How Long Does an Insurance Company Have to Settle a Claim in Utah?
How long does an insurance company have to settle a claim in Utah? The Accident Attorneys of America can answer this and more. Contact us for an appointment.
No-Fault Insurance for Accidents in Utah
The aftermath of a car accident can be stressful, intimidating, and perplexing. In this whole process, timelines must be followed, the insurance company must be notified, and a whole process must be initiated.
Utah is a no-fault state, meaning each party’s insurance company pays for their insured clients’ medical bills. Since no-fault states do not require proof of fault, medical expenses are paid out much faster than in states without a no-fault approach (known as tort states).
Insurance Pay Out Timelines
Utah insurance companies have 45 days to settle your insurance claim from the date it is filed. The timeline can be broken down as follows:
Insurers have 15 days to acknowledge receipt of claims. During this period, they must send the policyholder the documentation, including a proof-of-loss form to describe the damage or injuries.
After receiving the proof-of-loss forms, the insurance company must review the claim and initiate the final settlement within 30 days.
However, making payments within these timelines is not always possible. When the investigation takes longer than the period, an extended time frame is given to the insurance company.
According to the Utah Insurance Department Rules, insurers must respond to a claimant within 15 days after receiving a request for a response.
America’s accident attorneys are familiar with personal injury cases and Utah insurance practices. They can assess your claim and advise on the best way forward within the time limitations that you may have.
Which Insurance Company Covers What?
In Utah, drivers are required to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance to cover the first $3 000 in medical expenses for each person injured in their vehicle. The other driver’s insurance company may be contacted if medical expenses exceed the PIP coverage.
Insurance companies will offer a settlement if they determine that their insured is legally responsible for your injuries. Property damage is not included in your PIP, so property damage claims are lodged with the other driver’s insurance company.
What Factors Determine When a Settlement Offer Must be Made?
Claim settlements must generally be completed within 30 days. However, the standard rule has many exceptions, including:
The timeframe for evaluating a bodily injury claim before a settlement offer can be made is much longer
Serious injuries or extensive damage require more time to investigate
Settlements may also be delayed if the insured cannot pay the insurance deductible
An inability to communicate clearly and quickly between the parties can often result in a significant delay
Factors That May Delay a Settlement
In a perfect world, settlements and payouts would be completed within 45 days. Timelines are, however, affected by the following factors:
- Medical treatment, your final medical prognosis, and the extent of your physical injury are not yet certain. It can take time to compile the medical records needed.
- The case may be complex, either from a legal or factual perspective.
- High-value claims take much longer to ascertain, and there is more at stake, so investigations are more thorough.
The Medical Prognosis is Not Yet Finalized
If you are still undergoing medical treatment, it’s impossible to accurately quantify your medical expenses. Therefore, waiting until your medical bills are accurately quantifiable is advantageous, or you risk accepting a settlement that does not include all of your medical costs.
The final settlement cannot be made until the injured party reaches maximum medical improvement (MMI). The patient must be fully recovered, or an investigation must have concluded the full extent of the injuries, including long-term medical costs. When serious injuries occur, the timeline can be shifted for significant periods of time to determine what constitutes fair compensation.
Bodily injuries need to be adequately assessed before settlement offers can be made. This involves many parties and can take a long time. You, your doctor, expert witnesses, your health insurance provider, and the car insurance company must participate in this process.
Complex Legal or Factual Issues
It is common for insurance companies to deny liability and minimize payouts in high-value cases. Insurance adjusters require a strong case based on facts and law before they pay out large amounts.
When both parties are at fault, factual issues like fault become crucial to determining how much your claim should be reduced. It is less likely that the insurance company will accept liability and make a reasonable settlement offer if liability is unclear and your attorney will have difficulty proving it.
A complex legal issue is when an adjuster does not believe that you can prove that the negligent driver caused your damages. In such a case, you must demonstrate that you can produce a higher settlement offer based on your legal arguments. In these negotiations, your attorney and the insurance company representatives must conduct extensive investigation and communication before a resolution can be reached.
High-Value Claims Take Much Longer
Insurance companies are businesses that are primarily concerned with making profits. They do not achieve this by paying out large claims in a generous fashion. Before they pay out large amounts, they need to satisfy themselves that they do not have a decent defense to your lawsuit. Before making an offer, they will investigate all factors that may allow them to pay little or nothing for your injury claim. They will probe every aspect of your case, including your integrity.
When the stakes are high, some companies delay the case to assess the claimant’s ability and determination to proceed. Some people need the money and are more likely to accept a lowball offer rather than wait for a bigger payout.
What if the Insurance Company Doesn’t Co-operate?
Where failure to co-operate causes unnecessary or unjustified delays in the settlement process, you have the option to file a bad faith action. You could be paid additional interest and penalties if you win the bad faith claim.
Is it Advisable to Hire a Law Firm?
The process of filing a personal injury claim can be complicated. Insurance companies may refuse to provide payment in cases of severe bodily injury or high-value claims. Choosing a lawyer with experience in the appropriate practice area will probably level the playing field and increase your chances of receiving a fair settlement.
Our firm offers a free case evaluation to help you decide how to proceed. Let us fight for you to help you get the compensation you deserve. Give us a call today.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Should I Still Get a Lawyer for an Accident That Was My Fault?
Yes, it would be best if you still got a lawyer. In addition to investigating the extent of your fault, an experienced truck accident lawyer will negotiate with your insurance company to resolve the claim.
What Is the Most Common Injury in a Truck Accident?
The most common injuries in a truck accident are spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, head and neck injuries, and broken bones.
A truck or even a semi-truck accident can cause fatal and life-long injuries. For your medical expenses to be adequately covered, ensure that you wait until the end of the anticipated recovery period before settling your truck accident case.