When to File Car Insurance Claims

When to File Car Insurance Claims

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When to File Car Insurance Claims

The moments following a motor vehicle accident are nerve-racking. Most people are unsure about when to file car insurance claims.  

Should you call your insurance provider as soon as the collision occurs? Is it a good idea to negotiate with an insurance adjuster? What information will be relevant to the claim? 

Many car crash victims do not have experience answering these types of questions. Because of this, it is critical to consult with a legal professional about the details of your case. 

A skilled Morgan and Morgan attorney will help you understand when to file car insurance claims. If another person’s recklessness was the cause of your traffic accident, you may be owed significant compensation. 

Securing money from your own provider or another driver’s insurance company can be difficult. With the help of a knowledgeable tort lawyer from Morgan & Morgan, you can effectively seek the financial compensation you are owed. 

Insurance companies are not incentivized to provide claimants with the full amount they are owed. Instead, these for-profit corporations seek to pay as little as possible on car accident claims. 

Do not let a tightfisted insurance business deny you the ability to financially recover following a traffic collision. At Morgan & Morgan, our knowledgeable legal team is ready to review the facts of your car accident claim. 

We can help you know how and when to file car insurance claims in the most effective way. Fill out our online contact form today for a no-cost legal case evaluation.

Important Steps Following a Car Accident

If you have been involved in an automobile collision, it's important to remain calm. Taking the proper steps in the immediate aftermath of a crash will give you the best chance of staying safe and recovering compensation in any resulting claim.  

Take the following important actions in the moments after a motor vehicle crash:

Check for Injuries

If anyone is injured, call 911 or another local emergency line immediately. Check yourself for injuries carefully before you move.  

The emergency dispatcher should send an ambulance or other medical responders to the scene. Do not attempt to move anyone who is severely injured—wait for medical professionals.

Get to a Safe Location

When it is safe to do so, move your car to the side of the roadway or a nearby parking lot. If you are unable to move your vehicle, turn on your hazard lights to warn other drivers. Getting your vehicle to a safe spot will help to prevent additional accidents and injuries.

Exchange Information With Those Involved

Trade information with other drivers involved in the accident. In the event of a tort legal claim, this information will be vital. 

Collect the following from those involved in the collision: 

  • Name
  • Phone number
  • Insurance information
  • VIN number
  • License plate number
  • Email address 

When filing an insurance claim after a motor vehicle collision, it is important to have as much information as possible. A skilled tort attorney can help you build a strong case to recover the benefit payments you are rightfully due.

Document the Accident

Take photographs of any damage to your vehicle. Make sure to also take pictures or videos of the scene of the crash.  

Write down the following facts about the collision: 

  • Location
  • Time
  • Weather conditions
  • Nature of the accident
  • Nearby roadway obstacles 

If possible, collect the names and contact information of any eyewitnesses to the collision. Statements from those who saw the crash can help to verify your version of events. 

Report the Crash 

Some crash victims wonder when to file car insurance claims after an accident. You should report the crash to your insurance provider as soon as possible.  

In some instances, insurance policies have a deadline by which the policyholder must file a claim. This depends on the type of insurance coverage and the circumstances of the crash.  

Starting the process of an insurance claim involves notifying the company that you have been involved in a collision and plan to pursue compensation. There is no single deadline for when to file car insurance claims.  

Still, it is better to file a claim as early as possible. A skilled lawyer can help you file a claim in the most effective way, which will increase your chances of recovering compensation. 

In some areas, claimants are legally required to report an accident to the police. Usually, this requirement applies only if the incident resulted in injuries, death, or substantial property damage.

Seek Medical Attention

Even if you believe you were not injured, it is critical to visit a physician after an accident. Some types of personal injuries, including whiplash, might not show symptoms until days or weeks have passed. 

Additionally, a record of your medical status will increase the chances of a successful legal claim. When a greedy insurance company attempts to downplay your injuries or physical damage, a medical record will serve as powerful evidence in your favor.

Understanding Damages in a Tort Car Accident Claim

The financial payments in a tort legal claim are called “damages.” Compensatory damages are intended to make up for the victim’s direct costs and losses from the accident or injuries.  

Payments provided to compensate for the accident victim’s economic losses are called “special” damages. This type of damages is specific to an individual case and can be objectively quantified in economic terms.  

Special damages are typically claimed in a personal injury case to compensate for financial losses such as: 

  • Current and future medical costs
  • Property and vehicular damage and losses
  • Lost income and foregone wages from missed work
  • Lost long-term earning capacity
  • Other miscellaneous out-of-pocket expenses 

Often, car accident victims underestimate the financial pressure they will face following a collision. Because of this, it is critical to secure the services of a Morgan & Morgan attorney. Our legal team has decades of experience recovering maximum financial damages for our clients. 

The other common type of compensatory damages is called “general” damages. These payments do not compensate victims for their financial losses. Instead, they make up for the personal, emotional, and intangible harm that collision victims undergo. General damages include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of reputation
  • Loss of consortium — relationship with a spouse
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Loss of guidance — parental relationship
  • Loss of services — domestic labor and childcare
  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of ability to pursue hobbies
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) 

To recover general damages, the plaintiff must be able to provide evidence of the intangible harm incurred. This can be difficult since these losses are subjective and challenging to quantify. 

Recovering general damages following a motor vehicle collision requires significant legal expertise. Miserly insurance companies often try to downplay these losses in hopes of paying the lowest amount possible. 

Do not settle for less than your motor vehicle claim is worth. When we agree to take your case, the accomplished Morgan & Morgan attorneys will fight tirelessly to secure every penny you need to move forward. 

The Role of “Negligence” in Successful Car Accident Claims

Securing money after a car accident caused by another person involves proving that the other party was negligent. In the legal context, the concept of “negligent” is central to most tort cases. 

To prove another party’s negligence in a traffic collision claim, you must show that the other driver failed to exercise reasonable care. You must also provide evidence that their failure to be reasonably safe caused the crash and your injuries.  

The legal definition of “negligence” involves four distinct elements. To successfully show the other driver was negligent, the plaintiff must prove:

Duty of Care

The claimant must show that the other driver had an obligation to use reasonable care while driving. Reasonably safe driving helps to prevent accidents and injuries.

Breach of Duty

The at-fault party failed to exercise reasonable care. The claimant must show the other party behaved in a way that a reasonable person would not have.


The plaintiff, or their attorney, must provide compelling evidence that the at-fault driver’s behavior was the cause of the victim’s injuries. If the negligent action did not contribute to the claimant’s costs and losses, they will be unable to successfully pursue a claim.


The claimant must show that they suffered actual damages because of the accident. Common examples of actual damages include medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage. 

Effectively proving these four elements of negligence requires specialized legal knowledge and experience. Fortunately, our attorneys at Morgan and Morgan have a track record of more than thirty years to show their capability of winning for victims.

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Get answers to commonly asked questions about our legal services and learn how we may assist you with your case.

Morgan & Morgan

  • Is It Important to Hire an Attorney Who Works on Contingency?

    Yes. It is vital to secure the services of a tort lawyer who operates on a contingency basis. With a contingency fee payment approach, accident and injury victims pay nothing in upfront costs. 

    You should never hire a firm that is funded through upfront attorneys’ fees. When you hire Morgan & Morgan, we will not charge you a dime unless we successfully settle or try your case.  

    When we take your case, our attorneys will agree to represent you for a specific portion of the financial compensation we recover. This ensures that your legal team is always working in your best financial interest.  

    This can be especially helpful for victims who have sustained serious injuries. These individuals often do not have the funds to pay out of pocket for legal representation.

  • Should I Negotiate With an Insurance Adjuster?

    Insurance adjusters are trained to devalue claims and determine the damages that the insurance company will pay. It is not a good idea to negotiate with an adjuster without the guidance of a seasoned car accident lawyer.  

    Keep in mind that insurance company representatives are working hard to minimize the payout in your claim. Because of this incentive, they may attempt to lowball you or dispute the validity of your claim.  

    The knowledgeable attorneys at Morgan and Morgan know how to effectively undermine the strategies that adjusters use. We will negotiate aggressively on your behalf to recover maximum financial compensation in your case.

  • Secure Representation Through Morgan and Morgan

    When you have been involved in a motor vehicle collision, hiring the right legal representation is important. Morgan & Morgan attorneys have been winning for our clients for more than three decades and can even help advise you on when to file car insurance claims. 

    Do not settle for less than the full value of your collision claim. Complete the contact form on the Morgan & Morgan website to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation legal case evaluation today. When we take your case, you can rest assured that you are in good hands.

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“I was in a difficult situation when I was injured by a faulty product. I was hesitant to seek legal help but with the help of Morgan & Morgan, they made the process easy. They took immediate action and got me the compensation I deserved. I couldn't have done it without them. I highly recommend their services.” Estate of Patricia Allen v. RJ Reynolds, et al. | 2014

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