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After an accident, you may need cash to pay for medical bills, lost wages, and vehicle repairs. However, sometimes it can take a while for the insurance company to offer you a settlement. If you need help urging the insurance company along or negotiating for a better settlement, you will need to contact a car wreck injury attorney in San Antonio.

Ask a Car Wreck Injury Attorney in San Antonio: How Long Does an Insurance Company Have to Settle a Claim?

In Texas, a car insurance company will have 35 business days to settle a claim that has been filed after a car accident. This timeframe is intended to give the car insurance company enough time to acknowledge, review, and investigate a claim before the final payout is settled. 

The timeline for an insurance claim in Texas includes 15 days for the insurance company to acknowledge the insurance claim, 15 business days for the car insurance company to make a decision about the claim, and 5 business days to offer a settlement if the claim is approved. When you work with a lawyer and submit a claim with sufficient evidence, you may be able to speed up the claims process, so you can receive your settlement more quickly.

Can Some Accident Claim Take Longer to Settle?

Yes, some types of accidents can delay your claim. If your car accident involves multiple cars, it can take more time for the insurance company to sort out who is liable for the accident, which means it may take longer than 15 to 30 days for your claim to be denied or approved. Claims that involve serious injuries can also take longer for the insurance company to settle since the insurance adjuster will need to do more investigation. 

Sometimes, claims that involve natural disasters or car accidents related to extreme weather can also take longer to settle. If one of the causal factors for your car accident involved the weather, the insurance company may require an additional 45 days to approve your claim and 15 more days after that to offer a settlement. 

How Can You Avoid Delays With Your Claim?

If you want to avoid delays with your claim, then you or your lawyer will need to respond to any queries from the insurance company promptly. Sometimes, the car insurance company will contact you during the investigation period to ask for additional evidence, such as photos of the vehicle damage, copies of the accident report, or documents showing proof of physical injury and medical treatments. When you respond to these queries quickly, your claim may be approved faster.

Can You Reject a Settlement Offer?

In Texas, you have the right as a consumer and a victim of an accident to reject a settlement offer from the insurance company. Rejecting an offer will not prevent you from negotiating for a settlement in the future. In fact, rejecting a low offer now to negotiate for a better settlement later may be a good strategy to ensure you receive the fair compensation you are entitled to. 

How Are Car Accident Settlements Calculated?

Car insurance companies all have different formulas for how settlements are calculated. Usually, a car insurance company will focus on lost wages, medical bills, and property damage. If your claim ends up going to court, a judge and jury will look at additional factors to calculate the compensation you are owed for your injuries and damages.

In court, damages such as emotional distress, mental anguish, trauma, physical pain, and reduced quality of life because of long-term injuries are all considered. Your lawyer can also help you sue liable parties to compensate for lost earning capacity if you suffered a severe injury or permanent disability. If the accident affected your relationship with your spouse, you can also sue for loss of companionship. 

What Should You Not Say to the Insurance Company After an Accident?

When you are speaking with the insurance adjuster in charge of your claim, there are several things you should not say. It’s most important to avoid apologizing for the accident, since an apology may be considered admitting fault by the insurance company. You should never apologize to the other driver, the police, or the insurance adjuster. 

You should also avoid stating your opinion about how the accident happened. Instead, you should stick to the facts as you know them and the facts that can be proven with evidence. If you are asked a question you don’t know how to answer, you can simply state that you don’t know, or you can ask the insurance adjuster to speak to your lawyer. Check out this site to learn how an attorney can help you with your settlement.

In Texas, the claims process can take about 35 business days to complete. If you aren’t satisfied with the settlement offered by the car insurance company, you can work with a lawyer to negotiate a settlement that covers all of your injuries and damages.