How Long Does the At-Fault Party Have to Pay?

by Staff | March 22nd, 2021

After an accident that wasn’t your fault, you need compensation right away. And while accepting the insurance company’s initial offer may seem appealing, you know you need FULL compensation, not a lowball settlement offer, to cover all your expenses.

Waiting to get paid in full can be agonizing, but it can help to know when you can expect compensation after making a claim, whether it’s via an out-of-court settlement or a trial verdict. It’s difficult to nail down an exact date, especially in the early stages of a personal injury claim. But keeping these milestones in mind can provide a more accurate roadmap to the day you get your check.

You May Get Immediate Compensation—But Don’t Count on It!

The insurance company may pay you right away after an accident or injury. And while most of these offers are “lowball” settlements, some are sufficient to cover victims’ expenses.

Regardless of the dollar amount of the offer you receive from the insurance company, never accept a settlement without speaking to a lawyer first. It’s easy to be impressed by the number on the piece of paper and forget that your expenses could be lifelong, and accepting a settlement now means you forgo the chance to pursue additional compensation in the coming weeks, months, or years.

Most Claims Go Through a Back-and-Forth Negotiation Process

Insurance companies generate big profits because they’ve perfected the art of reducing or denying payments to victims whenever possible. That means that there’s a good chance the insurance company will balk at your lawyer’s initial demand letter, which is a document that spells out exactly how much money you deserve. Most insurers are open to negotiating this amount, so rest assured—our lawyers don’t budge if we think the insurance company is trying to get away with paying less than you’re owed.

This process can take anywhere from days to weeks, and it occurs after we’ve collected evidence, calculated your full damages, and ensured that the insurance company can’t help but accept the fact their client owes you money (or, if it’s your own insurer, that they owe you money under the terms of the policy you purchased). Unfortunately, some insurance companies still refuse to pay, which means we have no choice but to take them to trial.

Going to Court Can Mean More Money for You, But a Longer Wait

If the insurance company refuses to cooperate, your claim will end up in civil court. All the evidence we collected will then be seen by impartial jurors and a judge. Those jurors will ultimately decide both whether you win your claim and how much money you get.

Because of the “wildcard” nature of this part of the process, most insurance companies prefer to settle out of court, as they can negotiate payments they feel comfortable with rather than leaving it in the hands of strangers.

The Decision Can Be Appealed—But It’s Unlikely

If you win your case in court, there’s a very good chance you’ll get every penny you’re owed, and the hard work will be done! However, the insurance company may throw one last curveball—appealing the court’s decision.

But because they must pay for an appeal out of their own pocket, and the costs can be enormous if they lose again, most insurance companies accept their fate at this point and begin preparing to pay settlements to victims. And if the insurance company DOES appeal the verdict, we’ll represent you with the same level of confidence and care as when we first took on your claim.

Payment Can Occur Days or Weeks After Your Claim Finalizes

Now that you know the process of getting to the point where compensation is in the cards, you’ll have a better understanding of what the waiting game looks like up to the day your claim finalizes. But what happens after that? Typically, insurance companies pay settlements after a verdict fairly quickly—often within one month or less.

That’s because failing to pay on time can result in penalties and a judgment that doesn’t go away. Because of that, insurance companies have every motivation in the world to pay up as soon as possible.

Let Our Experienced Lawyers Boost and Expedite Your Injury Claim

At Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin, our Indiana personal injury lawyers have a mission of not just getting our clients maximum compensation, but ensuring they’re paid as quickly as possible. We know that bills pile up, and having to unnecessarily wait months or longer because of a slow legal process is unacceptable.

Contact us today for a free consultation. We’ll get to work immediately building your claim, and we won’t let the insurance company string you along or delay the inevitable.

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