Every plaintiff wants a speedy resolution to his or her personal injury case. It may take several weeks or months, however, for an insurance company to investigate your accident and make a decision on your claim. Certain factors can speed up or slow down an insurance company’s response time to your initial demand letter.
What Is the Insurance Demand Letter?
The insurance demand letter is the written statement you submit to the insurance provider of the person or party you believe caused your accident. If you get into a car accident, for example, Texas’s fault law holds the driver who caused the collision financially responsible for your losses. You will file an injury claim with that driver’s insurance carrier for financial benefits. One of the first stages of your claim is submitting an insurance demand letter.
The demand letter should clearly and concisely describe your accident and injury diagnosis, explain why you believe the defendant is legally responsible, and include your demand. This is the amount of money you require to release the defendant from liability. Your personal injury attorney in San Antonio can help you draft a strong and effective insurance demand letter. After you submit the letter to the insurance company, you will have to wait for an answer.
Texas Law Says 15 Days
Most states have laws that require insurance companies to act on claims within a certain amount of time. In Texas, an insurance company has to respond to a submitted claim no later than the 15th business day after receiving notice of the claim, according to Texas Revised Statutes Section 542.055.
State law requires insurers to acknowledge the receipt of the claim, request necessary information and statements from the claimant, and begin an investigation within 15 days of receiving the claim or demand letter. The insurance company may have 30 business days, however, if it is an eligible surplus lines insurer.
Once the insurance company receives all items and information necessary to investigate the claim, it has no later than the 15th day after the receipt of these items to notify the claimant in writing of the acceptance or rejection of the claim. It is possible for an insurance company to extend the investigation period to 45 days with an acceptable reason. Finally, an insurer has five days from accepting a claim to send the claimant a settlement check.
Average Settlement Timelines
Settlement timelines in Texas can vary substantially. Although most claimants receive responses to their insurance demand letters within just a few weeks, others may take months for claims processing. There is no average settlement time; an attorney can help you estimate the timeframe of your case based on its unique elements.
The factors that may affect how long a response takes include:
- How long it takes you to reach your point of maximum medical improvement
- Whether there is a liability dispute
- The comparative negligence defense or other arguments
- The number of defendants involved
- Whether you made any mistakes on your original forms
- The processes at the insurance company
If your case has any complex aspects or challenges, expect a longer insurance settlement process. The insurance company may not respond to your demand letter for several weeks if it is having trouble processing or investigating your claim. If you have a simple case, however, the insurance company should not take an unnecessary amount of time to respond with an acceptance or denial.
What If an Insurance Company Unnecessarily Delays a Claim?
If you believe an insurance company does not have a valid reason to delay its response to your demand letter and is acting in bad faith in failing to respond promptly to your claim, consult with a lawyer in San Antonio for assistance. A personal injury attorney can help you file a bad-faith claim against the insurer in pursuit of additional compensation for the insurance company’s wrongdoing.