How Long Does It Take for Insurance to Pay Out for Car Accident?
Car accidents are a nuisance for anyone who gets involved in them. However, the main problem with car crashes is the personal injuries and financial losses these accidents can cause drivers and passengers.
If car accident victims survive it, they have the right to sue the other driver and make an auto insurance claim. The money victims receive is meant to cover car damage, personal injuries, and any other lost wages. When victims make auto insurance claims, insurance companies pay for some of the damage dealt by the liable driver.
Unfortunately, many car crash victims complain about the time the insurance company takes to pay for the car accident claim. Losing that time could make them enter financial problems since they need that money to cover medical bills and car repairs.
If someone has problems with the insurance company or needs legal advice after a car accident, they must always hire a lawyer. Lawyer referral services are not always that good, though, and no one has to put themselves at risk of hiring a not-so-good attorney to deal with their car insurance claims process.
The Keating Firm LTD is always available for people in need of legal assistance in personal injury and negligence cases. Whether the person contacting it is the victim or the one who caused the accident, it can help them win their case. Victims can contact it at any time to get a free consultation for their case.
Insurance claims can take one or two weeks to settle in simple cases, but more complex ones usually last one or two months.
Hiring a law firm is the best option for both victims and liable parties, and the top vehicle accident attorneys in Nashville Tennessee can help victims file a claim against the negligent driver
Car crash claims are not the same as a natural disaster claim or a bodily injury claim, so victims should keep an eye on that before talking to the claims adjuster and lawyers
How Long Does It Take an Insurance Company to Pay a Car Insurance Claim?
The length of time the property damage takes to be covered by the insurance company can vary depending on where the accident happened. Each state has different laws regulating what insurance companies can and can't do, so anyone looking forward to filing a car insurance claim must first ask their lawyer how the legal process works in that state.
Several factors can affect how much time an auto insurance claim takes to get paid by the insurance company, though. The average deadline these claims take to be paid is 30 days, but all cases are different, and some of them can take even longer than that. Simple car accident cases where no one got injured can take a few weeks to get settled and paid by the insurance company.
However, car insurance claims including medical bills and personal injury issues can take even months to get paid. Dealing with personal injury auto insurance claims is more difficult for all the parties involved, and it also requires the insurance company to pay a lot of money to the victim.
Here are some key factors that could extend or make the claims' process shorter:
Most car insurance claims are settled by an agreement between all the parties involved in the accident. Many people prefer doing this to taking the case to trial since trials take more time to be solved than average insurance claims. The process mostly consists of the accident's victim filing a lawsuit against the liable driver. When that happens, the at-fault driver must notify its insurance company of what happened. The insurance company may send an insurance adjuster to establish the total worth of the accident and how liable each driver is for it.
At-fault drivers tend to make a counter-offer to the victim, and that counter-offer usually represents paying less money than the victim initially asked for. Victims don't have to accept that offer right away, so both parties can negotiate until they get to an agreement that satisfies all parties involved in the case.
Negotiations take longer when the drivers in the accident can't get to an agreement, but those cases end up going to trial. Insurance companies may try to use any legal means possible to pay less money to the victim, so they must be prepared to show evidence of the accident while negotiating with it.
Having poor communication with the lawyer representing the victim can make receiving insurance coverage more difficult for them.
Trials and Further Legal Processes
If the liable driver and the victim can't get to an agreement, they must take the case to trial. The only problem with doing that is that trials can take a lot of time and are more exhausting than negotiations, so the victim must be ready for that if they want to do it.
Not all trials take that much time to be settled, though. Some of them even take a few days, but everything depends on the evidence both parties take to the court and how relevant it is.
Therefore, most lawyers recommend their clients collect evidence right after they get safe from the accident. Pictures of the damage the other driver caused are essential to prove they are liable for what happened, so people with smartphones may want to use them to take as many pictures as they can.
Some states' laws establish that more than one person can be liable for a car accident, so trials may take longer if both drivers are trying to prove the liability the other one has for the accident. However, everything depends on how good the victim's lawyer is and the complexity of the case.
The Severity of the Injuries
One of the most important factors when dealing with a car insurance claim is if the victim suffered an injury, like whiplash, and the severity of it. The claims process for those accidents is, naturally, more expensive than regular car accident claims.
What makes these claims take that much time is that the victim can't file them until they have completely recovered from the accident. The reason for that is that it's the only way to calculate how much money they can ask for in the claims process.
The insurance company may also ask for evidence of the injuries the accident caused to the victim, so it's always a good idea to take pictures of them and ask doctors and nurses to testify if the case goes to trial.
If the victim wins the case, the insurance company must pay for what the medical bills insurance policies require it to cover. The only situation in which the insurance company doesn't have to pay for medical expenses is if the victim's insurance company offers PIP benefits to its clients.
Other Important Expenses
The process may also take some time if the claims adjuster needs to calculate the price of a rental car, roadside assistance, and a proper body shop.
What Is PIP?
PIP stands for "Personal Injury Protection," and as its name suggests, it's an insurance policy that offers victims of a car accident coverage for any medical treatment they may need. In these cases, the victim doesn't have to ask the other driver's insurance provider for this benefit since its own insurance company gives it to them.
Personal injury protection is mostly used in states with a no-fault system.
Although many people think so, not all states have a fault-based system, and some of them even include different fault subtypes. Regardless of that, no-fault states are the ones in which each driver's insurance company covers all the damage its client may have suffered due to the accident.
Most no-fault states require insurance companies to offer victims PIP coverage, so car accident victims don't have to worry about that in those states.
The State's Law Regarding the Claims Process
Since not all states have the same laws regarding insurance companies and how long they can take to pay for a car insurance claim, everything depends on where the accident happened. Most states establish a time limit in which insurance companies have to pay for the claim, and if they don't, the victim can sue them.
These are some states where car insurance companies have a specific time to pay for auto insurance claims:
Texas is one of the states that focuses on helping the victim get its auto insurance payment as soon as possible. There, the insurance provider has 30 days to accept or reject the claim and five days to pay for it after a settlement is made.
Unlike Texas, California allows every auto insurance company to accept or reject a claim in 40 days. When both parties get to an agreement, insurance providers have 30 days to pay for the claim.
North Carolina's laws are similar to Texas' ones since auto insurance companies have 30 days to acknowledge vehicle damage and medical claims and then 10 days to give the victim insurance coverage after a settlement is agreed upon.
Can a Car Insurance Company Avoid Paying for a Car Insurance Claim?
As long as the victim can prove they need insurance coverage in their bodily injury claims, the auto insurance company can't avoid paying for it.
Even if the victim shows maximum medical improvement a short time after the accident happened, the auto insurance company still has to pay for the procedures the victim went through because of what happened, and if it refuses to do so, the victim can sue it.
In some cases, the victim can file a claim or a lawsuit against an auto insurance provider. Although those cases are not common in the U.S, victims can do it when insurance carriers break the law by not issuing payment for accident-related expenses within the time required by the state's regulation.
Considering that, victims wanting to settle claims and receive compensation for it may not worry about the other driver's insurer not paying for the insurance settlement. The best way to solve those problems is by consulting everything with legal experts, so all parties involved in a car accident case should hire a lawyer.
How to Speed Up the Claim Process As a Victim
Most insurance companies take time to pay for injury and property damage claims. Fortunately, all the drivers involved can do some things to speed up the process, and they may want to do them if they want to win their injury claim.
Below are what victims must do if they want to file a claim for a car accident in the fastest way possible:
Get Safe After the Accident
If someone's car gets hit and they can move after the car crash, they must get out of their car and go to a safe spot where they can't be hurt by other vehicles. Safety is always a priority, so whether it's the victim or the liable party, people who are already safe must check on the other driver to see if they need help.
If the other driver needs help or there is an emergency of any sort, someone must call 911 as soon as possible. Many lives are lost due to car accidents each year, so a 911 call can save many people. Apart from that, the medical team may also get to the accident scene with the police, which allows the victim to tell them everything that happened.
As soon as the victim gets to a safe spot and makes sure no one needs help, they must gather as much information and evidence as possible to assure themselves an easy negotiation to win and a favorable settlement. If the victim proves the other party caused the accident and that it can cost them a fortune, the process is halfway ready.
The best way to collect evidence for an insurance settlement is by taking pictures of the accident and asking bystanders if they saw what happened. The victim must also talk to the other driver and ask them for their contact number, home direction, and license plate.
Regardless of that, the victim must never say sorry or say anything that could make the other driver think they are liable for what happened. As many may know, everything someone says can be used against them in a further trial.
Tell the Police What Happened
Reporting everything to the closest police station can considerably help victims speed up the process since the police officers take that statement and use it to file a police report. Those police reports can later be used as evidence in a trial.
The liable driver must not leave the place until a police report is made, though. Doing it can be considered a hit and run, and that may make police officers file hit and run charges against the negligent driver.
Contact a Law Firm
The next step to file a claim against the liable driver in a car accident is to contact and hire a law firm to take the case and help the victim get fair compensation for what happened. Lawyers know everything about these processes, so victims can ask them any question they have about the matter.
Some people call lawyer referral services to handle the situation, but that's not always a good alternative. Victims must hire a law firm they already know has qualified and experienced lawyers, and the Keating Firm LTD is one of those law firms. Clients can contact them at any time to get a free consultation for their case.
Have Evidence Ready for Negotiations with Insurance Companies
Evidence is essential if a victim in a car crash wants to recover compensation after they file a claim. The evidence showed to the insurance adjusters may let them know that the victim needs money to pay for medical expenses and other lost wages.
Things such as medical records and pictures of car damage may be enough to get fair insurance payouts. Having the right evidence can make the length of time needed to receive a claim payout go down from one month to a couple of weeks.
All car accident victims deserve compensation for the property damage caused by the accident. Most insurers do what they can to avoid paying victims insurance products.
However, filing a claim with the right evidence and the best lawyer the victim can find helps them avoid any trick the insurance company tries to pull off. Considering that, victims need a reputable attorney to make the best claim they can and receive money to recover from property damage.
Back and forth car insurance negotiations can be exhausting and take a lot of time, so if the victim and their lawyer consider they can win a case at trial, they may stop negotiating and take the case to a legal court. Whether the victim wants to negotiate or take the case to trial, the Keating Firm LTD offers free consultation of the victim's case, so they must not hesitate to call it.