When you suffer injuries in a Florida car accident, bills can start rapidly piling up.
If you are unable to work following the accident, it can be even more stressful.
Most people have growing medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage for which they want reimbursement.
However, Florida is a no-fault state, so you must first present a claim through your own insurance.
Then, there are some instances where you can file a lawsuit against the other driver as well.
Understandably, many prospective clients want to know how long does an insurance company have to settle a claim in Florida?
The answer to this question varies, depending on whether the claim you are referencing is a first-party Personal Injury Protection (PIP) claim or a third-party liability claim against the negligent driver.
How Long Does It Take for an Insurance Company to Pay Out a Claim for PIP Benefits?
If you are pursuing a PIP claim, there are several critical legal deadlines you need to be aware of before presenting a claim.
Before your insurance company pays out benefits, you must seek treatment within 14 days. If you don’t seek treatment within 14 days of the accident, your insurance is under no obligation to pay out anything under your PIP benefits.
Once you submit a claim for PIP benefits, your insurance company must pay you or deny the claim within 30 days. If you don’t have all your bills or other necessary information to submit your entire claim at once, present what you do have. The insurance company has 30 days to pay out once they receive each portion of your claim.
If the insurance company chooses to deny the claim, they must explain why they rejected each portion. If you made some clerical mistake when submitting your paperwork, they must explain the problem. In this situation, you’ll have 15 days to revise and resubmit your claim.
Florida’s statute on PIP claims follows the “mailbox rule.” This rule says that the insurance company will adhere to the 30-day standard when putting your PIP check in the mail. They cannot just put it in their own internal mail system or authorize payment on the 30th day.
The check must be in the mail by the 30th day. If it still takes a few more days to receive, they have complied as long as the check has a postmark by the 30th day.
How Long Does an Insurance Claim Take?
If you are filing a claim against the negligent driver, there is no set time frame for resolution. Insurance companies need time to investigate your claim. There’s no similar deadline with liability claims because this isn’t a first-party, no-fault claim.
PIP claims do not consider the fault of any involved party. A third-party liability claim is one you present to the other driver’s insurance. They are entitled to conduct a fair investigation before offering you any compensation for your injuries.
Several factors can impact the timeline of your car accident insurance claim in Florida. For one, the other driver’s insurance has to investigate whether there is coverage for the accident.
Your injuries and the severity of your injuries also impact the potential deadline. The more severe your injuries are, the more complicated your claim becomes. When your injuries are severe, it will typically take you longer to reach maximum medical improvement (MMI).
Furthermore, you may have future medical treatment, or you may be facing a lifelong disability. If so, it may be necessary to bring in medical experts who need time to investigate all these issues and prepare a report.
Liability arguments also impact your claim timeline. If liability is complex or disputed, the claim could take longer to resolve. It may take time to track down witnesses. Your attorney may want to hire an accident reconstructionist who will review the facts of the accident to determine who was at fault.
The amount of available coverage can also impact the timeline for resolution. If you have catastrophic injuries and the other driver’s insurance policy is low, there won’t be enough coverage to pay your damages.
If the insurance company agrees your claim value exceeds the amount of coverage, they might pay you early in the process. This is because they realize there is no point in keeping a claim open where the value clearly exceeds the available insurance coverage limits.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Settlement Check from a Florida Car Accident?
Florida law regulates the settlement check timeline in Florida. Once you agree to a settlement in writing, the insurance company must tender payment within 20 days unless both parties agree to a different date. Insurance adjusters can state that payment is conditional on signing a release of all claims.
Failure to pay within the agreed or legal timeframe means the insurance company could be responsible for paying interest. Florida law allows you to collect 12% interest per year from the date of settlement.
If the insurance company first requires a release of all claims, interest doesn’t start accruing until the executed release is returned.
How Can You Speed Up Your Insurance Claim?
There isn’t necessarily a reliable method for speeding up your case. Every injury claim is different. What may work in one case won’t necessarily work for another one. One of the best things you can do is hire a skilled Florida car accident attorney.
Your attorney knows how to obtain evidence, negotiate with the insurance company, talk with witnesses, hire experts, and more. Having an experienced legal advocate on your side can also streamline the Florida insurance settlement process.
Being prepared and proactive is essential. Have all your documentation and evidence ready to submit as soon as possible.