After being in a car accident and sustaining injuries, you may have filed a claim against the driver who is liable for your injuries and other losses. However, you may now be looking at a pile of medical bills that need to be paid as well as a bill to have your car repaired with no news as to when the settlement from the insurance company will be coming your way. That is why it is so important to work with a car accident attorney in these cases. They are familiar with the law and have the negotiating skills to pressure the insurance companies to move forward with the claims.
How Long Does an Insurance Claim Usually Take?
States generally put a limit on the length of time that an insurance company can take to decide about a claim. There are different guidelines but it is ultimately up to the insurance company to determine whether they will accept or deny a claim. The decision to accept it should take about 30 days after which the payout should come out shortly thereafter.
What Impacts How Long the Insurance Company Takes to Settle a Claim?
Claims can be complicated and require that the insurance company takes longer to investigate them whenever any of these factors are present:
- When the fault of the accident is not clear
- When there are multiple drivers and vehicles involved in the accident
- If the accident resulted in serious injuries that call for lengthy hospital stays
- When there is significant property damage
- If there are disputes regarding the settlement amounts
- If the insurance company is small and has a smaller claims-handling department
This means that more straightforward accidents will move along faster than those that are much more complicated.
How Long Do Insurance Companies Take to Pay Out?
There are limits imposed by the states when it comes to how long an insurance company can take to send the claimant a payment after their claim has been approved. In general, you can expect the payout to reach you sooner than the time the insurance company took to investigate the accident and decide on the settlement amount.
Once the settlement has been reached, you can expect the check to get to you in as little as a few days although some states are stricter in this regard, requiring insurance companies to pay out a claim immediately after a decision has been reached.
If there is a hold-up for any reason, the insurance company is required to let you know why this is happening. You may be informed that due to the severity of the accident, the insurance company needs more time to conduct a more thorough investigation. They may also let you know that the delay is not related to your claim but to a high volume of claims with which they are dealing at the time, or for a variety of other reasons.