After an accident, it can feel like your bills are piling up fast and you just need the insurance claim to close and get your settlement check. But don’t get too hasty to where you settle for just anything.
Once you sign the settlement agreement, it typically takes 4-8 weeks to receive the payment. However, insurance claims can take far longer than that from the date of the accident. Here’s what you need to know about personal injury claim settlements.
5 Factors Impacting Settlement Timeframes
The total amount of time between a personal injury accident and when you receive compensation for your injuries will vary based on several factors.
1. How Quickly You Open a Claim
Starting the process with the insurance company is an important step in getting compensation for your injuries. But you want to be very careful in your interactions with the insurance company. Ideally, you should meet with an attorney as soon as you’re physically able to do so to learn the best next steps in your case.
You should notify the insurance company of your claim once you have met with your attorney and know some pitfalls to avoid when discussing the matter with the insurance company. The sooner you open the claim, the sooner the insurance company can begin its investigation and potentially begin payments.
2. Your Recovery Timeframe
You don’t want to settle your claim until you’ve completed your doctor’s care regimen for your injuries. That’s because you won’t know the total expense of your medical care until you’ve completed the necessary steps to heal from your injuries.
Some injuries take several months or even a couple of years to heal from. You might need physical therapy or mental health counseling as part of your recovery. Be patient with the process and follow all recommendations and restrictions your doctor outlines.
3. How Well You Document Your Case
The better your injury documentation, the more likely the insurance company will be to negotiate with you. Proper evidence shows that you know what you’re doing and that you won’t be intimidated about taking your case to court if you need to. These are motivating factors that tell the insurance company to do what they can to work with you to avoid the time and expense of court proceedings.
Having an attorney helping you through the process of documenting your case will help ensure you keep the right receipts and document your recovery process to maximize your settlement to avoid long-term financial harm from your injuries.
4. Whether You Engage an Expert Negotiator
Negotiation can consume months as you go back and forth with the insurance company to ensure proper compensation for your injuries. The insurance company might be trying to wear you down so that you accept the compensation they offer instead of continuing to pursue what you deserve.
When you hire a personal injury attorney, you’re getting an expert negotiator who knows how to use evidence and calculate a fair settlement amount to help you avoid paying out of pocket for your injury expenses and inconveniences. The process generally moves much quicker when you have an attorney on your side.
5. If the Insurance Company Is Willing to Keep the Case Out of Court
Depending on how compelling your personal injury case is, the insurance company may or may not feel compelled to keep it out of court. In a sense, they might be trying to call your bluff as to whether you’ll go that far with it. That means that they’ll be slow to respond to settlement negotiations hoping you’ll just take their lowest offer and move on. The more compelling your case is and the more expert your negotiation skills, the better in moving your case along.
For an outstanding team of attorneys and experts, schedule a free consultation with Stewart & Stewart. We’ll help move your settlement along to avoid major financial challenges due to someone else’s negligence.