All Questions

October 22, 2019 | Gary Burger

How Long Should it Take to Settle My Car Accident Claim?

Every Accident is different and every claim will have complexities that will make it different or more challenging than other claims. With that said, every accident claim should be settled within a timely manner so that you can get back to your life and your career. If the insurance company you are working with is drawing out the claim, and you believe they are needlessly putting you through stress or are trying to get you to make concessions that you don't have to, call our personal injury lawyers in St. Louis. We've dealt with insurance companies before and we can fight for your rights to ensure you get the quality care and recovery that you deserve.

How long should it take to settle a car accident claim?

There are several stages to a car accident claim, and each takes a necessary amount of time. From the reporting of the accident to you either receiving the cash value of your car or the completed repairs of your vehicle, a claim can take anywhere from two-three weeks to a month or more. Here are several factors that can determine how long a car accident claim takes:

  • Determining who is at Fault - Immediately after the accident, the insurance company will take your statement and try to determine who is at fault for the accident. If possible, try to prepare your statement to be as true to the events of the accident as possible. Remember, a police report most likely will be available and it will detail the actual events of the accident. Telling the truth here is important.
  • Collecting Police Reports - This depends upon the police precinct, and you may not be required to do it yourself, but having the police report substantially validates your claims regarding the accident. Obtaining the report will depend on how quickly the officer who responded to the accident writes and submits the report.
  • Dealing with the Adjuster - An adjuster's job is to determine how damaged your vehicle is, and the possible costs of the repairs vs the value of your vehicle. Because of the accident, your schedule may have changed and now you'll be trying to juggle meeting with an adjuster as well. This can take several days to arrange.
  • Deciding if your vehicle is Repairable or Totaled - After an adjuster has seen to your vehicle, it will go to an autobody shop, a mechanic, or both. Depending on the damages, the autobody/mechanic will report a detailed description of the damages and the cost. If a mechanic/shop has other vehicles that they are tending to before yours, this can extend the process several days.
  • Getting your Vehicle Repaired - If the repairs to the vehicle don't total more than %80 of the vehicles worth, then the insurance company will likely move forward with the repairs. Again, this will depend upon the level of repairs needed and whether or not the auto body or mechanic you've chosen has other cars they have to attend to first. The length of time here will directly depend upon the repairs needed.
  • If you Vehicle is Totaled - If your vehicle is declared totaled because of the amount of repairs needed for the vehicle, you'll have to get a new car. If you have full coverage of the vehicle, your insurance company will provide you with a rental vehicle while you are searching for your new car. Insurance companies typically allow their policyholders 1-2 weeks to find a new vehicle.

As stated earlier, this process can take anywhere from a few weeks to a month of more. If your insurance company is purposely dragging out the process and they aren't giving you what you are owed for your vehicle, give us a call.

Our Personal Injury Lawyers in St. Louis are dedicated to providing the victims of car crashes with expert legal advice and counseling. If you've been in a car accident and believe that your accident may fall under another category, please choose from the below.