Following a car accident, many victims wonder how long the settlement process will take.
Waiting for a settlement can be incredibly stressful, especially if you have serious injuries that prevent you from working.
Here is an overview of car accident claims and the average amount of time they take to settle.
The Auto Accident Settlement Timeline
Generally speaking, the process may take anywhere from one to three years, depending on the complexity of the case.
Some may take as little as a few weeks, but that is unlikely in cases involving serious injuries.
Here are the different steps in the average car accident settlement timeline and how long they usually last.
1. Demand Letter
After you gather all of your evidence, you must create a settlement demand letter and send it to the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
Typically, this letter includes the amount demanded, proof of injuries sustained in the accident, and your personal account of the incident.
An attorney can help draft this letter with accurate damages estimates, both economic and non-economic.
2. Response from Insurance Company
Once you send your demand letter, the claims process begins. Upon receipt, the insurance company responds to your claim within 10 business days.
Typically, this is on a first-come, first-served basis.
The response also includes any required next steps, such as submitting additional documentation.
3. Reviewing the Information in Your Claim
The insurance company reviews all information within your claim and decides whether or not to accept it.
According to Texas Insurance Code § 542.056, insurance companies must give a decision on your claim within 15 business days.
If they reject your claim, you may appeal it with the adjuster.
4. Negotiating a Settlement
Usually, the first settlement offer is very low. However, if you do not approve of the offered amount, you may negotiate with the adjuster until the settlement is appropriate.
It takes 15 business days to receive an updated offer every time you submit new information. This usually means that negotiations can take several months.
5. Signing a Settlement Agreement
Once you reach an agreement with the insurance company, you may receive a settlement.
This agreement typically includes a contract that relieves the insurance company of any further legal action regarding your claim.
If you sign this contract, you may receive a settlement check in as little as 30 business days.
Don’t Fight the Insurance Company Alone—Call an Experienced Texas Car Accident Attorney
Injured victims often wonder why their car accident settlements are taking so long.
We hope that we have given you insight into the typical timeline of the settlement process. But since every case is unique, it is always best to discuss your claim with an attorney.
At Armstrong Lee & Baker LLP, our clients come first. We understand the amount of trust our clients put in us.
That is why we prepare to fight for the best outcome for clients, even if it is difficult.