How Long Does It Take To Resolve An Insurance Claim From A Car Accident?Last updated on: September 6, 2022
After a car accident, you may wonder how long the insurance company will take to resolve your claim. While insurance companies have a duty to act in good faith and within a reasonable amount of time, they sometimes breach their duty.
If you have been in a car accident and you submitted a claim that is yet to be approved by your insurance company or a claim that was approved but you haven’t been compensated yet, contact the personal injury lawyers at Zinda Law Group.
Call (800) 863-5312 for a 100% free case evaluation and we’ll be happy to discuss your legal options.
How Long Does a Car Insurance Claim take to Settle?
Naturally, many car accident victims ask how long the claims process takes following an accident; they do not relish the thought of waiting interminably for a resolution. Unfortunately, this simple question does not have a simple answer.
Most states have laws imposing deadlines on insurance companies. Nevertheless, how long your claim takes to resolve is a matter of what is reasonable given the facts and circumstances of your accident.
Many car accident victims are in a precarious position after an accident. On the one hand, victims are dealing with expensive medical bills and would like to be paid compensation as soon as possible. On the other hand, being patient and waiting to negotiate a more favorable settlement may result in a better payout.
How Long Does an Insurance Claim Take?
Following an accident, you may need to file a claim with an insurance company. If the at-fault party has coverage, you may be able to file the claim with their insurer. If the at-fault party does not have insurance, you may file a claim with your carrier.
The amount of time it will take to settle your accident claim depends on the severity of your case. Simple car accident cases, where nobody is hurt, may take only a month to resolve. You may have to wait longer if your accident was more severe and required investigation.
Factors that Affect the Claim Timeline
After a claim has been filed, it will be assigned to an insurance claims adjuster. The adjuster’s job is to investigate the circumstances of your claim and report the findings to the insurance company. Thus, for most of the process, the claims adjuster is your point of contact for resolving your claim.
Once the adjuster has completed the investigation, he will file a comprehensive report with the insurance company. The report may consist of a detailed summary of the financial aspects of the accident, including the total costs incurred. Using this information, the insurance company will come up with an initial settlement offer.
Factors that affect the amount of time it takes to resolve an insurance claim include:
- The severity of the accident and the injuries sustained
- The extent to which the parties are covered by insurance
- The extent to which the victim is at fault for the accident
- The victim’s willingness to settle or negotiate further
Remember that the claims adjuster operates with the insurance company’s best interests in mind, not yours. Thus, refrain from admitting any fault to the claims adjuster or stating that you could have done something to prevent the accident. Such statements may harm the value of your claim.
Types of Car Insurance Claims
The state’s minimum required amount of auto insurance coverage may not cover all your personal risks or insurance needs. Almost every automobile insurance policy offers coverage for auto accidents, but your coverage could also protect you when you file claims for:
- Windshield damage
- Animal collisions
Many things could go wrong with a car; insurance companies offer comprehensive insurance policies to cover all the potential damage.
If your insurance coverage does not cover these types of claims, you may still be able to file a personal injury claim for compensation. Call (800) 863-5312 to talk to a car accident attorney from Zinda Law Group about filing a personal injury claim today.
When to File and When Not to File
After a minor accident, it might not be worth filing a claim. The cost of the repairs might be less than if you were to report the accident and risk the insurance company raising your monthly payment. In these cases, the accidents are minor and don’t involve other people, such as if you were to back into a tree and crack your taillight.
On the other hand, the more damage that there is, and especially if there are other people involved, it’s more likely that you will need to file a claim. For example, if the other person caused the accident and you were injured, you should inform your insurer.
How to Speed Up Claim Settlements
When you are injured in a car accident, you may need medical attention immediately. Before you have time to file a claim, you may already be receiving medical bills. To speed up the processing of your claim, you can do certain things, such as:
- Check if your state offers a way to file a complaint for unfair claim practices.
- Submit proof of your losses to your claims adjuster.
- Document your injuries and recovery.
- Know what your policy covers.
- Keep your records organized.
Many states supply online forms that make it easy to file a complaint against your insurer. When completing these forms, have your policy numbers and the facts of your claim handy. Do your best to accurately describe the nature of your complaint and what you need to fully recover from your injuries.
Is There a Time Limit for Filing Insurance Claims?
The law imposes legal time limits, referred to as “statutes of limitations,” the significance of which cannot be overstated. A car accident victim must file a claim by the applicable deadline to avoid forfeiting some or all of their legal rights.
Statutes of limitations periods vary by state. Most states have a two- or three-year statute of limitations for car accident injuries. For example, Texas is a two-year statute of limitations state. Thus, if you were injured in a car accident in Texas on January 1, 2021, you would have until January 1, 2023, to file your claim.
Keep in mind, however, that specific circumstances may extend, or “toll,” the limitations period. One such example is when the victim is a minor. Because understanding your legal time limits is imperative, consider contacting an experienced car accident injury attorney for more information regarding the statute of limitations in your state.
How to Prevent Delays When Filing an Insurance Claim
After you file your claim, it isn’t guaranteed that the insurance company will even look into it. In an ideal world, the insurer would investigate the claim, decide whether it was valid, and then deliver the payout to the policyholder right away. Sadly, insurance companies sometimes make getting reimbursement for damages somewhat challenging.
Prevent delays when filing an insurance claim by:
- Being honest with the insurance company.
- Being persistent in following up with your claim.
- Communicating with interested parties in writing.
- Speaking with a member of management at the insurance company.
- Hiring a car accident attorney.
In some cases, insurance companies have refused to honor policies despite claims being valid. If your insurer wrongfully denies your claim or is unreasonable in investigating or paying you, you can recover damages based on “bad faith.” At Zinda Law Group, we have dealt with bad faith insurance companies so we know how to respond to their delay tactics.
How Long Do Car Insurance Companies Have to Settle a Claim by State?
State laws, which are occasionally divided into various deadlines for acknowledging, deciding, and paying claims, are always followed by insurance firms. Many states require that insurance companies settle claims in a reasonable amount of time. For instance, Virginia insurers must resolve a claim “fairly expeditiously,” but New York insurers must pay a claim within 35 working days.
In most states, an insurance provider has 10 to 45 days to resolve a claim; on average, it takes 30 days to resolve an automobile insurance claim. The state that provides insurance companies with the longest amount of time to settle a claim is California. In California, insurers have 85 days to settle claims.
Insurance companies have the following amounts of time to settle claims:
- Alabama, 75 days
- Alaska, 40 working days
- Arizona, 40 days
- Arkansas, 45 working days
- California, 85 days
- Colorado, “reasonably promptly”
- Connecticut, “with reasonable promptness”
- Delaware, 45 days
- Florida, 64 days
- Georgia, 40 days
- Hawaii, 45 days
- Idaho, “reasonably and promptly”
- Illinois, 45 days
- Indiana, “reasonably promptly”
- Iowa, 75 days
- Kansas, 25 working days
- Kentucky, 45 days
- Louisiana, “reasonably promptly”
- Maine, “within a reasonable time following receipt of written notice”
- Maryland, 30 working days
- Massachusetts, “promptly”
- Michigan, “promptly”
- Minnesota, 45 business days
- Mississippi, 40 to 50 days
- Missouri, 25 days
- Montana, “reasonably promptly”
- Nebraska, 45 working days
- Nevada, 80 working days
- New Hampshire, 35 working days
- New Jersey, between 40 and 100 days
- New Mexico, “reasonably promptly”
- New York, 35 business days
- North Carolina, “reasonably promptly”
- North Dakota, “with reasonable promptness”
- Ohio, 46 days
- Oklahoma, 75 days
- Oregon, 60 days
- Pennsylvania, 25 days
- Rhode Island, 55 business days
- South Carolina, “with reasonable promptness”
- South Dakota, no specific requirement
- Tennessee, “with reasonable promptness”
- Texas, 35 business days
- Utah, 45 days
- Vermont, 35 business days
- Virginia, “reasonably promptly”
- Washington, 45 working days
- West Virginia, 40 working days plus a “prompt” investigation
- Wisconsin, 10 days
- Wyoming, “reasonably promptly”
The standard for some leaves room for insurance companies to handle far later than you may be hoping. If your settlement has been delayed and you believe the insurance company is acting in bad faith, contact the bad faith insurance practice lawyers from Zinda Law Group.
Schedule Your Free Case Evaluation With Zinda Law Group Car Accident Lawyers
Sadly, there are situations in which insurance companies withhold funds that rightfully belong to the policyholder. The car accident lawyers at Zinda Law Group can help snuff out any foul play and get you the compensation that you are entitled to.
If you or a loved one is being wrongfully denied compensation, contact a bad faith insurance lawyer today at (800) 863-5312. With a free, no-obligation consultation, we can talk about your legal options for making a financial recovery. Additionally, we offer a “No Win, No Fee Guarantee,” which means you will pay nothing unless we achieve a favorable settlement, judgment, or verdict for your case.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.