With serious injuries from an accident in Dallas, what you want most may be to receive your settlement so you can put the case behind you and finally move forward. It is normal to feel impatient with the claims process, especially if you have a particularly complex or arduous case. However, having patience with your claim could ultimately allow you to obtain greater compensation from the defendant, such as by being willing to go to court to pursue maximum recovery. Learn what timeframe you might expect during a claim in Texas to better prepare yourself for the future.
Before you read about typical timeframes for personal injury claims in Texas, realize that each case is unique. An average timeline might look far different from the reality of your case. When you hire a personal injury attorney, you can ensure a timely and efficient claims process. A lawyer’s time is money. He or she will want to expedite your claim as much as you do. Your attorney can make sure you submit all the correct paperwork, provide sufficient evidence, meet Texas’ deadlines and fulfill other requirements for an efficient claim. Only an attorney can give you an accurate estimate of how long he or she believes your case will take to settle.
The first phase of a personal injury settlement is the claimant seeking medical treatment. You may need to go to the hospital immediately after your accident and enroll in a treatment regimen that could last days, weeks or years. It is important to wait until you have reached the point of maximum medical improvement before calculating the value of your claim. Otherwise, you might not know how much your injury or disability will cost in the future or impact your life.
Something else you can do the day of your accident is to initiate the insurance claims process. Most insurance companies require claimants to report their accidents within one to three days. Prompt reporting could protect your right to insurance benefits. Insurance companies in Texas have 30 days from the date they receive claims to resolve them. In the first week, a claims adjuster may contact you as he or she begins an investigation. Be careful what you say to an adjuster as he or she is not on your side. If you do not trust yourself to speak to an adjuster, retain a lawyer to do so for you.
You should hear from an insurance company within a few days after filing your claim to confirm the insurer received all the required paperwork. Then, within 30 days, the insurer must approve your claim, deny your claim or request more time for further investigation. If the insurance company requests more time, it must give you an estimated timeframe and a valid reason for the extension. If you suspect the insurance company of delaying your claim without reason, speak to a lawyer about potential insurance bad faith. If the company accepts your case and you come to a settlement agreement, expect to see your first check within two weeks.
The average injury insurance settlement takes around two to three months from the date of the accident to complete. Many factors could alter this timeline for your case, including the nature of your injuries, the investigative process and whether the defendant refutes fault. It may take much longer to resolve your claim if you need to proceed to trial. Although most personal injury lawsuits conclude with pre-trial settlements, some require trials for fair compensatory awards.
A personal injury trial in Texas can take one year or longer to resolve. Some claims take a few years to reach jury verdicts. The trial process will involve pre-trial negotiations, a discovery phase, depositions, evidence collection, hearings and possibly appeals. An attorney can walk you through these processes and help you save time along the way wherever possible. Keep in mind you only have two years from the date of your accident to file an injury claim in Texas. Contact a lawyer right away to meet your deadline and begin the claims process promptly