In many situations, settling a car accident claim outside of court is a much shorter process than pursuing a lawsuit through civil court. However, many factors can affect how long it takes to settle a car accident claim, some of which are outside your or your attorney’s control.
Generally, you can expect settling a car crash claim with an insurance company to take at least three to six months from start to finish. That said, here are some things that might affect the length of the process, as well as some important ways in which state law effectively sets a maximum time limit on these kinds of negotiations.
What Might Affect How Long the Settlement Process Takes?
The biggest issues when it comes to settling car accident claims in Pennsylvania are disagreements with the insurance company on the severity of a victim’s injuries. Insurance providers will start settlement negotiations with a denial of the claim, or a lowball offer meant to make you think your claim is worth less than it actually is. Convincing them to offer a more reasonable amount can be a complicated and time-consuming process.
Cases involving serious injuries that will result in permanent disfigurement and/or disability tend to take longer to settle than those built around less severe injuries. This is unavoidable to some extent, though, since a settlement for life-altering injuries will need to include payments for various future damages like lost working ability and loss of life’s pleasures. A skilled attorney at Ostroff Godshall Injury and Accident Lawyers can answer questions about how long it might take to settle this particular type of car accident case during a private meeting.
Legal Time Limits on Car Accident Claims
Under Pennsylvania law, car insurance companies are required to send you necessary forms within ten business days of being notified that you’ve filed a claim with them. They have 15 business days at most to inform you whether they’ve accepted your claim or not after you complete and submit all those forms. However, insurance providers are allowed to request additional processing time if they provide a valid reason for the delay. In this case, they have to update you on your claim’s status 30 days after the initial request and every 45 days thereafter until the claim is resolved.
It’s also worth noting that Pennsylvania law generally prohibits anyone from filing a third-party lawsuit over any personal injury more than two years after the injury actually happened. This can be important to know when trying to settle a car crash claim, since an insurance company or individual who knows they can’t be sued in civil court will have no reason to negotiate a settlement in good faith.
Work with a Skilled Attorney to Settle a Car Accident Claim Quickly
Getting paid fairly after a severe auto accident is no simple task, especially if you aren’t familiar with how settlement negotiations work in Pennsylvania. Fortunately, help is available from experienced legal professionals at Ostroff Godshall Injury and Accident Lawyers who know how to fight and win on behalf of folks like you.
Figuring out how long it might take to settle a car accident claim is one of many aspects of your case that we can help with. Call our firm today to learn more and set up a free consultation.