After hiring a Gwinnett County car accident lawyer and following through with the initial claims process on your end, waiting for your insurance company to payout your settlement requires patience. Several different factors come into play when addressing how long it takes to complete the claim and ultimately how long it takes for your payment to reach your door.
What Is the Claims Process for an Accident?
Initiating the Georgia claims process requires you to take several steps:
- File a police report assuming there were injuries to you and/or the associated party. This step is mandatory in the state of Georgia if either injury or death results from an accident.
- Gather relevant evidence: Take pictures of the accident scene and the damage done to both cars. Record your account of the incident while the incident is still fresh in your mind. If there were any witnesses, ask for their own account and contact information – this can help support your claim.
- Treat your injuries and obtain copies of your medical records to use as evidence.
- File your claim with your insurance company no more than two years after the incident.
One factor that can impact how fast an insurance company processes a claim is the nature of your injuries. If you are still recovering from an injury, chances are your attorney will advise against closing out a case. To receive a fair and accurate settlement, it is necessary to know the full extent of your injuries the accident caused. In legal proceedings, this refers to your maximum recovery level. Once you meet your maximum recovery level, it is possible to determine the route (and cost) of future treatment, as well as provide a final bill for the treatment that helped you reach this level of recovery.
Insurance companies are not always the quickest when it comes to processing claims. Some companies actively take their time in conducting investigations and communicating back to you about their findings. Other, larger agencies assign specialists to handle their claims. Depending on how busy these professionals are, it could take some time for them to thoroughly address your case. This process extends if you challenge a claim determination. The process will extend every time you challenge a determination or provide additional evidence.
The process of negotiating a settlement will add some time to your claims process. Depending on the nature of the insurance adjustors assigned to your case, they could possibly try to low-ball you or take advantage of your impatience. Luckily, your attorney will prevent you from accepting any unfair offers and negotiate on your behalf for compensation that clearly reflects the damages you’ve suffered.
If neither party can agree on a settlement, the court will address your case. You will receive a court date – you should expect even more waiting time as you wait for your court date. Adding different legal processes to your case adds more time to your overall claims process.
What Can I Do?
The one option that is available for claimants to speed up their case is simply to settle. An attorney generally won’t advise this because it’s a great way for the insurance company to cheat you out of fair compensation. Moreover, even if you do settle, it still takes two to four weeks for the insurance company to furnish your check.
It takes patience to effectively follow through the claims process. Even though it may take several months to close your case, retaining your patience will only benefit you in the end. Waiting for the insurance company to address all aspects of your claim ensures that your compensation accurately reflects your damages.