Brian White | January 26, 2024 | Car Accidents
Dealing with a car accident claim can be frustrating and stressful. Lost wages and medical bills can cause a financial strain. When you file a claim with State Farm, you expect the company to process the claim and issue a settlement check quickly.
Many factors impact how long it takes State Farm to settle claims in Houston, TX. Some factors are not within your or the insurance company’s control. However, if State Farm refuses to process your claim in a timely manner, it may be acting in bad faith.
A Houston car accident lawyer can help you hold State Farm accountable if they act in bad faith while settling your claim.
What Factors Impact the Timeline of a State Farm Insurance Claim in Houston, TX?
A car accident claim could take several weeks or months to settle. Settling a complicated or disputed insurance claim could take more than a year. If you file a lawsuit, receiving a settlement check from State Farm takes even longer.
Your medical treatment is a primary factor impacting how long it takes State Farm to settle a claim. The insurance adjuster may not review your claim until you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI). Maximum medical improvement occurs when your condition stabilizes, and no further medical treatment is expected to result in improvement in your condition.
Some individuals fully recover from their injuries. Other car accident victims might reach MMI and have permanent impairments or disabling conditions.
You do not want to settle a car accident claim with State Farm until you complete medical treatment and receive an impairment rating from your doctor. You could be entitled to additional economic and non-economic damages if your impairment rating is anything other than zero.
Other factors that could impact the time it takes to settle a claim with State Farm include, but are not limited to:
- The parties involved in the accident
- A lack of evidence proving the other driver is at fault
- The circumstances of the accident
- The amount of insurance coverage
- The number of claims the company is processing
- Whether you file a lawsuit
- The severity of an impairment rating
Generally, State Farm settles car accident claims that involve minor injuries and no impairments quickly. Just be sure you have discussed your medical condition with your doctor and that your doctor does not expect any further complications or lasting symptoms. It is crucial to get clarification from your doctor before you agree to a settlement.
What Happens if State Farm Acts in Bad Faith Regarding a Car Accident Claim?
Insurance companies can dispute and deny claims. They are not legally required to pay invalid claims.
However, an insurance company might handle your claim inappropriately to avoid paying the claim. Intentionally delaying or denying a claim could result in a bad-faith insurance claim.
Examples of bad faith insurance tactics include, but are not limited to:
- Failing to acknowledge and/or respond to a claim
- Not investigating a claim or performing an inadequate investigation
- Misrepresenting the insurance policy limits, exceptions, and other policy terms
- Refusing to make a fair and reasonable settlement offer when the company knows their insured is liable
- Making very low settlement offers
- Failing to notify the accident victim of information needed to process the claim
- Requiring unnecessary or overly burdensome documentation and information
- Advising a car accident not to seek legal advice
If you suspect State Farm is not handling your claim appropriately, contact a Houston car accident attorney immediately. The Texas statute of limitations restricts your time to pursue a claim. An attorney can help protect your rights to a fair and reasonable car accident settlement.
Tips for Getting Your State Farm Claim Processed Quickly to Get a Settlement Check
Things you can do to help avoid delays in processing a State Farm settlement include:
- Report the car accident to the police to obtain an official car accident report proving there was a collision.
- Contact your insurance company to report the car accident and file an insurance claim with State Farm.
- Be cooperative with the insurance adjuster and provide requested information promptly.
- Do not admit fault or make statements that could be misinterpreted to allege comparative fault.
- Track your lost wages, medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, and pain and suffering damages.
Dealing with State Farm directly could be a mistake. The insurance company has adjusters, investigators, and other professionals trained to protect the company from liability. They will do what they can to minimize the value of your claim.
Instead, allowing a Houston car accident lawyer to handle your State Farm claim can work to your advantage. The company is less likely to try to undervalue your damages when you hire an attorney. Your lawyer also keeps the claim on track to settle as soon as possible.
Contact a Houston Car Accident Lawyer to Help You With Your Claim
Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers
3120 Southwest Freeway, Suite 350
Houston, TX 77098
Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers – East Fwy
11811 East Fwy, Suite 630-06
Houston, TX 77029
Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers – South Loop
2600 S Loop W, Suite 293
Houston, TX 77054