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Villarreal & Begum Last Updated Date: June 10th, 2024

How Long to Get An Insurance Check After a Wreck?

How Long to Get An Insurance Check After a Wreck?

Being involved in a car accident is a highly stressful experience: while some collisions are minor fender benders, others can involve catastrophic injuries and extensive property damage. If this happens to you, one of the most pressing concerns you’re likely to face is the insurance claim for compensation. This process can often seem slow and frustrating, especially when your medical bills are piling up and you can’t work to cover them.

In this blog, we’ll talk about the factors that influence how long it takes to receive an insurance check in Texas after a car wreck. Understanding what to expect can help you manage your expectations and circumstances more effectively, especially when you have a trusted and experienced car accident attorney on your side.

Understanding the Accident Claims Process

Immediately after an accident, one of your first steps should be to notify your auto insurance company. Most policies require prompt reporting of auto accidents, regardless of who is at fault. During your initial contact, you will need to provide basic information about the accident. This includes the date, time, location, and a brief description of what occurred. The insurance provider will then open a claim file.

You will need to gather all necessary documentation that supports your claim. This includes a copy of the police report, photographs of the accident scene and vehicle damage, medical records (if there were injuries), repair shop estimates, and any witness statements. These documents are critical because they provide evidence to support your accident claim.

Once the claim is filed, the insurance company responsible for compensating you will investigate to determine liability and the extent of damages. This process involves reviewing all documentation and may also include interviews with all parties involved, including witnesses.

If you’ve never reported an accident before, it can be difficult to determine where to start. This is where hiring a Texas car wreck lawyer can help. At the Villarreal & Begum, LAW GUNS, we have helped many clients achieve a favorable settlement, either through their insurer or that of the at-fault driver, and look forward to making a positive difference in your financial recovery too. 

How Long After a Settlement Do You Receive Your Check?

After successfully negotiating a settlement for your personal injury claim, you might be wondering how soon you can expect to receive your settlement check. Understanding the timeline and the steps involved can help manage your expectations and prepare for the final resolution.

Settlement and Payment Timeline in Texas

In Texas, once the demand amount for a claim has been accepted, they are required by law to send out the settlement check within five business days. However, receiving your portion of the settlement involves a few more steps:

  • Signing the Settlement Agreement and Release: The first step after a settlement agreement is reached is for you to sign the agreement and a release. This legally binding document confirms that you accept the settlement amount and agree to release the other party from further claims related to the incident.
  • Sending the Check to Your Lawyer: After you sign the release, the insurance company will send the settlement check to your lawyer’s office. This is a standard practice as it ensures all legal aspects are handled appropriately.
  • Deposit into an Escrow Account: Upon receiving the check, your lawyer will deposit it into a client escrow account. This account is used to hold the funds securely while any necessary deductions are made.
  • Deductions for Fees and Liabilities: Before you receive your portion, your lawyer will deduct the agreed-upon attorney’s fees, repay any liens from medical providers, and address subrogation claims if applicable. These are critical steps to ensure that all parties owed are paid appropriately from the insurance settlement.
  • Issuance of Your Check: Once all deductions are made, your lawyer will issue a check for the remaining balance to you. This is your final settlement amount, free of any further claims or deductions.

Your San Antonio accident lawyer can provide updates on when the insurer releases the check, when it’s deposited into the escrow account, and when you can expect to receive your final payment. If you have any questions throughout the process or need clarification on the deductions made from your settlement, don’t hesitate to discuss them with your lawyer. 

How Long Will It Take Your Personal Injury Case to Settle?

It’s important to understand that each personal injury case is unique, and several factors can influence the timeline of your injury settlement. 

Severity of the Injuries

Before settling, your personal injury lawyer will recommend that you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI). MMI occurs when your medical condition has stabilized to the point that no further improvement is expected, even with ongoing treatment. This point is critical for assessing the full impact of your injuries and determining appropriate compensation.

Settling before reaching MMI can be risky because it’s challenging to accurately predict future medical needs and costs. If you settle too early, you might not receive enough compensation to cover ongoing medical treatments, rehabilitation, or any unforeseen complications that could arise, such as surgical failures or infections.

By waiting until MMI, you ensure that the insurance settlement reflects the true cost of your injuries, including long-term medical care, loss of earning capacity, and other life impacts. This thorough assessment helps secure your financial future, especially if your ability to work has been affected.

Your Claim is High-Value

Auto insurance claims involving minor injuries and lower medical costs generally settle more quickly. Insurance agents are more willing to settle these claims expediently because the amounts involved are lower and pose less financial risk. These cases often resolve without extensive negotiations or the need for litigation.

Conversely, claims involving severe injuries and high medical expenses take longer to settle. When substantial compensation is at stake, insurance companies employ various tactics to minimize payouts. This includes rigorous verification of medical records, extensive investigation into the accident circumstances, and often, aggressive negotiation strategies. These cases may require more rounds of negotiation and can extend the timeline significantly.

Given the challenges involved in major damage claims, mediation can be an effective way to expedite settlement. During mediation, a neutral third party assists in negotiations, helping both sides find common ground and agree on a fair settlement. At the Villarreal & Begum, LAW GUNS, we have a successful track record of leveraging mediation to secure favorable settlements, even in high-stakes cases. 

Questions of Liability and Fault

When fault is not immediately clear or is disputed, it can lead to more extended investigations. Insurance carriers are often hesitant to accept claims without detailed evidence supporting liability. This hesitation often results in thorough investigations involving accident reconstruction experts, witness interviews, and detailed reviews of police accident reports and medical records.

Unclear or disputed fault also leads to prolonged negotiations. Insurers will meticulously assess all details before making a settlement offer, especially if they believe they have a strong defense or if multiple parties could be responsible. For instance, if both the other driver and a defective car part contributed to the accident, resolving who pays what portion of the compensation can complicate negotiations.

If an insurance company questions the strength of your evidence or finds reasons to doubt your claim (such as alleged pre-existing conditions or discrepancies in your bodily injury reports), they may offer a lower settlement or deny your claim outright. Your attorney will work to strengthen your case by gathering compelling evidence, consulting with medical experts, and preparing detailed documentation that highlights the extent of your injuries and the other party’s liability.

You Don’t Have a Lawyer

When you don’t have legal representation, insurance companies might employ delay tactics, knowing they are dealing with someone who may not fully understand the insurance claim process. These tactics include excessive requests for documentation, such as medical records, or sending you for multiple medical evaluations to question the extent of your injuries. Each delay extends the period of time before a settlement can be reached.

Below is an overview of the difficulties that unrepresented claimants often encounter:

  • Communication Challenges: Insurance claims adjusters might avoid your calls or fail to respond to inquiries promptly, hoping to frustrate you into accepting a lower settlement. An experienced attorney knows how to effectively communicate with insurers to keep the case moving forward.
  • Risk of Missing Critical Deadlines: One of the biggest risks of not having legal representation is missing crucial deadlines, such as the statute of limitations for filing an accident lawsuit. If you are unaware of these time limits and miss them, you lose the opportunity to pursue your claim for damages in court, which could be detrimental if negotiations fail.
  • Settlement Undermining: Insurance adjusters may offer a settlement that is far below what your claim is worth. Without a lawyer, you might accept this offer, not knowing you could have negotiated for much more.

A competent attorney can counter the insurance company’s tactics by bringing knowledge of the law and negotiation skills to your case. This presence ensures that the insurance company treats your claim with the seriousness it deserves. Other advantages include:

  • Avoiding Procedural Mistakes: Lawyers know how to handle the procedural aspects of a claim, from filing paperwork on time to managing all legal requirements. They ensure that all aspects of your case are handled correctly, which helps prevent unnecessary delays.
  • Maximizing Your Settlement: An attorney can assess the full value of your claim, including current and future medical expenses, lost wages, and non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. They will fight to get you the compensation that accurately reflects the impact of the accident.
  • Litigation Skills: If an insurance company is uncooperative, your lawyer is prepared to take the case to court. This readiness often prompts insurers to offer a fair settlement more promptly, rather than risk a potentially higher jury award.

Lacking legal representation in a Texas car accident case can extend the settlement process and adversely affect the amount you might receive. Hiring a knowledgeable attorney as soon as possible after your accident ensures that your rights are protected, deadlines are met, and your claim is handled properly from the start. You can focus on your recovery while your attorney handles the claims process.

Speak to a Texas Car Wreck Lawyer Today

Understanding the factors that influence the timeline of your case, from the severity of your injuries to the questions of liability and fault, can give you a better idea of what to expect. However, handling these issues without professional legal assistance can complicate matters and extend the duration of your claim, potentially leading to less favorable outcomes.

At Villarreal & Begum, LAW GUNS, we will fight to ensure that your rights are protected and you receive the compensation you deserve. Our accident lawyers have the experience and resources to counter the tactics used by insurance companies, streamline the claims process, and negotiate on your behalf. We understand the importance of a swift resolution and will advocate vigorously for your interests. To schedule a free consultation, call (210) 800-0000 or contact us online today.