When you are injured in a car accident, one of your concerns is recovering the rightful compensation you are owed so that you can handle medical bills, lost income, and other unexpected financial losses stemming from the accident. At The Womac Law Firm, one of the most common questions we get from our clients relates to the amount of time it will take to settle their claims. Unfortunately, there is no set answer.
There are numerous factors that play a role in how long your car accident case will take. In some cases, it may be possible to secure a favorable settlement in a matter of months. In other cases, particularly those involving litigation, obtaining a settlement or verdict could take years.
Some factors involved in determining how long it will take to settle your Louisiana car accident claim include:
- The severity of your injuries
- The extent of your damages
- Whether the insurance company is cooperative
- Whether the insurance company disputes or denies your claim
- The potential value of your case
- Whether the case proceeds to litigation/trial
Additionally, if your case does go to trial, various factors can affect how long it will take to reach a verdict. Some of these factors include:
- The number of parties involved
- The severity of the accident/injuries
- The amount of compensation requested
- Investigation and discovery
- Various trial proceedings
The best way to learn more about what you can expect from the legal process based on the unique factors involved in your case is to speak to an experienced car accident lawyer, like those at The Womac Law Firm. Our New Orleans personal injury attorneys can answer your questions and go over the specifics of your situation during a free initial consultation.
Contact us today at (504) 470-3935 to get started.
“Reasonable Promptness” in Car Accident Claims
While there are no laws in Louisiana specifying how long insurance companies have to settle claims, they are required to act “reasonably promptly” in investigating and deciding on claims. This means that they cannot unreasonably delay a settlement after a claim is filed. .
What Is Bad Faith Insurance?
Bad faith insurance refers to any conduct by an insurance company that goes against its responsibilities to the claimant. An insurance policy is essentially a contract; both the insurance company and the policyholder must uphold their ends of the contract. Policyholders do this by paying their insurance premiums, and insurance companies do this by paying out rightful claims promptly. If the insurance company is not upholding its end of the deal, it could be acting in bad faith.
Some examples of bad faith insurance practices include:
- Failing to investigate a claim
- Conducting an inadequate or improper investigation
- Unreasonably delaying a claim investigation
- Denying a claim without providing a reason
- Improperly delaying or denying medical care approval requests
- Making threatening statements to claimants
- Changing a policy after a claim is filed
- Misrepresenting the terms of a policy
- Refusing to pay claims for which coverage is warranted
- Failing to provide reasonably requested documentation
- Purposefully misrepresenting the law
As a policyholder or covered claimant, you have certain rights; The Womac Law Firm can help you protect those rights.
When to Hire a Lawyer
While you are not required by law to hire a lawyer to file a car accident claim in Louisiana, working with an attorney can make a big difference in your case in several ways. First, studies have shown that people who work with personal injury lawyers after car accidents tend to receive significantly higher settlements. Second, many people who hire car accident attorneys not only recover better settlements but also recover those settlements in less time. Insurance companies recognize that attorneys understand the law and are prepared to stand up for their clients’ rights. As such, they are more likely to settle claims quicker and for higher amounts when dealing with an attorney rather than an individual claimant.
If you have been injured in a car accident of any kind, it is a good idea to consider working with a skilled car accident attorney. You should certainly seek professional legal representation if you are experiencing any difficulties with your claim, including a delayed investigation, lowball settlement offer, or denied claim.
The New Orleans car accident lawyers at The Womac Law Firm are prepared to put their experience and a proven history of success on your side. We provide free consultations and offer our services on a contingency fee basis, meaning you do not owe anything unless we recover a settlement or verdict for you.
Contact us today to learn more during a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.