An overview of the car accident billing process (2023)

There is so much uncertainty surrounding a car accident injury. Can you afford adequate medical care? Need to be off work for a few months? Most importantly, how long does it take to settle a car accident claim? On average, auto accident claims settle claims within14 Fun.

A lot can happen between the date of a car accident and the arrival of a settlement check in the mail. Even when car accident victims follow the exact steps outlined by the insurance company, lengthy settlement negotiations and other unexpected factors can increase the time it takes to receive a payout. It's not uncommon for hundreds or even thousands of dollars in debt to accumulate during this time.

atDavid Bryant Law, we understand how frustrating it can be to suffer personal injury caused by another driver only to have to wait more than a year to get paid for your medical bills and lost wages. Here's what to expect from car accident handling and how an experienced car accident attorney can help you every step of the way.

Stages of the car accident settlement process

An overview of the car accident billing process (1)

The majority of insurance companies allow 50 to 60 business days for the car accident claim process. However, the process begins long before you even contact the insurance company. The first step is to collect the appropriate evidence for your case, including medical records, police reports, witness statements, and photos of all property and property damage.

Stage 1: Letter of Formal Notice

Once you have the necessary evidence, you must write a collection letter detailing your claim (your account of the accident), the injuries you sustained in the accident, and the accident costs you wish to recover from the culprit are drivers. Only send the collection letter for your claim for damages if you can quantify the total costs owed to you. The car accident claim process really begins as soon as the claimant (the person filing the insurance claim) sends in their claim letter.

Phase 2: initial reaction

After receiving the reminder letter, the insurance company will make your claim and tell you the next steps. Collection letters are submitted in the order in which they are received, but most insurance companies have 10 business days to respond.

(Video) Who Should Pay Your Medical Bills After a Car Accident?

Stage 3: Initial review

After the initial registration, the insurance company will review the details of your case and decide whether to accept or deny your claim. If this is denied, you can probably appeal to the insurance adjuster. If accepted, the insurance company submits a comparative offer. Most insurance companies have 15 business days to accept or deny an insurance claim.

Phase 4: Settlement negotiations

If you are not happy with your initial offer, you can enter into settlement negotiations with an insurance adjuster until all parties agree. This phase can take at least a few months, especially since most insurance companies are given an additional 15 business days to make a decision each time the applicant submits new information.

Phase 5: Accounting Verification

If all parties agree on compensation, a settlement check must be issued within 30 business days. At this point, the billing process ends.

When should you negotiate or file a car accident lawsuit?

Some accident victims are so tired of wondering how long it takes to settle a car accident claim that they wonder if they should just file a car accident lawsuit instead. If you are unsure whether to proceed with your insurance claim, it is important to know that theMajority of personal injury cases, like car accidents, are settled out of court – and only 3% make it to court.

There are a few situations that justify filing a car accident lawsuit, including:

  1. The original personal injury claim was denied.
  2. The driver at fault did not have auto insurance coverage or was underinsured.
  3. The settlement offer is significantly less than what was stated in the letter of formal notice.

In most cases, filing an auto accident lawsuit will only add further delays to the settlement process. If you decide to sue the at-fault driver, you must write a complaint (a longer version of your collection letter) and file it with your county or district court. The culpable driver must respond to the complaint and list any objections or counterclaims.

From here, your case is placed on a trial schedule that sets deadlines for key stages of litigation such as discovery, filing, and testimony. These phases can last several months as each party has time to gather evidence and testimonies. After these stages, if the case does not reach a settlement agreement through mediation, the lawsuit will go to court.

If this process seems time consuming, that's because it is. It's often much quicker to just stick with settlement negotiations, especially if you're approaching the insurance company with a trusted attorney by your side. Proper representation can help you avoid a car accident lawsuit.

(Video) How Car Accident Settlements Work

3 factors that determine the billing process

An overview of the car accident billing process (2)

Although the settlement process should take approximately 60 days from initial settlement request to final settlement review, certain factors may delay the process. Here are the three factors that affect how long it takes to reach an agreement.

1. Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI)

A claim for personal injury cannot be filed until an injury has fully healed or a doctor determines that the victim has reached maximum medical improvement (MMI). In cases of car accidents, MMI refers to the level at which a victim's condition cannot be further cured. In other words, a victim who achieves MMI will improve no more than they did at that point, even with additional medical treatment.

The reason car accident victims have to wait for a doctor to decide they have achieved MMI is because it is difficult to estimate the total cost of injury when they are still in active recovery. For example, if you file a personal injury claim for serious injuries in February, but discover that you need surgery in March, the original expense amount listed in your collection letter would be very inaccurate.

How long it takes to reach MMI depends on the extent of your injuries. If you have suffered serious injuries such asDamage to internal organsor severely fractured bones, it may be several months or even a year before a doctor declares that you have achieved MMI. If you have sustained minor injuries such asmuscle sprain, you could reach MMI in a few weeks or a few months.

2. Calculation of the total costs

An insurance claim cannot be submitted until the victim has calculated their total cost. expenses in oneAuto Accident Handlingare referred to as damages. Compensation covers any expenses or debts incurred as a result of the accident, including medical bills and vehicle repair costs.

Because a car accident settlement is based on the monetary amount listed in the collection letter, a collection letter cannot be sent until all damages have been recorded, documented, and added to the total claim. Delays in medical treatment or vehicle repairs can significantly delay this process.

3. Gathering of Evidence

A proper collection letter must include all evidence from a car accident. Gathering evidence can take time, especially when medical records or police reports are requested. The longer it takes to get the right proof, the longer it takes to pay out.

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Once the insurance company receives your collection letter, they may also request additional evidence such as additional photos of the damage or witness statements. This additional evidence may be required to support your claim. Evidence requests can add to weeks of delays in the process.

Other elements to consider when determining your settlement timeline

If you're curious about how long it takes to settle a car accident claim, it's important to know that there are a few other elements that can impact the overall settlement timeframe. Take a look at some other factors that can affect the time it takes to get a car accident settlement.

  • Liability Disputes: The insurance company does not believe you have a valid claim or doubts that the other driver is responsible for your injuries, so you must resubmit your claim or file a lawsuit.
  • Negligence Laws: A debate about who was at fault or whether both parties were negligent can make a claim for damages difficult.
  • Minimum Compensation: A drastically lower settlement offer or minimal compensation for serious injury may require extensive evidence gathering to defend the claim.
  • Statute of limitations: The statute of limitations for a car accident refers to the time a victim has to file a lawsuit. In Kentucky, you have two years from the date of the accident (or the last no-fault payment) to file the claim.

What if the insurance company is in no hurry to regulate?

An overview of the car accident billing process (3)

There is always a chance that the insurance company is in no hurry to regulate itself. Each time an insurance adjuster requests additional information from a claimant, the entire settlement process can add another 10 to 15 days – meaning a skilled adjuster can request weeks of information.

If the insurance company is in no hurry to settle up, it's important to speak to a qualified personPersonal Injury Attorneyas soon as possible. An attorney can advise you on how to proceed with gathering evidence or documents and even speak to the insurance adjuster on your behalf to reduce the time it takes to obtain a settlement offer.

How Can Working With a Car Accident Attorney Affect Your Schedule?

So how can work with acar accident attorneyreally affect your schedule? While a car accident attorney can't control how long it takes for the insurance company to make an offer, they can ease the psychological stress and financial drain in the meantime. Rather than rushing the process to get an unfair settlement amount, an attorney can help with medical liens and other medical bills.

An experienced car accident attorney has spoken to insurance adjusters dozens of times in the past. They've filed hundreds of warning letters and completed the tedious paperwork required to collect evidence. You've finally learned the most efficient ways to get a payout for car accident injuries so you can heal while they work to speed up your turnaround timeline.

Common types of car accident compensation

As mentioned above, the expenses in a personal injury case are known as damages. These damages are classified as either economic damages or non-economic damages. The combined sum of both types of damage listed in your claim equals the total value of your case.

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economic damage

Economic damages refer to any costs or losses related to the accident. Economic damage, also known as special damage, must be a specified dollar amount, e.g. B. a medical bill or vehicle repair costs. These damages are aimed at repaying a victim for any costs incurred or monies lost.

Examples of economic damage from car accidents include:

  • Medical expenses, including ambulance trips and surgeries
  • Home care costs such as B. a house nurse or special equipment
  • Property damage costs, such as vehicle repairs and rental fees
  • Loss of wages, including sick leave and vacation days
  • Loss of earnings and loss of future earnings

Non-economic damage

Non-pecuniary damage is non-monetary damage caused by the accident. Also known as general damages, noneconomic damages in a personal injury claim don't have a specific price tag. They are intended to compensate an accident victim for the general damage caused by the accident.

Examples of non-economic damages in car accidents include:

  • mental agony
  • pain and suffering
  • Loss of the company or consortium

How an expert can help you prove your damages were caused by someone else's negligence

An overview of the car accident billing process (4)

Claims for personal injury such as car accident injuries will be decided on the basis of negligence. A car accident will only be approved if the insurance company agrees that the at-fault driver acted negligently or with disregard for other road users. The only problem is that most drivers admit no fault, making the question of negligence a he-said-she-said problem.

A personal injury attorney will review your auto accident claim to determine exactly how to prove someone else's negligence. You will begin extensive evidence gathering to collect police reports, security camera footage, eyewitness testimonies and expert testimonies to provide factual evidence that your damages are due to the guilty driver's actions.

Let David Bryant Law help you settle your car accident claim

Have you been injured in a car accident and are frustrated with the settlement process? You're not alone. Contact a trusted law firm like David Bryant Law for a free case assessment to learn what steps to take next. An accident attorney can offer legal advice to expedite insurance negotiations and help you get your settlement check sooner.

(Video) Hospital Billing Practices After An Auto Accident

Every accident victim deserves a fair settlement process.Contact us todayfor a free consultation.


How do you answer a insurance claim question? ›

Here are some guidelines to follow when answering questions from the insurance company to help protect the value of your claim:
  1. Do not comment on your injuries. ...
  2. Only answer the questions asked. ...
  3. Do not agree to have your statement recorded.
  4. Stick to the facts. ...
  5. Write down the adjuster's name and information.
Dec 19, 2019

What are the 7 steps to dealing with a car accident? ›

What to do after a car accident: a step-by-step guide
  1. Check yourself for injuries. If you're injured, call 911 or ask someone else to do so. ...
  2. Check on the well-being of your passengers. ...
  3. Get to safety. ...
  4. Call 911. ...
  5. Wait for help. ...
  6. Exchange information. ...
  7. Document the accident. ...
  8. Notify your insurer and start the claims process.

What are the 5 steps you should follow if you are involved in a car accident? ›

Five Steps to Take Immediately After an Auto Accident
  • Stay Where You Are. ...
  • Report the Accident to Law Enforcement (911). ...
  • Write Down Information for All Relevant Parties. ...
  • Take Down Contact Information for Any Witnesses. ...
  • Contact Your Insurance Company. ...
  • Visit a Doctor immediately if you are injured.

What are the 4 steps to follow after an accident? ›

A. STOP Immediately and move only if it is safe to do so.
  • Call 911 if there are injuries.
  • Call the police. ...
  • Obtain names, addresses, telephone numbers, and driver's license numbers from all drivers.
  • Obtain license plate(s) and vehicle identification numbers.

What should you not say when claiming car insurance? ›

What Not to Say to an Insurance Adjuster
  1. Never Admit Fault. ...
  2. Don't Answer Questions About the Incident. ...
  3. Don't Give Information about Your Physical or Emotional Condition. ...
  4. Don't Accept the Initial Settlement Offer. ...
  5. Contact a Florida Car Accident Attorney Today.

What should you not say in a claim? ›

The top 5 things to not say to an insurance adjuster are
  • admitting fault,
  • saying that you are not hurt,
  • describing your injuries,
  • speculating about what happened, or.
  • saying anything on the record.
Jul 22, 2022

What is the procedure in case of car accident? ›

Provide first aid to all the injured people. Call up an ambulance immediately if someone is seriously injured or is non-responsive. Inform the police: Call up the police control room and let them know about the situation. Based on the guidance from police officers, an FIR may need to be filed.

What is the procedure for accident case? ›

Step 1: Inform your insurance company about the accident and the extent of the damages to your vehicle. Step 2: File a First Information Report (FIR) at the local police station. Step 3: Submit required documents with the insurance company.

What are procedures in an accident claim? ›

Call your insurance company immediately after the accident and inform them about the damage. Intimate the police about the incident and obtain an FIR. Record the details of the car, the driver, and the witnesses in the FIR. File a claim with your insurance company and ask them to assign a surveyor to evaluate the loss.

What are the 6 actions that should be carried out following an accident? ›

Six steps for successful incident investigation

What is the first thing you should do after being involved in an accident? ›

The following is a list of the top ten things you should do if you are in an automobile accident:
  • STOP. Never drive away from the scene of an accident, even a minor one.

What are the 3 phases of accident investigation? ›

Investigate the incident, collect data. Analyze the data, identify the root causes. Report the findings and recommendations.

What 3 things are your top priorities at an accident scene? ›

Do everything on this list to protect yourself from being taken advantaged of.
  • #1 – Stay Calm. ...
  • #2 – Stay Safe. ...
  • #3 – Leave the Vehicles Where They Are. ...
  • #4 – Never Admit Fault. ...
  • #5 – Only Talk to the Police. ...
  • #6 – Get Medical Help Immediately. ...
  • #7 – Always Call the Police. ...
  • #8 – What to do/say/get from the Police.
May 12, 2021

What to do after a car accident not your fault? ›

If the accident wasn't your fault, you can use a credit hire company instead of making a claim through your insurance company. A credit hire company pays for the cost of you hiring a replacement vehicle while yours is being fixed, and pays for the cost of repairs.

What are 3 other common reasons that car insurance claims can be denied? ›

The insurance provider's claims department may deny your claim for these reasons:
  • You were driving while intoxicated or driving under the influence at the time of the accident.
  • The insurer believes the accident was avoidable.
  • You were driving without a valid license.
  • You were driving without valid auto insurance.
Aug 17, 2022

What are 3 important tips on filing an auto insurance claim? ›

When a covered accident happens, take these steps to file your claim
  1. Call your insurance professional as soon as possible — even from the scene of the accident—regardless of who is at fault. ...
  2. Use a mobile app to jumpstart your claim. ...
  3. Find out what documents are needed to support your claim.

How do you win a car insurance claim? ›

That said, to win a car insurance claim, you need to: Provide evidence: You'll want to submit as much evidence as possible when making your case. You should provide photos, a detailed explanation of events, and any other documentation involving the accident. A police report is extremely helpful in this instance.

What are 5 reasons a claim may be denied? ›

5 Reasons a Claim May Be Denied
  • The claim has errors. Minor data errors are the most common culprit for claim denials. ...
  • You used a provider who isn't in your health plan's network. ...
  • Your care needed approval ahead of time. ...
  • You get care that isn't covered. ...
  • The claim went to the wrong insurance company.
Sep 19, 2022

What should evidence for a claim include? ›

The evidence provides proof or support of the claim being made. It can be in the form of research, data, quotes, or textual evidence from a piece of literature. It should not be a guess, assumption, or based on the writer's opinion.

What makes a good statement of claim? ›

- The Statement of claim should start by identifying the parties to the dispute and their relationship to each other. - Include any relevant background facts. - Explain how and in what way the defendant has wronged you according to law. This is the legal basis for your claim.

How long is the process of accident claim? ›

If an adjuster needs to look at the damage, it can take a couple more days. Using an insurance carrier-approved body shop can speed up the process. Expect a cut-and-dried physical-damage claim to take one to two weeks to get finalized.

What evidence do you need for car accident? ›

if someone is injured, show your insurance certificate or cover note to the police. If you can't do this at the scene take the documents to the police station within seven days. take photographs that you may be able to later use as evidence if you need to make a claim.

How do I claim damages after a car accident? ›

If you did not cause the accident, it is your legal right to claim for compensation (payment) from the driver who was at fault. You can claim from the driver's insurer or the court if the driver does not have car insurance. If neither of you has car insurance, both of you must make a claim through the court.

What are the 4 steps in settlement of an insurance claim? ›

  1. Negotiating a Settlement With an Insurance Company. ...
  2. Step 1: Gather Information Needed For Your Claim. ...
  3. Step 2: File Your Personal Injury Claim. ...
  4. Step 3: Outline Your Damages and Demand Compensation. ...
  5. Step 4: Review Insurance Company's First Settlement Offer. ...
  6. Step 5: Make a Counteroffer.

What are the stages of a car insurance claim? ›

How to lodge a car insurance claim
  • Step 1: Help any injured party and move your vehicle. Call an ambulance if there is a serious injury. ...
  • Step 2: Exchange information. ...
  • Step 3: Document the accident. ...
  • Step 4: Notify police, if required. ...
  • Step 5: Submit your claim.
Aug 2, 2022

How do insurance companies investigate claims? ›

Insurance claims investigations rely on evidence, interviews and records to conclude whether a claim is legitimate or illegitimate. There are several types of insurance investigations depending on the claim being made.

What is the most important step to take when accident happen at work? ›

Complete the incident report

Beyond ensuring individual employee and total team safety, completing an incident report is one of the most critical steps to take after someone has sustained an injury at work. OSHA requires employers to keep records of work-related injuries and illnesses using their formal documentation.

What should ask after an accident? ›

10 Questions To Ask After An Accident
  • Is my car a total write-off? ...
  • Will my car still be as safe as it was when new? ...
  • Can you match my paint colour? ...
  • How do I get my insurance company involved? ...
  • Do I have to pay a deductible? ...
  • Maybe I should get some other work done while I'm at it? ...
  • How long will this take?

What is the first priority when an accident occurs? ›

Provide first aid and/or medical care to the injured persons and take action to prevent further injury or damage. This is the first priority.

Which of the following step one should not take after an accident? ›

Leave the accident site - The law mandates that anyone who has been involved in a car accident should stop the vehicle immediately. This is irrespective of whether the accident resulted in an injury, death, or property damage. In case you fail to do so and leave the accident scene, you can be heavily penalised.

What are the 5 key questions to ask in accident investigations? ›

  • Some of the questions below will be applicable and some will not. Which questions are applicable depends on the nature and circumstances of the accident. ...
  • How does the injured employee feel now? ...
  • Who was injured? ...
  • What were the causal factors of the accident? ...
  • When did the accident occur? ...
  • Why was the person injured?

What are the 5 steps of investigation process? ›

Here are the five steps.
  1. Define a Question to Investigate. As scientists conduct their research, they make observations and collect data. ...
  2. Make Predictions. Based on their research and observations, scientists will often come up with a hypothesis. ...
  3. Gather Data. ...
  4. Analyze the Data. ...
  5. Draw Conclusions.

What are the 5 categories of accident? ›

The Top Five Classifications of Accidents
  • Accidents at Work. You may be at risk of serious personal injury depending on the type of job you have. ...
  • Car Accidents. This is perhaps the most common of the five classifications of accidents. ...
  • Medical Negligence Accidents. ...
  • Slip (Trip) and Fall Accidents. ...
  • Motorcycle Accidents.

What are the 3 most common things to cause a car accident? ›

texting while driving. lack of experience, especially in poor road or weather conditions. failure to use seatbelts.

What is the most important factor in accidents? ›

Driver inattention, distractions, and drunk and drugged driving are all major contributing factors to traffic accidents. Drivers have a duty to drive carefully and avoid causing foreseeable injuries to other motorists.

How does insurance work when its not your fault? ›

Your insurance company will pay for your damages, minus your deductible. Don't worry — if the claim is settled and it's determined you weren't at fault for the accident, you'll get your deductible back. The involved insurance companies determine who's at fault.

How long does a fault claim stay on car insurance? ›

How long do car insurance claims stay on my record? Any claim you make will be automatically recorded with the Claims and Underwriting Exchange (CUE). This data will be held on file for six years.

Why has my insurance gone up after accident not my fault? ›

Your premiums could go up after you've declared a non-fault claim. This is because your insurance provider may decide that the reason for the claim is more likely to happen again, even though it wasn't your fault. For example, if your car was struck while parked, your insurer might think your chosen spot is riskier.

What are the 8 items that need to be done when investigating an accident? ›

8 Items to Include in Incident Reports
  • The time and date the incident occurred. ...
  • Where the incident occurred. ...
  • A concise but complete description of the incident. ...
  • A description of the damages that resulted. ...
  • The names and contact information of all involved parties and witnesses. ...
  • Pictures of the area and any property damage.
Jul 28, 2021

What is the first thing to do in dealing with accident? ›

10 Things You Need to Do After a Car Accident
  • STOP. Never drive away from the scene of an accident, even a minor one.

What are three things you should do when you witness an accident? ›

Speak to those involved in the accident and make sure you provide them with your name and contact information.
  • Do your best to write down what you saw as soon as possible. ...
  • make, model, colour and licence plate numbers of all vehicles involved.
  • number of people involved in the accident – both drivers and passengers.

What six points should be included in a report? ›

It should include:
  • the names and positions of the people involved.
  • the names of any witnesses.
  • the exact location and/or address of the incident.
  • the exact time and date of the occurrence.
  • a detailed and clear description of what exactly happened.
  • a description of the injuries.
Aug 24, 2022

What are the 4 types of incident reports? ›

Common Types of Incident Reports
  • Workplace. Workplace incident reports detail physical events that happen at work and affect an employee's productivity. ...
  • Accident or First Aid. ...
  • Safety and Security. ...
  • Exposure Incident Report.
Oct 12, 2022

Who helps first in an accident? ›

Give first aid to anyone with life threatening injuries first before tending to other casualties. Call 999 or 112 for emergency help and give as much detail about the incident as possible such as number and age of casualties and types of injury.


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