Last Updated: January 17, 2021

Auto Accident Claim Process Explained

auto accident claim

Auto Accident Claim? Learn the basics of how they work to protect you and your family if you've been in a car accident.

If you’ve just been in a car wreck, figuring out the intricacies of filing an auto accident claim is likely the last thing on your mind — and for good reason.

That’s why taking a proactive approach and learning how the process works now can save you valuable time and energy should you need to do it in the future.

Today, we’re breaking down just what happens after you file that initial auto accident claim. Where does it go? Who handles it? How long until you can expect to hear back?

We’ll answer all of those questions and more. Ready to dive in? Let’s go!

The Basics of an Auto Accident Claim

As with almost any legal process, the exact steps that your claim will take will differ according to a few factors. These include:

  • The exact nature of the accident
  • How severe the accident was
  • The degree of property or bodily damage (or both) that occurred, if any

That said, there are a few actions that will occur regardless of your individual circumstance. Let’s look at those in closer detail:

Step 1: The Claims Adjustor

As soon as you file your accident claim, your insurance company will dedicate a claims adjustor to your case. He or she will be responsible for reviewing your auto policy to determine exactly how you’re covered — and how you should proceed.

Depending on your case, your claims adjustor might do the following to help create a clearer picture of what occurred during the accident:

  • Ask for a copy of the detailed police report
  • Communicate with other parties involved, including the driver and any witnesses
  • Go to the scene of the accident
  • Examine your car and photograph any physical damage
  • Review your medical record (with authorization) to discern sustained injuries

This step is critical for determining fault as it helps your insurance company understand precisely what happened and who should be held responsible.

Shouldn't YOU Have The Best Liked Lawyer, Too?

"Hiring Scott was one of the best moves I have made in my life....5 star first class act who really knows his stuff."

312-500-4500

Call Now.

Step 2: Finding Fault

Next, your adjuster will work to gather the evidence, listen to recounts, and pore over details to determine who was at fault.

You may be aware that not all automobile accidents are cut-and-dry. Sometimes, one driver is mainly at fault, but not completely.

What then?

While you’ll likely have a hard time proving total (100%%) or no (0%) fault, figuring out a percentage of blame is a helpful way for insurance companies to determine who pays what amount.

For instance, if you were found to be 70% at fault and the other driver was found to be at 30%, the settlement payments would be divided against those ratios as well.

Checking You Out

Increasingly, insurance adjusters are adopting a more digital mindset, turning to the Internet to help fill in any holes they might need while determining fault.

One place they’re likely to look? Your social media accounts. Now, you can find out more about a person in just a few clicks than you ever could in an over-the-phone interview.

Often, you can also trace that person’s steps according to what they post that day — a feature that helps adjusters grasp the timeline of the day of the accident.

For instance, you might claim you were in an automobile accident on Thursday, then upload a Facebook Live video showing your pristine car in the background on Friday.

Sounds fishy, right? Your adjuster will think so too.

Adjust the settings on your accounts so that only your added friends and family members can see your posts.

Also, it should go without saying, but try to avoid posting about the accident in the social sphere, as doing so could come back to hurt you in the end.

Step 3: Payment for Damages and Losses

After your claims adjustor reviews your case, he or she may determine that the other driver was at fault.

When this is the case, he or she will work with the other party’s insurance company to seek payment for any medical attention you might have received or any property damage done to your vehicle.

In insurance speak, this payment process is known as indemnification. Alternately, if your adjuster determines that the other party is at fault, it can sue that party for the amount of its payment in a process known as subrogation.

Vehicular Damage in An Auto Accident Claim

If your vehicle is damaged during the accident, you’ll have a few ways to go about getting it fixed with your insurance money.

You can either go to a body shop that approved by your insurance company, or you can opt for a local one that you prefer. Regardless, it pays to do your homework and get plenty of estimates.

If you end up going with your preferred shop over the approved one, keep in mind that you could be required to pay the difference if their price is higher than what your insurance company budgeted.

Medical Care

To give your claims adjuster as much information as possible, it’s important that you allow him or her access to your medical records, including any other pertinent yet personal data such as your amount of lost wages.

Doing so will allow the adjuster get a more in-depth understanding of your case, as that information is often highly detailed.

Typically, all it takes to allow this permission is to sign a patient release waiver.

Not entirely comfortable with the idea of a veritable stranger rummaging through your medical history? Hire a personal injury lawyer to facilitate this process, so you can rest assured that the documents are sound and allowing access to them is the best next move.

Not Satisfied? Your Rights and Options

If the outcome of your accident claim wasn’t quite what you thought it would be, take heart that there are measures you can take to ensure another chance.

You could start by requesting your adjuster’s boss review the claim from a fresh point-of-view.

If that doesn’t work, you can choose legal mediation or head to small claims court. If you want to avoid a full-blown trial, you can seek arbitration instead. Follow the advice of your attorney to discern what the appropriate steps are.

Your Next Move: Hire an Experienced Auto Accident Claim Attorney

Regardless of whether you’re totally satisfied with the outcome of your accident claim or wish it could be different, an experienced car accident lawyer is a key asset throughout this journey.

That’s where we come in.

Our injury lawyers are skilled in helping clients win big and we’d love to answer your questions and prepresent you if you have a case. Contact us today to learn more!  Or give us a call at 312-500-4500.

Liked the Article?  Share It!

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Related Posts

Page [tcb_pagination_current_page] of [tcb_pagination_total_pages]

Scott DeSalvo, Injury Lawyer - 312-500-4500


I've been helping injured people just like you for my entire 20+ year career in all kinds of injury cases, and I can probably help you, too. You can call me 24/7/365, any time, day or night, to get a free copy of the Injury "Cheat Sheet" which gives you the Five Secrets to winning your injury case. 100% free & no obligation. Or, you can call and ask for a FREE case strategy session where I will answer all of your questions, 100% for free and no obligation. Call 312-500-4500. I look forward to hearing from you!

Get Your FREE Copy of the Injury "Cheat Sheet"

Learn the Secrets YOU Need to Know To Win Your Injury Case!


Lawyer Car Accident? What You Need To Look For In A Car Accident Lawyer

Car Accident Lawyer Near Me? When To Hire A Lawyer? Who To Pick?

How Long After Car Accident Can You Claim Injury?

Berwyn Car Accident Lawyers Tell You What to Do In A Car Crash

How Long Does It Take to Get a Settlement Check from A Car Accident?

The Crash Wasn’t Your Fault? How To Handle A Car Accident That Wasn’t Your Fault

Car Accident Settlement? How Long Does It Take To Settle A Car Crash Case?

Car Accident Lawsuit? What Happens If You Lose a Car Accident Lawsuit?

Lawyer For A Car Accident That Wasn’t My Fault? Should I Get One? Do I Need One?

Car Crash Settlement Calculator? Need One? Here You Go.

Auto Accident? Here Are The Steps To Take After Any Auto Accident

What To Do If You Are Injured In A Car Accident

Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyer On How To Win Car Accident Cases.

Pedestrian Injury? What To Do If You Got Hit By A Car

Car Accident Lawyer Tells 3 Secrets To Injury Cases

Chicago Personal Injury Attorney? What To Look For If YOU Need An Injury Lawyer

Car Crash Against Allstate? How To Handle An Allstate Car Accident

Chicago Car Crash? 3 Major Factors To Win A Your Car Accident Case

Car Crashes? Weird Tips No One Tell You About Winning Car Crash Cases.

What To Do After a Car Crash (And What Not to Do)

Car Accident Lawyer Chicago Tells You How To Win Your Case

Chicago Car Accident Attorney Can Help You

Call A Car Crash Attorney Chicago If You Got Hurt In A Crash

Hit And Run Or Uninsured Crash? Here’s What To Do.

Getting Help From A Chicago Car Accident Lawyer

Car Accident Against Allstate? How to Win Your Case

Missing Work Because of a Car Crash? Here’s How To Get Paid.

How To Win A Case Against Allstate Car Insurance?

Chicago Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Tells 3 Things You Must Do

Chicago Car Crash Lawyer – The 5 Kinds of Car Crash Cases

Car Accident Settlement Calculator: Figure Out Your Car Crash Case Value

Motor Vehicle Accident: Stay Safe on the Road 4th of July

Chicago Car Accident Lawyer Reveals Common Injuries

Car Accident Question: What To Do When Insurance Will Not Pay?

Chicago Car Accident With A Drunk Driver? Here’s the Scoop!

Stress-Induced Wreck? Chicago Injury Attorneys Can Help

Do You Need an Automobile Injury Attorney?

Car Versus Pedestrian Injury Case? Here’s What You Need To Know.

Personal Injury Attorneys in Chicago Give 7 Smart Tips For Injured People.

10 Questions You Should Ask Your Chicago Accident Lawyers

8 Things You Should Look for in a Chicago Car Accident Attorney

Best Chicago Law Firms? How to Choose After Your Car Accident

In a Car Accident? What You Need To Know.

Car Accident Symptoms? 12 Post Car Crash Symptoms to Watch Out For