Anyone who files a car accident claim often asks – how long will the claim take to settle?
Following a car accident, a driver will file an insurance claim for damages and expenses. An injured driver may seek compensation for medical bills and for property damage. A claim for compensation may also be filed by family members of persons who have lost their lives in a car accident. Anyone who files a claim often asks how long will the claim take to settle?
First-Party vs. Third-Party Claims
There is no simple answer to this question and the time involved in the claims process varies depending on what the claim is for and whether or not it involves a third-party. The first thing that must be determined is whether the victim should file a first-party or third-party claim. If the driver has appropriate coverage, he or she should file a first-party claim regardless of who was at-fault for the accident; otherwise, he or she should file a third-party claim with the other driver’s insurance company.
For first-party claims, the insurance company is required to adhere to all conditions described by the policy. When it comes to third-party claims, only the other driver or policyholder can contact the insurance company, and the insurer’s primary responsibility is to the policy holder and not to the claimant.
Car Accident Claims Process
In the state of Illinois, a person can file a bodily injury lawsuit within two years of a motor vehicle accident. If the claimant was under 18 when the accident occurred, the two year period starts on the claimant’s 18th birthday. For property damage, claimants have five years to file a claim irrespective of their age at the time of the accident. Insurance companies are required to produce the necessary paperwork to present a claim within 15 days of the request. Insurance companies must provide a written explanation for property damage claims that remain unresolved for more than 60 days.
When a person files a claim, the other driver’s insurance company conducts an investigation of the accident to determine whether the person they insure is legally liable for injuries and other damages. The insurance company then offers a settlement and the person receiving the damages is asked to sign a “release for damages”. Once an individual signs this document, the claimant can never claim any more damages from the insurance company. It should be noted that insurance companies cannot deny to process your property damage claim even if your bodily injury claims are still ongoing.