Texas Car Accident Settlement Process and Timeline
If you are awaiting a settlement after a car accident in Dallas, a few factors may affect how fast you receive compensation. Costs of replacing a car often come simultaneously with expensive medical bills and potential loss of work. Generally, getting reimbursement from the insurance company takes about six weeks, but it can take longer depending on a few factors. For that reason, many car accident victims have to pay out of pocket initially.
The first thing you should do is contact a Dallas car accident attorney.
Insurance companies are notorious for red tape and slow processes. While they do not typically have malicious intent, they often focus on protecting their own self-interest. Whether they owe a settlement check or a compensation award, they tend to work on their time rather than the victim’s. What is in the best interest of the insurance company is to pay out as little as possible – even if that means victims must pay medical and auto expenses up front. This all becomes even more complicated if no one was immediately or obviously at fault for the accident. If this is the situation, an attorney would likely make the process easier and faster.
If you are in the position of pursuing damages against another driver or another insurance company, the length of the process varies widely depending on several important factors. Here are a few examples of factors that affect the length of a settlement case.
- The severity of your injuries affects the length of a settlement case. While some extreme injuries expedite a settlement, they can also cause insurers to further investigate due to the larger payout.
- Determining who is at fault in an accident can affect the length of a case significantly. If crash site evidence is inadequate, a crash investigation or re-creation may be necessary to determine who is at fault. This process is complicated further if two drivers (and two insurance companies) are attempting to blame each other to avoid the payout. Adequate investigation can remedy the situation, but it takes valuable time out of the trial.
- The length of time you need to recover from your injuries, as well as the long-term impact of the injuries on daily life can affect the length of the case.
- Whether the accident was due to reckless behavior may affect the length of trial for a settlement, due to the possibility of punitive damages. If reckless driving on the part of the at-fault driver occurred during the accident, the victim can sue for compensatory damages but also for punitive damages. Punitive damages are a specific kind of settlement intended to punish a reckless defendant and reduce the odds of recidivism.
- Whether the other driver is insured influences the length of the settlement case. This determines whether you are pursuing damages from a large insurance company or a private individual. This can lengthen the duration of a case.
- How many drivers and insurance companies are involved affects the length of a settlement case. Of course, the more involved parties, the longer it will likely take to settle for damages.
Settlements often take longer than the standard six weeks, but if you’ve waited an inordinately long time for compensation, the insurance company may be delaying your compensation. Sometimes, this is because the process is slow, but other times, it could be because they are waiting for further proof in an accident claim. If you or a loved one has suffered harm in a car wreck in Texas and the settlement process does not seem fair, talk with an attorney.