Suggested Timeline For Making Claim After Car Accident

Some consumers that have purchased an automobile insurance policy feel confused about the difference between reporting an accident and filing a claim. Each of those actions falls at a different point on a recognized timeline.

Reporting an accident is not the same as filing a claim. Each policy holder is required to report an accident. The report should be made as soon as possible, after the accident has taken place. When the insurer learns of the report, the insurance company opens a file. Then it awaits a claim.

The filing of a claim

The filing of a claim serves as a request for the coverage that was promised in the policy. It represents the first step in the settlement process. The claim could be made by the policy holder or by a 3rd party. The process of filing a claim does not send the same message as filing a lawsuit. A claim gets filed well before a lawsuit gets initiated.

Where does the filing of a claim fall on the timeline that covers the settlement process?

The claim can be filed before the injured victim has arrived at a point of maximum medical improvement (MMI). The filing of a claim does not have to be delayed until a determination of fault has been made. The victim/claimant does not have to know when he or she will be returning to work, in order to file a claim. The victim/claimant could have questions about the possible need for future treatment. The existence of such questions would not need to delay or prevent the filing of a claim.

What is the point to filing a claim, if the claimant does not plan to initiate a lawsuit?

Remember, the filing of a claim does not send the same message as filing a lawsuit. Yet it does strengthen the victim’s position. The filing should proceed at the point where the victim’s prognosis remains in doubt. Suppose the claimant/victim develops another symptom, after the claim has been filed. That fact could make it easier for a lawyer to insist on delaying the date of the settlement. The insurance company would know that legal action might be taken, if it pressured the plaintiff/claimant to settle at an early date.

Because the act of filing a claim sends such a message, it puts the claimant in a stronger position. That fact should not escape the mind of Personal Injury Lawyer in Medicine Hat that is working on reaching an agreement with the insurance company. An insurance company would certainly agree to an early settlement. Still, that might not ensure the plaintiff/claimant of the chance to seek a fair compensation. All claimants should have that chance, one provided by filing a claim.