Legal Guide

Filing an Accident Claim: Important Details to Note

You may be entitled to a settlement when an accident is not your fault. The settlement may involve compensation for the damages you suffered and could come from multiple angles, like the at-fault driver's insurance company or your insurer.

Regardless of the origin of compensation, there is general information you should be knowledgeable of. For example, how long you should wait before filing a claim? Let us answer some burning questions concerning filing a claim after an accident.

What is the Deadline for Filing?

Most states allow individual insurance companies to establish their own rules for when you must file a claim. For many companies, there is no particular time frame; victims should file promptly or within a reasonable time. Nevertheless, you should check the insurer's policy to know if they have a set timeframe for filing.

If your state sets a deadline for filing, you need to be aware and ensure you do not pass it. Failure to comply with the set limits may mean you cannot progress with the case.

Why Should You File Your Claim Promptly?

After the accident, seeking medical attention should be the first thing you do; next to that is filing your claim. Whether or not your state has a limit, starting the case as soon as possible is always a good idea. When you start promptly, it will be easier to collect evidence, and witnesses will still have the event's details fresh on their minds.

Further, when you start your insurance claim as early as possible, it will be easier to remember the details of the crash. Plus, the damage from the crash will still be fresh, making the claim easier to prove.

What Happens if You Delay Filing the Insurance Claim?

As the prompt filing of insurance claims has benefits, delaying your claim may have consequences. Whether you are filing the claim with your insurer or the driver, delaying may cost you your case. For instance, if you wait too long, you may exceed the statute of limitation for a lawsuit in the state.

Also, delaying may allow your insurer to deny your claim because you waited too long. They can claim that you can no longer demonstrate the harm the accident caused. However, your insurer can only use this against you if your state laws have a statute of limitations for making a claim.

Who Should You File the Claim With?

Who to file your claim with can depend on your state and whose fault the collision was. If the accident is your fault, you would typically file a detailed claim with your insurer to recover compensation for property damage. You can also file if you sustained injuries and have medical bills to pay.

If the other person driving is at fault, you must file a third-party claim against their insurer. You can file to recover compensation for property damage, pain or suffering, lost wages, medical bills, and emotional distress. You can file the claim directly, or your insurance company can do it.


“If you plan on filing an insurance claim after a crash, you first should research how long you have to file the claim to avoid delay. Filing as early as possible is important when the crash details are fresh and easy to remember.” says personal injury attorney Jan Dils. These tips can all be important to remember if you find yourself filing an accident claim. 

More to Read: