially if you will be missing work because of the crash. Don’t forget about contacting your insurance company and the other driver’s insurer to initiate the claims and get a rental.

Many car accident victims opt to contact a personal injury attorney to handle the initial aftermath. While the attorney can’t go to your appointments for you, they are often experts in dealing with insurance companies. Your counsel can alleviate much of the pressure of the insurance claim and allow you to focus instead on feeling better and getting back to normal life.

Stage 2 – Treatment and Recovery

Once you begin treatment, the claims fall into a lull. The insurance companies are waiting for you to recovery. You may have returned to work full time. You are building strength, and your injuries are healing. Life is starting to look up. There are still issues that may cause problems. Who is paying for your medical treatment? Are you involving your medical insurance or are the auto carriers paying for treatment? What if you are still missing work or lost your job as a result of your injuries?

Personal injury attorneys help you understand this process and make you feel more comfortable. They can speak to the insurance companies to make sure the bills are being paid. The attorneys can also help keep track of your injuries, treatment, and expenses.  This guidance will be crucial for phase 3.

Stage 3 – Making a Demand

Once you have returned to your baseline condition (or you are approaching the Statute of Limitations – typically three years for car accidents in Washington), you will need to officially make your demand to the insurance company. Often, insurers require full copies of medical records, bills, and imaging. The insurer will want police report information, photographs, and other documents.

At Magnuson Lowell PS, our experienced team of personal injury litigators will help collect the necessary information. We then collaborate with our clients to craft a custom demand package seeking final resolution of their personal injury claims. With the insurance carrier on board, we then seek to find common ground to resolve your case and compensate you for your damages. And, if that fails, our team will discuss options including arbitration and going to court. We offer free case evaluations and are only a phone call away.

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