Getting involved in a car accident is an awful event because of the property damage and physical and emotional injuries involved and the time-consuming act of dealing with insurance companies while having to deal with the other repercussions of the accident. One of the first concerns many people have is who will they get their car fixed or replaced.
Generally, insurance companies are required to begin the adjustment of property damage claims within 14 days of being notified by the claimant.
Specifically, Louisiana Revised Statute § 22:1892 Section A.3 states the following: Except in the case of catastrophic loss, the insurer shall initiate loss adjustment of a property damage claim and a claim for reasonable medical expenses within fourteen days after notification of loss by the claimant.
Under this language, the insurance companies are required by the law to adhere to fixing a motor vehicle damage within fourteen days of the claim.
Unlike adjusting property damage claims, paying injury damages is not as simple since such a claim must first be determined before a settlement can be paid.
There is no determined set amount of time when motor vehicle accident claims must be settled. Rather, insurance companies are only required to settle claims within a “reasonable amount of time.” An issue with this terminology is how to interpret it and how it applies in a determinable manner.
Unfortunately, the answer is very dependent on numerous factors of the claim and the accident. More complex cases involving numerous factors will generally take longer to determine as insurance companies would have to take longer to conduct their investigation by evaluating all the factors. On the other hand, straightforward claims would generally take a shorter time to assess and could easily settle sooner.
What Are the Factors That May Affect How Long It Takes Insurance Companies to Accept or Deny a Claim?
There are numerous factors that can prolong or affect the processing of your claim by insurance companies. Some of these factors include, but are not limited to the following:
- The severity of the injuries stated on the claim
- The extent of the property losses or damages included on the claim
- How complicated the facts are about the automobile accident
- The number of parties involved in the accident
- Whether the fault is shared with other parties, and to what degree are they shared
- The communication between the insurance adjuster and the party to the claim
- The availability of documents and evidence needed to assess the claim
- If there are any disputes regarding fault or coverage
- Whether witnesses provide conflicting testimony or their availability to provide their statement
These factors are vital information in resolving any motor vehicle accident and determination of the claim. Thus, any complication or assessment of this information could reasonably delay the final decision of a claim.
As discussed above, insurance companies’ timeline in determining the resolution of a motor vehicle claim relies on the terminology “reasonable amount of time.” As frustrating as it may be, the good news is the law indicates a specific time frame that insurance companies must abide by in fixing a motor vehicle upon a settlement of a claim.
Louisiana Revised Statute § 22:1892 Section A states the following: insurers must pay both insured and third-party claimants “within 30 days after receipt of satisfactory proofs of loss from the insured or any party in interest” or “within thirty days after written agreement of settlement of the claim from any third-party claimant,” or whichever applies.
Simply put, the insurance company is required by the law to provide final payment to the claimant within 30 days of its determination and acceptance of a motor vehicle claim.
Dealing with insurance companies can be tedious, time-consuming, confusing, and can have adverse effects on your claim, insurability, and rights. Thus, it is practical to have a well-versed lawyer familiar with dealing with insurance companies to ensure that your rights and claims are preserved adequately under the law.
If you are dealing with an insurance company, you need a reputable lawyer on your side. Our highly experienced injury lawyers are here to guide and help you in your case. Please call us at (225) 963-9638, or you can click here to contact us for a consultation. Our dependable personal injury lawyers can help you assess your situation, represent your claim, and answer any concerns you may have regarding your lawsuit.