One of the first questions that injured accident victims may have is: “How long does my case take to settle?”
Although there is not an exact answer to this question, the answer depends on what type of accident you were in. As a general rule, car insurance companies are quicker to pay (money to settle an accident victim’s bodily injury liability claim) than the insurance company for the owner of a place (e.g. supermarket, hotel, condominium complex, house, restaurant, etc.) where you were injured. There are 2 reasons for this:
1. Easier Investigation:
It generally takes longer for the insurance company of premises to investigate the claim of someone who is injured on another’s property. This is because a premises liability insurer doesn’t have a crash report (which is given in every car accident if the police arrive at the scene).
The accident report gives a car insurer the benefit of looking at the police officer’s investigation which generally assigns fault to one of the drivers. The crash report also may list the facts surrounding the crash.
Sometimes, there are only 2 drivers involved in an auto accident. If this is the case, the motor vehicle insurance company can contact the driver insured by them. If the driver admits fault, they do not have to further investigate the claim to see who was at fault. The claims adjuster still may contact the driver that did not receive a ticket.
The adjuster may try to get his or her statement in order to see if he or she was also at fault – comparative fault. Speaking with the insurance company may hurt your case.
However, the insurance company for a premises, may have to speak with multiple employees of their insured to determine the facts surrounding the accident.
2. Bad Faith Exposure:
Many people who drive cars in Florida only have $10,000/$20,000 in bodily injury insurance. That means that the most the driver’s (who is at fault) auto insurance company will only have to pay one person is $10,000 for your injuries, regardless of how badly you are injured.
The exception is that if the motor vehicle insurance company of the person who is at fault doesn’t pay you within a reasonable time, then you can argue that they may have failed to act in good faith and now have to pay the verdict. This places pressure on the insurance company to pay.
Image By W. Robert Howell from Charlotte, NC, United States [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons