If you were in a car accident, you may have suffered injuries that are keeping you out of work. Lost wages combined with endless medical bills may be too much to handle. You may be wondering what is taking the insurance company so long to send you a settlement check.
The claims process is more intricate than you might expect. In this article, Andrew Injury Law provides an overview of the claims process and when you may need to consider filing a lawsuit.
Insurance is designed to give people financial security in the event of an accident or loss. When two or more people are involved in a car accident, the at-fault driver’s car insurance will pay to cover injuries and property damages tied to the accident.
After you file an insurance claim, your insurance company will assign an adjuster to your case. The adjuster may be able to tell you how long he or she feels it will take to assign fault in your car accident claim. This will begin to give you a better idea of how long the settlement process may take.
Below we summarize the insurance claims process:
Following a car accident, you will want to provide evidence showing that the other driver is responsible for the accident. This may be in the form of video footage, photographs of the accident scene and your injuries, or eyewitness testimony.
Gathering evidence takes time. If the police were called to the accident scene, your attorney will need to request a police report. Acquiring video surveillance can also be time-consuming since you may need the police to issue a warrant in order to access the footage.
A demand package marks the beginning of insurance negotiations. Since Idaho is an at-fault state, you will likely be making a third-party claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
A demand package outlines the important facts related to your accident and documentation of your damages (injuries and property loss).
Your attorney will also calculate a total demand amount and give the insurance company a time limit to pay. A car accident lawyer will also offer a consequence if the insurer does not oblige.
The expenses that are relevant to your claim are known as compensatory damages. Compensatory damages may be either economic or non-economic.
Economic damages can be easily calculated and reflect any monetary losses you endured. Economic damages may include, but are not limited to:
On the other hand, non-economic damages do not reflect monetary losses but impact your ability to live a normal life.
In a car accident claim, non-economic damages may include, but are not limited to:
Calculating damages is a time-intensive process and can cause delays in processing your claim. For example, in calculating lost wages, your attorney will examine several factors, including the date you will return to work, if you will have to take a lower-paying job, and vacation days that you didn’t accrue while you were out of work.
A bodily injury claim can usually not be made until you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI). This is the point at which a physician determines that you have recovered as fully as you can from your accident. Since the recovery process can take a while, car accident victims have to wait to submit bodily injury claims.
Idaho insurance companies do not have a specific time limit on when claims must be processed and paid. However, Idaho law does require insurers to “acknowledge and act reasonably promptly” with respect to claims made under an insurance policy.
The failure of an insurance company to “act reasonably promptly” to a submitted claim or failing to issue a settlement in which liability is clear are just a couple of examples of unfair settlement practices.
At Andrew Injury Law, we have ample experience dealing with insurance companies. We will not stop negotiations until we feel that you are being offered the settlement you deserve.
If negotiations have stalled or the insurance company is not offering you a fair settlement, you may need to consider filing a personal injury lawsuit.
Under Idaho law, you will only have two years after the accident to do so. You will have three years to bring your case to court if you are only attempting to recoup for property damage.
If you do decide to pursue litigation, your car accident settlement may easily be extended by months or even years.
If you have been the victim of a car accident, no matter your level of fault, we want to hear from you. Attorney Matthew Andrew has over a decade of experience helping clients in the community. He knows what it takes to prevent any delays in the claims process. Contact Andrew Injury Law to schedule your free consultation.
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