General Timeframe: Intention Versus Reality
As Cover.com points out, the insurer really wants to get your claim settled as quickly as they can. In general, this means they’ll have a goal to have the claim settled and paid out within thirty days of filing. This, however, is neither a hard nor firm requirement. They will certainly do their best to get it filed as fast as they can because the insurance company is a business and they don’t make money by dragging out complicated claims.
Factors that can influence the general time frame of your claim include:
- state laws
- your insurance company
- whether personal injuries are involved
Each state law has mandated filing times for auto insurance claims. This is not the same thing as the mandated time to settle or pay out a claim. This is just the amount of time you have to actually file the original paperwork. As always, the faster you file, the more likely it is your claim will be handled quickly.
Likewise, every insurance company has a different policy for how long they accept claims. Always be aware of the turnaround time in your insurance coverage, which can be quite different from that required by the state. If you file too late, your insurer can deny your claim.
Average Car Accident Settlement Time: How Long Does A Car Accident Settlement Take
Most cases resolve pretty quickly. In the same Martindale-Nolo survey, more than half of the readers surveyed resolved their personal injury claims within six months after their car accident. The average time it took to receive a car accident settlement was just under a year .
Faster isn’t always better. Readers who sent demand letters and negotiated their claims took longer on average to reach a settlement than those who didn’t , but received average settlements that were nearly twice as high. Factors like having an attorney and having injuries can also extend the time it takes to reach a settlement, but tend to lead to higher payouts.
What If Im Involved In A Car Accident
Make sure you and everyone in your car is safe
Whilst you may be concerned about your car or your possessions, your life and the safety of your passengers is more important.
Move to a safe place away from the immediate scene of the accident, if youre able to do so and if needed contact the emergency services.
It is important you let the professionals do their job. If you or anyone involved in the crash is injured, you need to call 999 and explain your situation to the best of your abilities.
Other reasons for calling the emergency services:
- The accident is blocking the road or there is debris on the road
- There is damage to the road surface or street furniture for example, lampposts, traffic lights, barriers, signs etc.
- The other person involved in the accident has left the scene without leaving contact information
- You feel that the situation is not being handled correctly and could escalate
Remember: fleeing the scene of an accident without leaving contact/insurance details can land you with a fine up to £2,500 or 10 points on your licence.
Exchange insurance and contact information
Anybody involved in a car accident must, by law, leave their name and number for insurance purposes. This applies even if youve hit a parked car. You still need to make sure you leave your details in a place which the driver will see .
The most important information needed:
- Car registration number
- Insurance details
- Contact numbers
How to save time, hassle and costs
Car Insurance Claims That Can Take More Time To Reach Settlement
Car insurance claims that take more time to settle usually involve more factors than claims that take less time to settle.
Medical bills and personal injury: Personal injury and medical claims are types of claims that take the longest to settle. This is because they involve the most parties: a doctor or hospital, your auto insurance company, your health insurance company, and if there was another person involved then their doctor and auto and health insurance companies as well. If you are trying to determine who caused the injury, then a personal injury lawyer may get involved, too.
Physical damage: How long a physical damage claim can take depends on the extent of the damage. If the cause of the damage is clear, your physical damage claim could be processed quickly. If you need to determine who is at-fault it might take longer. A repair shop will also have to assess how much the repairs will cost, so you should factor how this into the timeframe as well.
Total loss claim: A car is declared a âtotal lossâ when the cost of repairs exceeds a certain percentage of the vehicle’s value â meaning your car is totaled. In order to determine this, your car will need to be assessed by a repair team. These claims can take up to a month to settle, because there are so many factors, parties, and personal circumstances involved, like if your car is totaled and you still have an auto loan to pay.
An Expert Can Help You Prove Your Damages Were Related To Anothers Negligence
Sometimes, an injury victims doctor will have trouble determining if their injuries were truly caused by negligence in the accident. If this happens, you can bet the insurance company will use it as a reason to deny compensation for those damages.
You will need to look for a doctor who can testify that your injuries were caused by the other drivers negligence. This takes extra time and can increase the time needed to reach a fair settlement.
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Other Factors That Contribute To Your Settlement Timeline
Additional facts that can influence how fast your car accident claim settles include:
- Issues with determining and proving liability
- The extent of your injuries and other damages
- The quality and quantity of evidence of your damages
- How soon the insurance company responds to your claim
- The amount of settlement negotiation involved
- Whether or not you hire an experienced car accident lawyer
to find a John Foy office near you
Car Accident Insurance Claims Time Limits
A careless driver hit your car in a parking lot. You agreed to let the driver make payments so their insurance rates wouldn’t increase. But after a few months, they’ve stopped paying and now you want to file a claim with the insurance company. Have you waited too long?
Car accident insurance claim time limits depend on the insurance provider and the laws of your state. There is a time limit for filing a claim and filing a lawsuit too late may result in having your claim denied. The legal term for this filing deadline is a statute of limitations. You don’t need to resolve your claim within the limitations period but you do need to have it filed in court.
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What Happens When The Insurance Company Does Not Pay As They Should In Florida
You might have a claim for bad faith if the insurance company does not follow proper procedures for accepting or denying a car accident claim within the specified amount of time. In this case, the insurance company in question might have no choice but to pay you extra because they did not follow the rules by investigating and paying the claim accordingly.
Florida Statute 624.155 and Florida Common Law outlines the details of bad faith insurance in the State of Florida. In the event that you are dealing with the bad faith of an insurance company, then you can make a claim for bad faith, and you will also have the option to take the case to court to make the insurance company pay you the highest settlement and cover all of your costs.
You will usually have up to four years from the exact date of your car accident to bring your claim to a court of law in the State of Florida.
Why Insurance Companies Want To Settle
In a car accident lawsuit, an injured person sues the person who caused the plaintiff harm for money damages. In most cases, it’s the defendant’s car insurance company, not the defendant, who ends up footing the bill for the plaintiff’s damages.
Car insurance companies often make quick settlement offers. Quick settlements save insurance companies work and money. Plaintiffs who accept quick settlements and sign “releases” giving up their right to sue might not get the full value of their claim because they don’t yet understand the full extent of their injuries.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you should talk to a lawyer before you accept a quick settlement offer from the defendant’s insurer. A lawyer can explain why it’s important for you to reach “maximum medical improvement” before accepting an offer or reassure you that the settlement offer is fair.
Learn more about the role of insurance in a car accident case.
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Types Of Car Insurance Coverage
|Pays for injuries sustained by others||Injuries sustained by you|
|Pays for damages to others property||Damage to your own property|
|Collision||No||Pays for damages your vehicle from collisions||Damages to other peoples property and damages to your car caused by weather, theft, vandalism, fire or hitting an animal|
|Comprehensive||No||Pays for damages to your vehicle caused by weather, theft, vandalism, fire or hitting an animal||Damages to other peoples property and damages to your car caused by collisions|
|Uninsured motorist||No||Pays for damages or injuries your vehicle or you sustain if an uninsured driver causes the incident||Damages and injuries to properties and people beyond your own car and its passengers|
|Towing||Pays for the cost of towing your vehicle||The cost of towing another vehicle|
|Personal injury protection||No||Pays for the medical expenses of injuries that you or your passengers sustain in an accident||Medical expenses of those outside of your vehicle|
How To See Your Car Insurance Claim Through To A Successful Settlement
There are some important administrative steps you should take after being in a car accident. First, you and the other driver should always exchange insurance information. If the other driver was at fault, and you don’t live in one of the few no-fault states, this is especially important. Then, if the other driver was at-fault, you file a personal injury and property damage claim with the other partys insurance. You also should notify your insurance agent so that they can work from their end to help you out. In many cases, they will file the claim for you.
The other driver’s insurance company should contact you to initiate the claims process. At some point, after it has gathered information about the accident, vehicle damage, and any injuries, the insurance company will offer a settlement amount to cover your claim. You may not know if the amount it offers you is enough to cover the damage to your car in fact, it might not be enough.
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Is It Better To Settle A Case Or Go To Court
This is an important decision that depends on the individual circumstances of a case. In this instance, the advice of a reputable car accident attorney is invaluable. Lawyers who handle many car accident claims know whether an out-of-court settlement or a trial will accomplish the best result.
Bringing a case to trial may involve additional costs such as court costs, filing fees and expert witnesses.. Nevertheless, jury trials can result in significantly higher verdicts than the amount offered in pre-trial settlement negotiations. Also, if a plaintiff is successful at trial, there is a chance that some of these costs will be reimbursed by the defendant.
However, when a case goes to trial, the plaintiff risks winding up with nothing if the case is decided in favor of the defendant. In addition, even if a jury awards more than the amount previously offered, a plaintiff could end up with less after the trial expenses are deducted from the verdict.
The Car Accident Settlement Process
If you are injured in a car accident, you have a right to be compensated for your injures. After you start a car accident claim, you’ll want to:
- calculate your settlement value, and
- cooperate with your insurance company.
You might receive a settlement offer quickly or you might need to negotiate for a better settlement. If you have questions about the settlement process and the value of your claim, talk to a lawyer before you accept an offer. Learn more about how an attorney can help with your car accident claim.
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When Could My Claims Be Denied
Heres where things get tricky. Most insurers wont cover you if your cars been stolen if the keys, lock transmitter or keyless entry card are left in or near the car.
With new technology comes new challenges. ‘Connected’ cars have led to a new type of car theft called relay theft. This is where thieves use special tech to pick up the signal from a key fob to get access to a car. The devices can pick up signals from over 100 metres away and can be bought for as little as £100 online.
You also wont be covered if youve left the car running but unattended and someones managed to steal it, or if its proven that you left the doors, windows or roof unlocked. With the car missing, it might be hard to prove that the door was locked. CCTV could be helpful for this, as well as for checking that a crime took place.
Contact A Fort Worth Personal Injury Lawyer
Working with an experienced personal injury lawyer can be crucial to not only settle your case as quickly as possible but get full compensation in a car accident settlement. If you have been injured in a car or truck accident, contact our Fort Worth, Texas law office at to schedule a free consultation with Jason Stephens to discuss your case.
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Claim Acknowledgment And Investigation Process
The second step in the insurance process is the acknowledgment and investigation process.
The investigation process provides the insurance company with 15 days from the date that you submitted your claim to:
- Acknowledge your claim
- Begin its investigation and
- Request any information it reasonably requires.
Once your insurance carrier has completed both the claim acknowledgment and investigation process, it may approve or deny your claim.
Should You File A Claim Or Pay Out Of Pocket
As you might expect, theres no one-size-fits-all answer.
It largely depends on the individual and the situation, says Whittle. It depends on factors such as whether the damage is lower than your deductible, what kind of money is at stake, and your risk level as a driver.
When deciding on whether to go through insurance or pay out of pocket, youll want to consider how much filing a claim will affect your monthly premium.
Insurers also consider what kind of risk you are, says Whittle. Based on your driving record, experience, history of accidents, are you riskier than the average driver?
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Insurance Claim Approval Or Denial
The third step in the insurance process is the Texas insurance companys approval or denial of your claim. Your insurance carrier has 15 days from the date they received all requested documents to make a determination on your claim.
The insurance company will often request unnecessary or non-relevant documents as a reason to delay a decision regarding your claim indefinitely. It often takes an attorney to force the insurance company to make a final determination regarding your claim. If your claim is approved, your insurance company has five days from that date to settle your claim in Texas.
How Long Will My Car Accident Case Take To Settle In Texas
Once you make the decision to pursue a personal injury claim after a car accident in Texas, youll probably wonder: how long will my car accident case take to settle? You may be left with mounting medical bills, an inability to work, and a painful recovery ahead of you with no guarantee youll get back to 100 percent.
The idea of a long wait for the compensation you need probably isnt very comforting.
Technically, a car accident case can settle within a week, but there are many reasons you should not be too quick to settle.
A car accident case can take weeks, months, or even years to settle depending on the complexity of the case and severity of your injuries. Here is what you should know about the timeline of your car accident case and the factors that influence the timeline.
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