You just got in a car accident, and bills are mounting. You might be wondering how long it will take to get insurance money after a car accident.
Several factors go into answering this question, including:
- Internal insurance procedures
- Your injuries
- Who is liable
- The value of your claim
- Whether your case goes to trial
Certain Factors May Affect When You Will Get Insurance Money
The following factors may play a role in how long it will take to receive insurance money after an accident:
Internal Insurance Procedures
In addition to adhering to state time limits, there may be internal insurance policies in place, which vary by insurer. For example, one insurance company may have a general policy to complete all investigations and resolve claims within 45 days, while another company may have a policy for claims to be resolved within 30 days.
Additionally, insurance companies may have specific timelines regarding how quickly they issue settlement checks after approving a claim.
A critical factor that may affect when you receive your insurance settlement money is the nature and severity of your injuries. Personal injury lawyers often recommend waiting until you reach maximum medical improvement before settling your claim. This is because when you settle your claim, you release the insurance company and defendant from any liability associated with the injury.
If you later discover you were injured more than you originally thought or incur additional expenses related to your injury, you may not be able to seek compensation for these damages because you would have already settled the case. By waiting until you recover or reach the maximum level of recovery possible, you will have a better idea about whether you may incur additional expenses related to your injuries and what these costs will be.
Questions of Liability
If your claim is fairly straightforward, it might take less time to resolve your case and receive your settlement funds. However, if it is initially unclear whose fault the accident was, it might take longer because the insurance company might take longer to investigate the accident. If multiple drivers were involved, they might each deny responsibility and blame one of the other drivers.
If this occurs, your personal injury lawyer may conduct an independent investigation to determine how the accident happened. This process may involve:
- Reviewing the accident report and the responding law enforcement officer’s impressions
- Reviewing photos or video of the accident scene
- Analyzing physical evidence, such as property damage or skid marks
- Interviewing eyewitnesses
- Requesting footage from nearby businesses or traffic cameras to obtain additional evidence
- Reviewing the point of impact between the vehicles
- Hiring an accident reconstruction expert who can explain how the accident likely occurred
If liability is in question, the insurance company may initially deny the claim, making you responsible for proving the accident was caused by another driver. This might make it take longer to recover compensation for the accident and possibly require your lawyer to file a lawsuit.
The Value of Your Claim
Insurance companies may have internal policies in place that may determine how thorough their investigation must be with certain claims. For example, they may provide a brief investigation for relatively low value but require a more extensive investigation for a value worth a lot more.
The insurance company will try to do everything possible to minimize the amount of recovery it has to pay for your claim. So, if your claim is valuable, it may take longer to resolve your claim.
If Your Case Goes to Trial
If your case goes to trial, it will take longer to reach a judgment than if you were to resolve your claim through settlement negotiations. However, many personal injury cases are resolved after a lawyer files a personal injury lawsuit but before the actual date of the trial.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer to Learn More
If you want to know more about how long it takes to get insurance money after a car accident, you can contact George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers. We can discuss your case during a confidential and complimentary case review to give you a better idea of the potential timeline involved in your claim.