How Long Does It Take To Resolve A Typical Vehicle Accident Claim?
Thanks to the rippling effect of inflation, analysts at Bankrate expect insurance rates to increase by nearly 14 percent in 2023 compared to 2022. While it’s true that motorists will likely see an increase in their insurance premiums, there is no assurance that vehicle accident claims will be settled promptly.
According to the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), most car accident claims tend to be resolved in about 14 months. The longer it takes to resolve an accident claim, the higher the financial burden on the policyholder and the insurance company. Moreover, long, drawn-out claims can be extremely stressful because they disrupt daily lives and routines.
Factors Affecting the Resolution Time for Vehicle Accident Claims
A common question that personal injury attorneys get when talking to a potential vehicle accident client is, “How long will it take?” Well, there are a lot of factors that affect the resolution time for vehicle accident claims.
Based on the information available, lawyers can only guess how long it will take, which is usually close to the precise time. Here are some factors that are likely to affect the resolution time for vehicle accident claims
Number of parties involved
It takes more time to resolve a case with more parties or entities than with only a few individuals. For instance, if two drivers are in a collision, the case will be much faster since only two insurance companies are involved.
The case would even take a much shorter time if no witnesses were at the accident scene. However, the cases might take longer if multiple people are involved in an accident and there are several witnesses.
The complexity of the accident
How difficult is it to determine the extent of damages or fault? The more severe car wreck injuries are, the more compensation policyholders may be entitled to. This covers medical expenses, loss of income, and other damages.
However, the higher the amount an attorney and the policyholder request from the insurance company, the more pushback they will receive. Although this back-and-forth is common, it can be frustrating and take a lot of time.
Your lawyer’s experience
Experienced lawyers with a track record of handling personal injury cases can speed up the process. They can offer valuable guidance on negotiating with insurance companies, gathering quality evidence, and legal process procedures.
Availability of evidence
Readily available evidence such as photographs, witness statements, video footage, and police reports can go a long way in determining fault within a few weeks or months. On the other hand, if the evidence presented is contested or it’s not readily available, it will take much longer to resolve the claim.
The Insurance Claim Process
Navigating the insurance process can be daunting for policyholders because it varies based on the type of insurance policy and company. However, the general steps in an insurance claim include the following:
Notifying the insurance provider
Even if the damages after an accident appear minor, policyholders should always contact the insurer and inform them about the accident.
File a claim
With technological advancements, most insurance companies have mobile apps that allow prompt claims reporting. The holder will need to provide their policy number, a description of what happened, and upload documentary evidence or any other relevant details.
Once a claim is made, the insurer will assign an adjuster to investigate the claim. The adjuster will likely contact you for more information. They may also visit the vehicle accident site to assess the situation.
The policyholder will need to provide the necessary documents to support their claim. Usually, these include a copy of the police report and a “proof of claim” form.
Determination of amount of loss
After assessing the accident scene, the adjuster will determine the extent of damages and the amount of loss. They will also determine if your insurance policy covers the damage and if any deductibles apply.
Once the adjuster has completed their investigation and assessment, they will make a settlement offer. This offer will outline the amount the insurer will pay to cover the loss or damage. If the policyholder thinks the offer is too low, they can negotiate with the adjuster for a more satisfactory settlement.
Once a settlement is agreed upon, the insurance company will pay the policyholder for the loss or damages.
Working With Attorneys
Whether you are a car accident victim or an at-fault driver, an attorney can provide more than just legal counsel. Besides experience, below are a few reasons to hire a car accident attorney:
For policyholders to get the compensation they deserve, they need evidence to show that the other party is at fault. An attorney can work with an investigator to source relevant documents, gather eyewitness testimonies and collect crash footage to act as evidence.
Most accident victims forget that their lawsuits must be filed before certain dates. Attorneys remind clients of these dates and work with them to ensure everything is submitted as required.
Determining damages owned
Without background knowledge of accidents or personal injury laws, accident victims seeking an insurance claim may be unaware of the damages they qualify for. An attorney will evaluate all aspects of the collision before determining legally recoverable losses.
No Upfront Fees
Most accident attorneys don’t charge out-of-pocket fees for the service offered. Instead, they charge a fee depending on the success of your case, commonly known as a contingency fee.
Strategies for Speeding Up Resolution Times for Vehicle Accident Claims
Although every vehicle accident victim is unique, many share the same goal. They want their vehicle accident claim to be processed and resolved as quickly as possible. Since the timeline varies depending on circumstances, there are a few measures accident victims can take to cut time off their vehicle accident claim. These include:
However, it’s important to note that a quick resolution may not always be the best solution. It’s sometimes better to wait long enough to secure quality evidence that may help you get maximum compensation. Contact Alvendia Kelly & Demarest today at 504-200-0000 to schedule a free consultation.