After a car accident, most victims seek compensation by filing a claim with the at-fault driver’s auto insurance policy. Hiring a Houston personal injury lawyer can help you with your claim, from filing the necessary paperwork and negotiating with the adjuster to handling challenges. One common issue that many car accident victims experience is the insurance company taking a long time to get back to them regarding their claim, despite the bills rolling in for the accident. Sometimes this is due to normal delays, but it might also be that they are stalling unnecessarily. In this article, we’ll discuss common reasons for delays in a car accident settlement, why the insurance company may be stalling, and how your lawyer can help you in this situation.
How Your Houston Personal Injury Lawyer Help with Your Car Accident Insurance Claim
First, let’s talk about why it helps to have a car accident lawyer to help with the claims process, even if the insurance company isn’t stalling. Your Houston personal injury lawyer can help you throughout the process to help you get the compensation you need after a car accident. For instance, your attorney can help you investigate and gather evidence of the accident and the other driver’s negligence. They can also help you calculate a value for your claim based on your accident-related expenses as well as non-economic factors like pain and suffering.
When you have an attorney on your side, they can also handle all communications with the insurance adjuster. This is helpful, as it takes a lot of things off your plate, such as submitting documents and paperwork as well as negotiating with the adjuster for a fair settlement.
Essentially, your attorney can stay on top of all the things needed for your claim. This can also help reduce the risk of delays for your settlement.
Talk to Your Houston Personal Injury Lawyer if You Think Your Claim is Taking Too Long
One of the most common questions about the insurance claims process is how long it takes to get a check after a car accident. For most car accident victims, there will be expenses popping up, from vehicle repairs to medical bills. Therefore, it makes sense to wonder about the timeline for a settlement.
If you think it’s taking too long, then it’s time to talk to your Houston personal injury lawyer. If you don’t have one already helping you with your claim, now is the time to find one, quickly. Your lawyer can help you determine if there’s a good reason for how long the claim is taking. They can also discuss next steps with you for your case.
How Long Do Insurance Companies Have to Pay on a Claim in Texas?
Now, it’s important to note that there are laws in place regarding timelines for insurance settlements after a car accident. Texas laws give insurance companies 35 business days to settle a claim after you file it. The breakdown is typically 15 days for acknowledging that you filed the claim. Add another 15 to investigate and accept or deny the claim. Once settled, they have 5 days to process the payment.
However, there are some cases where it’s possible for the company to lengthen that timeline up to 45 business days. There are several things that may cause delays in the process.
What Might Delay a Car Accident Settlement with an Insurance Company?
If it’s taking longer than you’d like to settle a claim with the insurance company, keep in mind there may be many different issues. Talk to your Houston personal injury lawyer about the delays and what might be holding the insurance company up. Here are a few reasons you might have a longer timeline from filing a car accident claim to getting your settlement check:
Extra Long Investigations
Sometimes, the insurance company may need a lot of time to investigate the claim and accident. For instance, if the car accident was pretty complicated, it may take longer to determine who was really at fault. This is common in accidents that involve multiple vehicles, such as pile up accidents.
In addition, if the insurance has reason to believe that there may be attempted fraud with your case, they may also need extra time to investigate. There are both legally valid reasons for the insurance company to take longer on one claim compared to another.
Delays Getting What they Need From You
Perhaps the most common reason that car accident claims are delayed is actually due to the victim. Generally, the insurance will request certain documents, paperwork, and evidence from you. This helps them with their investigation and findings for your insurance claim. If it takes a long time to get this information to the insurance company, it may cause a delay. When you work with your accident attorney for your claim, they can take care of this for you in a timely manner to reduce the risk of delays.
Bad Faith to Try to Pay You Less
Another reason your claim may be taking a long time to settle is if the insurance company is acting in bad faith. Bad faith basically means that they are doing things to try to avoid paying you a fair settlement amount for your car accident claim. Stalling a claim settlement often leads car accident victims to either drop the claim or to take a much lower amount than they would otherwise. If an insurance company is acting in bad faith by unnecessarily delaying your claim, there are things you can do. For instance, you can file a bad faith lawsuit against the company. If you win, typically you’re awarded the original settlement amount, your lawyer’s fees, as well as interest.
Some common tactics to stall an insurance claim include:
- Requesting one document or piece of evidence at a time, rather than in bundles
- Dodging your calls and leaving emails unanswered
- Changing adjusters multiple times and starting the process over again
- Asking you to submit unrelated information for your claim
How Your Houston Personal Injury Lawyer Helps You Avoid Delays in Your Insurance Claim
As we mentioned earlier, there are some ways that your Houston personal injury lawyer may help you avoid delays with your claim. One example is simply taking care of all the necessary paperwork and evidence filing needed for your claim. In addition, many insurance adjusters know that experienced lawyers know a lot of the tricks they use to avoid or lower car accident settlements. This means they may be less likely to try these common tactics if you have a lawyer handling your case.
Hire a Houston Personal Injury Lawyer from Maida Law Firm
Our goal at Maida Law Firm is to help you get maximum compensation for your personal injury case. Our team has helped countless car accident victims with their insurance claims and lawsuits. We are here to help you get the compensation you need to recover from your accident. Founded in 1993, you can trust our team for experienced legal advice for your case. Each of our attorneys offer seasoned, knowledgeable legal services. Get in touch now to get a free case evaluation with one of our legal professionals.