Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: Apr 24, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Make sure you have ample documentation when presenting your case
  • Have a solid idea of how much your compensation should be
  • Be ready to fight to make sure you receive what you deserve
  • File a Good Faith complaint if you think your insurance provider has wronged you

You can collect on an accident claim without a lawyer by presenting your own detailed and organized case. You will need to stay on top of the claim from the very beginning. You will need to be firm.

If you can convey the facts behind your request for compensation in a clear and well-documented manner, you will be well on your way to settling your own claim without representation from the legal community.

Make sure you have a great policy by comparing car insurance quotes with just a ZIP code now!

Table of Contents

Think Like a Lawyer When Making Your Own Car Insurance Claim

Your case will benefit from as much documentation as you can muster. A winning file includes:

  • Statements from other drivers in the accident
  • Statements from the police
  • Photographs of the accident (including close-ups of damage as well as overall views of the accident scene)
  • Medical bills and reports
  • Proof of time away from work
  • Car repair bills or quotes

When passing this information along to your claim adjuster, do so in a thorough and well-spoken way.

You don’t need to hire a lawyer to compile this information, but getting yourself into the mindset of one will increase your chances of collecting on your car insurance claim quickly and fully.

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Know How Much Your Car Insurance Claim is Worth

If you have faithfully compiled all the documentation needed to prove your case, you should also have a good idea of how much that case is worth.

Make sure you add up the following:

The larger the claim, the more likely it is that employing a lawyer will be worth the expense.

If your financial stability and well-being is hinged on whether or not you are able to collect on this car insurance claim, you may want to consider if you really want to proceed without a lawyer.

Your car insurance adjuster will likely commence negotiations once presented with your demand. The adjuster’s job is to cost the insurance company the least amount of money possible.

Be aware that the adjuster’s first offer will NOT be the ultimate amount he or she has been authorized to offer.

It may take several volleys back and forth until you hear a compensation amount with which you are satisfied. In some cases, that amount may never manifest itself.

Don’t Give Up on Collecting the Amount You Deserve

If your own negotiations do not produce the results you are looking for, you may decide to bring in a lawyer to continue to advise you or to actively guide the negotiations in a more experienced voice.

If you are still committed to closing this case without a lawyer, you might consider arbitration or mediation as ways to bring in unbiased parties to oversee the process. You also have the option of filing a complaint with the state.

Ensuring Good Faith

There is an obligation, articulated in each state’s legal canon, for car insurance companies to carry out each claim in a fair and timely manner in good faith. If you feel you have not been treated according to this doctrine, you can make a filing with the state.

Filing a Good Faith complaint requires you to submit a written description of the case to the state bureau that handles insurance issues.

Not only should you include the details of the original case, but you will also need to outline the reasons why you feel your insurance company did not respond appropriately.

Include documentation of the original accident and of all subsequent dealings with your car insurance company.

The state will then assign an investigator to look at both sides of the issue. That investigator will decide in favor of one of the parties. Since this is one of the last stops on the claim-collecting train, you may want to reconsider taking the final part of this expensive journey without a lawyer.

The experience that lawyers specializing in Good Faith bring to the table could be invaluable to your case.

Such lawyers also have the knowledge and ability to carry out the ultimate act in collecting a car insurance claim that the car insurance company does not want to pay: a lawsuit against the company itself for violating Good Faith provisions.

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Avoid Hassles by Finding a Good Car Insurance Company

You can avoid tiresome negotiations and legal action by making sure you have a car insurance company that is truly looking out for your best interests.

To find the best car insurance provider for your situation, use the online quote comparison tool provided, free of charge, on this page to analyze several different quotes.

Make sure that the company you choose offers not only a good price, but an established reputation of customer service.

Start comparing auto insurance quotes now; just enter your ZIP code below!