Your Personal Injury Claim Can Take Time to Resolve

April 8, 2024

Wouldn’t it be nice if you received your settlement check a day or so after your accident? You can stop worrying about covering medical expenses and property repair bills. However, most accident victims don’t receive an instant payout from the insurance company.

Sometimes, it can take weeks and even months to resolve a personal injury claim. This applies even if you’re not at fault for the accident. Understanding the Dallas car accident claim process timeline can be confusing.

What applies to one claim may not be relevant to you. However, having a general understanding of the average timeline can relieve some of the stress you may be feeling after being involved in an accident.

The Average Timeline for an Accident Claim in Texas

There’s a saying that nothing moves quickly in the south and this includes Texas. Whether it’s the heat or lifestyle, everything can seem to move at a slower pace compared to some northern cities. Unfortunately, this can apply to car accident claims.

However, the slow pace of the claims process is pretty much the same regardless of where the accident occurs. In other words, the legal system likes to take its time. However, sometimes this can benefit your accident claim.

For example, even a week or so after a car accident you may still not know your exact damages. Some injuries take awhile to appear and you may need long-term medical care like rehabilitation therapy. If your car accident claim moves too quickly, you may not receive compensation for all of your damages.

However, when a claim takes time you have a better chance of ensuring you list all of your damages. This doesn’t mean you want your car accident to drag on for months, but a little breathing room can be beneficial.

So, how long does the average Dallas car accident claim take to resolve? While there’s not a precise answer you can get a general idea by looking at the necessary steps.

Alert the Insurance Company About the Car Accident

To get the claims process rolling, you need to contact the insurance company. You’re not filling a claim, you’re still calculating your damages. However, you can help speed the process up a little by letting the insurance company know you’re planning on filing a claim.

Don’t be surprised if an insurance adjuster shows up before you’ve started the paperwork. Sometimes, the adjuster will even make an appearance in your hospital room. This is normal and the insurance adjuster may even have a settlement check in hand. Yes, this will definitely shorten the claims process but it’s rarely a good idea to accept the initial offer.

Not only are you still determining the extent of your damages, but the initial offer is typically extremely low. The settlement offer may not even be enough to cover vehicle repair costs, let alone your medical expenses. Thank the adjuster for the visit and refuse to entertain the settlement offer.

Find and Contact an Accident Attorney

Finding an experienced Dallas accident attorney isn’t difficult. You have plenty of options. Once you find one you trust, it’s time to schedule a case consultation. So far, your car accident claim is moving along relatively quickly.

Your attorney will review the details of your car accident and decide if you have grounds to file an accident claim.

Start Negotiations with the Insurance Company

Okay, everything was moving along fairly quickly but get ready for the pace to slow down. You’ve filled out the paperwork for your vehicle collision claim and now you’re waiting on a response from the insurance company.

Don’t expect a call within a couple of days, it can be weeks before the insurance company responds. They’re investigating your accident claim. In other words, they’re searching for inconsistencies that may prove you’re at least partially responsible for the accident.

Since Texas is a modified comparative negligence state, you can still file an accident claim as long as you’re not more than 50% responsible for the incident. However, this also means that your compensation is reduced by the same amount as your percentage of blame.

After the insurance company has completed its investigation, negotiations start. Chances are, you’re not going to reach an acceptable agreement during round one of negotiations. Even the second and third times may leave both sides frustrated. Yes, this process can take several weeks.

Remember, the insurance company is hoping to wear you down, so you’re more willing to accept a lower claim amount.

Filing a Lawsuit

If you can’t reach an agreement with the insurance company, the next step is filing a lawsuit in civil court. Yes, this is going to extend the timeline of your personal injury claim. While filing the lawsuit is a relatively quick and easy process, be prepared for everything to slow down.

Your attorney will need to secure a court date and then go through the process of filing motions. The insurance company is also filing motions and this can drag on for months. There’s also a discovery process to go through before the trial starts.

The Trial

Thankfully, most trials for car accident claims go relatively quickly. Some only take a week or so, but this will depend on the complexity of your case.

Since you’re the plaintiff, the burden of proof is on you. In other words, you need to prove the accident is the direct cause of your injuries and other damages. You also need to show that you’re not to blame for the accident. This is when your attorney needs to prove negligence.

Once both sides have presented their cases, it’s time for the judge or jury to decide for or against you. Most verdicts are ready in a day or so. Hopefully, there isn’t an appeal, if so your accident claim may drag on for a few years.

Let an Attorney Help Speed Up Your Car Accident Claim

If you’re not comfortable accepting the initial settlement offer after a car accident, your injury claim can drag on. However, working with an accident attorney can help speed up the process.

You may not receive your settlement in days or even a couple of weeks, but it’s better than waiting years to receive compensation for your damages.

 

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