It is impossible to know how long it will take to get a settlement check from a car accident in Tennessee. While we try to get your money to you as quickly as possible, there are no guarantees. Things happen, even in the most straightforward cases.
It is difficult to predict when an insurance company will settle, as well as how quickly it will process your settlement for payment. Some cases last only a few months from filing the claim to cashing the check, but others take years to ensure you receive fair compensation for your damages.
What could delay reaching a settlement in a Tennessee car accident claim?
A delay in reaching a settlement with the insurance company is often the most time-consuming part of waiting for your compensation. Some of the most common delays include:
We cannot recover fair compensation until you either fully recover, have reached your maximum recovery, or we have a good idea about your future medical needs. This can take months or even years. If you will need ongoing care, we will need to talk to your doctors and other experts to understand the full scope of this care and estimate costs.
Building Your Case
Collecting the evidence to support your claim requires extensive work. We must collect all your medical records and related documents, talk to medical experts and accident eyewitnesses, get copies of your pay stubs, and other employment information, and compile any other proof needed to provide a strong case. Requests for these documents often require specific processes to obtain them. This can lengthen the time it takes to collect evidence significantly.
Considering Your Demand Package
Once we submit your demand package to the insurance company, the insurer must analyze your case and consider your demands. It is not unusual for the insurance company to drag its feet at this point, taking a month or longer to consider your demand package. We keep in close contact with the insurance company, keeping your case fresh on the insurer’s mind and encouraging a quick response.
Questions About Liability
Cases where proving liability is difficult typically take longer. In some cases, the insurance company refuses to negotiate a reasonable settlement or accuses you of contributing to your own injuries. When this happens, we may have to file a lawsuit and provide additional evidence to prove the other driver caused the crash. This can take several months or even a year or more.
How long will I have to wait after we reach a Tennessee car crash settlement?
Even once we negotiate a settlement with the insurance company, you will not get paid immediately. There are still a number of steps in the process before you receive your payout, and any of these hurdles can cause a delay in getting your money. You can expect to wait at least a month for your check.
These delays might include issues with:
The Release Form
Before the insurance company will write your check, it requires you to sign and submit a release form. This form states that by accepting the payment, you waive your rights to any further legal action in this case. We can help reduce the chance of a delay due to this form by ensuring we draft a form that is acceptable to the insurance company before we ever reach a settlement.
The Insurance Company’s Process
There is no way to predict how the insurance company’s payout process works, or how long it may take. For example, the insurer might need the signature of one or more employees to issue a check. The insurer might also only issue checks one day a week. These delays may extend for several weeks if the employee responsible for your case is out of town or there are other hiccups in the process.
The Trust Account
Once the insurance company issues a check, it does not come straight to you. Instead, your attorney places it in a trust account, which protects your money until the check clears.
While this usually takes only a few days, larger checks can take a week or longer. If there are issues with the check, the delay can be significant. For example, if the check is missing a signature, it may need to go back to the insurance company and repeat the process again.
Negotiation and Payment of Liens and Bills
Before we can issue checks to clients, we must clear any liens or bills against them. This may require obtaining up-to-date statements from their health insurance company, Medicare, or Medicaid. Getting these final balance documents can take several weeks. In addition, we often work to negotiate a smaller payout for their liens and bills. The time this takes can pay off in a much larger check for the client.
Lawyer’s Fees and Distribution
Once we take care of all other fees, we deduct our agreed-upon fees and cut you a check for the remainder. You should receive this check or an automatic deposit soon after, although large checks may take several days to clear your bank and appear in your account.
While this process can be lengthy, we do whatever we can to expedite the process while still getting you the compensation you need and deserve.
Call Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC today for settlement help in Knoxville.
We understand your financial stress, and want to get your compensation to you as soon as possible. However, we also want to ensure you receive the full value of your claim and have enough money to cover your future needs.
If you have questions or concerns about your settlement check or your accident case, give us a call at the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC: 865-546-1111.