Like the incidents that prompt them, car accident settlements can vary dramatically. After a claim is filed, the insurer usually retains the right to review the evidence and request further information as needed, and claimants do not necessarily have to accept the first settlement offer they receive from an insurer. As such, the amount of time it takes for a person to receive an insurance payout is difficult to estimate.
Although there is no universal schedule for accident settlements, one hard limit is defined by the statute of limitations for lawsuits in the state where the accident occurred. For instance, courts may throw out cases if plaintiffs file after the statute of limitations has expired. Because most of these laws specify the date by which a case must be finalized, they generally serve as maximum limits on the total duration of a given settlement claim.
Other important factors pertain to the specifics of the case in question. For instance, claimants are responsible for providing evidence that another party was at fault, and insurers can contest claims on such grounds if they do not believe sufficient evidence was proffered; the nature of the information given in support of a claim thus affects its viability and duration. Such back and forth can extend the amount of time it takes to complete a settlement, especially when claimants exercise their right to dispute the offers they were presented. The settlement negotiation process generally involves offers and counter offers, so it is wise to initiate claims early to account for such delays.
Technicalities may also increase the wait times people experience when pursuing settlements. For instance, claiming something that is not covered in addition to damages that are a part of the policy may prompt the insurer to respond by rejecting the claim, which can prolong the process. To reduce the likelihood of such avoidable setbacks, it is wise to review the details of the case as well as any policy agreements and filing procedures prior to actually making a claim. Discover more about recovering from a car accident by contacting a lawyer.