If you get involved in a car accident in San Antonio, you most likely want to put the whole thing behind you as soon as possible. While some car accident settlements are achieved in about four to six weeks, other cases can take one year or longer to finish. The timeline to get a settlement check for a car accident is different from case to case. Learn more about insurance company response times, applicable laws and determining factors to find out how long your case might take to resolve. 

Insurance Company Response Deadlines in Texas

 According to the Consumer Bill of Rights in Texas, when you file a claim with an insurance company, you have the right to have the claim processed and paid promptly. To expedite the claims process and keep things just, the Bill of Rights places the following deadlines on when an insurance company needs to respond to claims:

  • 15 calendar days to acknowledge the receipt of a car accident claim, as well as to request any necessary information or documentation related to the claim.
  • 15 business days to approve or deny the claim in writing after receiving all requested information from the claimant.
  • An available extension of up to 45 business days to make a decision on a claim if the insurance company notifies the claimant and gives a valid explanation.
  • 5 business days to pay the claim once the insurance company notifies the claimant that the claim has been approved.
  • If a claim involves a natural disaster or weather-related catastrophe, insurance companies in Texas have an additional 45 days to investigate and decide on a claim, as well as 15 additional days to pay a claim.

All around, this gives an insurance company about 35 to 40 days to process a car accident claim, unless there is an extension. This does not include the time that it takes to get your information together and submit it to the insurance company. It can also take a few weeks to receive the settlement check once the release waiver has been signed. This brings the average settlement timeline to about 90 days. 

Factors That Can Extend Your Settlement Timeline

It is difficult to determine how long it will take to get a settlement check for a car accident in San Antonio without consulting with a lawyer. This is because every case is unique. Several factors that can extend the settlement process include:

  • The severity and extent of the injuries suffered
  • How long it takes the victim to reach the point of maximum medical improvement
  • The degree of impact the injury will have on the victim’s future
  • The number of defendants and insurance companies involved
  • Whether there is a dispute regarding liability for the car accident
  • If the car accident case has to go to trial to be resolved

There are also actions that you can take to speed up the settlement process. One is to hire a car accident lawyer in San Antonio to take care of the claims process for you. A lawyer will be able to navigate legal processes quickly and efficiently.

Why You Should Never Rush Into a Fast Settlement

A car insurance company isn’t looking out for you during the claims process. It wants to save itself and its investors as much money on your payout as possible. This can result in tactics used to try to take advantage of you. One is offering a fast, too-low settlement in the hopes that you will be too impatient to submit a counteroffer and negotiate for a higher value. 

Insurance companies know that most claimants want to resolve their claims as quickly as possible. Offering an early settlement, before a claimant fully understands the extent of his or her injuries and the price of future losses, is a strategy to try to save money. For this reason, it is important not to rush the settlement process. 

Rather than accepting the very first settlement offered for your car accident claim, take your time and consult with a lawyer. An attorney can help you understand the value of your claim and guide you through each stage of the settlement process.