Jason Stephens | April 29, 2022 | Car Accidents
Getting a settlement check from a car accident claim in Fort Worth can take a few months to a few years. The timeline for a personal injury case depends on the facts and circumstances of the case. However, there are specific deadlines the insurance company must follow after receiving a car accident claim.
Deadlines for Insurance Claims in Texas
Texas insurance laws require that an insurance company respond to a filed claim within 15 days after receiving the claim. The company must acknowledge the claim and begin an investigation.
The insurance company must tell you whether or not it accepts the claim. The company may extend the response time to 45 days in some cases, but they must have a reasonable justification for extending the deadline.
After accepting the claim, the company must investigate the claim within 15 days. However, this deadline might also be extended for a good cause.
After the insurance company agrees to a final settlement, the company must pay the claim within five business days. It could take longer for you to receive a settlement check if your lawyer must pay medical liens or subrogation liens against your personal injury settlement.
Factors That Impact the Timeline for Settling a Car Accident Claim in Fort Worth
Most accident claims take at least several months to settle, even if the insurance company accepts liability. Factors that impact how long it takes to settle a car accident case include:
- The severity of your injuries. You never want to settle your claim until you complete your medical treatment. Settling before completing your doctor’s treatment plan could result in a lower settlement payment.
- Claims involving multiple-vehicle accidents, commercial trucks, or rideshare vehicles.
- The length and complexity of the accident investigation.
- Cases involving a traffic fatality.
- Claims involving a government employee or vehicle.
- Allegations of comparative negligence by the other driver or insurance provider.
- Lack of evidence proving the other driver caused the car accident.
- The need to hire expert witnesses to estimate future damages related to permanent impairments and disabilities.
A car accident lawyer works to get you a settlement check as soon as possible. However, your attorney also understands that rushing to accept a settlement agreement could result in a much lower amount for the client.
Should I Accept a Settlement Offer From the Insurance Company?
An insurance adjuster may make a quick initial settlement offer. If so, the insurance company may be trying to avoid a more considerable settlement amount for the claim. However, in some cases, the company prefers to settle the case quickly before the person realizes the extent of their damages.
Most initial settlement offers are lower than the value of the person’s damages. Therefore, discussing a settlement offer with a personal injury attorney before accepting the offer is wise. If you sign a settlement agreement, you give up the right to demand more money for damages, even if you realize you have additional injuries.
What Damages Can I Recover for a Car Accident Claim in Fort Worth?
Before accepting a settlement offer from an insurance company, ensure that the amount covers all your damages. Car accident victims may receive compensation for economic damages (financial losses). Those damages include:
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Loss of income and benefits
- Medical bills
- Diminished earning potential
- Ongoing nursing care and personal care
- Property damage
You are also entitled to compensation for your non-economic damages. Insurance companies downplay these damages. They claim that accident victims exaggerate their pain and suffering. Non-economic damages include:
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Physical pain and discomfort
- Emotional distress
- Mental anguish and trauma
- Diminished quality of life
- Permanent impairments and disabilities
The value of non-economic damages depends on the severity of your injuries and other factors. In many cases, the insurance company agrees to pay an amount equal to a multiple of the economic damages. The more severe your injuries, the higher the multiplier used to calculate pain and suffering damages.
What Happens When an Insurance Company Refuses to Settle a Car Accident Claim?
You might need to file a personal injury lawsuit to resolve the injury claim. However, some insurance companies act in bad faith when handling an insurance claim.
Insurance companies work to lower the amount they must pay for car accident claims. However, some companies cross the line into bad faith practices.
The company might unduly pressure a victim to accept an unfair settlement offer. The insurance company may unreasonably delay the case or payment of the claim.
If the insurance company delays your claim, talk with a car accident lawyer. You might have a bad faith insurance claim in addition to your car accident claim.
Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm in Fort Worth, TX
If you’ve been injured in an accident in Fort Worth and need legal help, contact our Fort Worth car accident lawyers at Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents to schedule a free consultation.
Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents
1300 S University Dr # 406
Fort Worth, TX 76107