How Long Does it Take to Settle a Car Accident Claim?

June 2, 2021

Waiting for your car accident claim to settle can be stressful, and you are probably wondering how long it will take. Unfortunately, there is no exact answer since each claim is unique and various factors can speed up or delay the process. A highly experienced car accident lawyer in Minneapolis can evaluate your case and give you an idea of how long it may take to receive payment. 

Best-Case Scenario: 30 Days

Minneapolis auto insurance companies try to resolve car accident claims within 30 days from when they are filed. Within that time, an insurance adjuster will reach out to you to get your side of the story, evaluate your claim, investigate your accident, and decide on the amount of compensation you are entitled to. 

There are a few things you can do to try and speed up this process by gathering the documentation that the adjuster will need. That can include the police report, photos of the scene, damage to the vehicles, and of your injuries, as well as witness statements, proof of lost income, medical records, bills, and any other paperwork you believe to be significant.

If you were severely injured in the accident, consider hiring a car accident lawyer to represent you. Hiring professional representation will be in your best interests because they have the resources to gather supporting evidence and handle any dealings with the insurance company on your behalf.

Most car accident lawyers take cases on a contingency fee basis, which means they will cover all case-related costs, and you do not have to pay any money upfront or out-of-pocket. Their legal fees will be a percentage taken from your settlement or favorable verdict, which is typically between 33 and 40 percent. If you do not win, you do not owe anything. 

Worst-Case Scenario: Months to Years 

Some claims are complex and can take significantly longer before a settlement is reached. For instance, if liability is disputed, the insurance company engages in bad faith tactics such as delaying payment or if multiple parties are involved. In Texas, any party who contributed to a car accident can be liable, so an insurance company must first decide fault before settling a claim. 

Another factor that can delay settlement is if your injuries are severe. Your attorney will most likely advise you to wait to settle until you fully recover or reach the point of maximum medical improvement (MMI). Waiting will give you the best idea of how much compensation you will need in the future to recover fully. 

Waiting for the Check after Settlement 

Once you and your attorney agree that a fair settlement has been reached with the insurance company, you will have to sign a release of liability before they will issue your check. This release waives your right to pursue any further claims against the insurer or their policyholder in relation to your accident.

Once they receive your signed release, it can take a week or sometimes longer for the check to be mailed out to your lawyer. Your attorney will then pay your debts, such as unpaid medical bills, deduct their legal fees and any court costs, then will send you a check for the remainder. 

Contact Hall Law, P.A. for Help

Filing a car accident claim and waiting for payment is challenging, but especially if you do it on your own. If you have been injured in a car accident, learn your rights by speaking to a car accident lawyer today in a free consultation.