How Long Will My Pittsburgh Car Accident Case Take?

How Long Will My Car Accident Case Take?When you file a car accident claim in Pittsburgh, it can take up to a year from start to finish – and that’s if you settle. If you need to go to trial, it can take even longer.

We know that’s a long time, especially if you’re out of work or in pain, or still need medical treatment. We also know that sometimes, waiting is better. It depends on the circumstances of the crash, the losses you sustained, and the injuries you have.

For example, if you were involved in a low-speed fender bender and experienced a few minor scratches or even a couple of fractured bones. If your injuries will heal and the insurance company is willing to be reasonable, you can likely expect to settle your car accident in a few short months.

However, if you were involved in a high-speed, head-on collision in which you suffered a traumatic brain injury, permanent facial scarring, and blindness or hearing loss, it may take up to a year or more to resolve. In addition, if your claim is disputed, you and your lawyer will most likely end up in civil court, fighting for your rights, which can add additional time to your case.

How long does an insurance company have to settle a claim in PA?

Pennsylvania insurance companies are required to acknowledge an accident claim and make a decision on whether they will pay it within 25 days. The general rules and guidelines for insurance companies are:

  • The timeline begins when you file your claim with the insurance company.
  • They will acknowledge and inform the policyholder of any needed paperwork or information regarding the claim within 10 business days.
  • They will develop a decision regarding the claim within 15 business days of receiving the filled out and completed paperwork and information.

However, if you are pursuing a lawsuit, the parties involved can make the decision to settle at any time. This means that the defendant’s insurance company or legal team may settle your case within a couple of days after your car crash or even 24 hours before the trial is scheduled to begin. Some insurance companies or legal teams wait to see what type of evidence you have before they agree to settle because they want to know if there is any possibility of winning the case. However, if you have plenty of evidence in the beginning and the defendant’s insurance company or attorney knows that they do not stand a chance at winning the case, they will likely begin negotiating with your attorney right away.

Why is my settlement check taking so long?

When you settle your car accident case, you are required to sign a settlement release form. Once you sign this form, your settlement check should arrive between three to six weeks later. However, there are certain factors or circumstances that may arise and affect how long it will take for your check to arrive. Some of these factors and circumstances include:

  • The complexity of your case
  • How difficult and long the negotiations process is
  • Unexpected administrative issues or roadblocks
  • Long backlogs

Furthermore, Pennsylvania does not require insurance companies to make their final payments by a certain deadline, which means that last payment may come later than you think. Sometimes, settlement checks can take up to six months to receive. If it has been longer than this and you are still waiting, it may be time for you to contact your attorney to see who you should reach out to about this delay.

When there are multiple liable parties

Sometimes the delay in payment is the result of there being multiple paying parties. In a multi-vehicle accident case, for example, you may have two or three different liable parties. That means waiting on two (or three) insurance companies to get their acts together and pay out your claim or award.

When you have outstanding bills

When you have outstanding bills, those bills get paid out of your award first. For example, say you were unable to work and you fell a little behind on your utilities. Those companies get to make a claim on your award so that they get paid. Your health insurance may also make a claim on your award. It’s called a medical lien, and it allows your insurance company to seek reimbursement for whatever they paid for your medical care.

The point is, all those folks get paid first. One the bills are paid, then you finally get the money you were awarded for your injuries and losses.

How long after an accident can you sue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations gives injured victims two years to file a claim or lawsuit to recover damages for their injuries caused by neglect, violence, or negligence. It is crucial that you do not miss this deadline because you can be barred from seeking damages if you do.

The car accident attorneys at Carmody and Ging are ready and available to assist you in the aftermath of a car crash in Pittsburgh, PA. Our team is experienced, skilled, and knowledgeable in all types of car accidents, which means that we can provide you with helpful advice as well as give you a step-by-step guide on how you should proceed through the personal injury process. Call our office or complete our contact form to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today.