How Long to a Resolve Vehicle Claim? (Video Post)



Today I’d like to talk about vehicle accidents and injury claims and some of the most common questions that I get. Perhaps the most common question is, how long is it going to take? How long is it going to take for an adjuster to make a decision on my case? How long is it going to take for them to contact me?

Well, insurance companies around the area, around Spokane tend to be pretty quick about getting people on the phone. The first thing they are going to ask for is a recorded statement. So you call in and you file a claim. And by filing a claim, what that means  is, you call and say, “I had a collision”, “I had an accident”,  “I hit a deer”, “Whatever the case might be. Here’s my information, please contact me”.

Typically, they (the carriers) have an 800 number that is right on your policy or is not it right in your certificate of insurance or your little proof of insurance (the little card they gave you). You can call that number and file a claim. Again the claim is going to be taken usually by a customer service representative. It’s just somebody who is there 24/7. They are not the actual adjusters, so they are going to simply just take your information, who you are, what policy number, what happened, and just kind of brief information. And typically they turn around and give this information to an adjuster.

What will the insurance company say?

So inside the insurance company is going to say, “Okay,  this is a one vehicle collision, this may be just a windshield claim, only your windshield was damaged”. This might have been a claim where there is fault, so there’s going to be a liability dispute. Who committed the fault?  Who was at fault for the accident, who is going to pay what? And there might be also a bodily injury adjuster in case you injured somebody else, other party, and equally there might be medical payments or a PIP adjuster, which is the person who is going to administer your coverage, for your pain and suffering.

I’m sorry, not for your pain and sufferings, but for your medical coverage, your bills that you are going to incur under your PIP section. The pain and suffering piece is going to have to be dealt with if somebody hit you and they don’t have insurance. The insurance then an uninsured motorist adjuster is going to settle with you –  your portion of pain and suffering.  But your liability adjuster is going to pay, a third party for whatever pain and suffering they might be entitled to.  So, all of these parties are going to get involved. Some carriers will have a team, and they are all kinda work in a team, three or four people that are going to contact.

Some insurance companies are going to divide all of them. So you have like, five or six points of contacts, depending on what you are dealing with as part of the claim, can be even more confusing if they use a field adjuster. The individual who is going to inspect the vehicles, that type of thing. So there is yet another person who is going to be dealing with body shops, towing and that type of stuff. So these can be very, very confusing, and  I think they do it on purpose. They like  to throw the ball among each other so they can’t really have to give you the best straight answer that you want to listen.

I think it’s part of the system that’s build within, so a consumer is going to have a hard time navigating this process. But you can call in, you file the claim, these gets assigned, then you’re going to start receiving calls. And it is in here where they’re going to ask for a recorded statement. I have a post about that. They are going to ask for, providing the vehicle for inspection, or take to an approved body shop, so they can take a look at it. And they’re going to talk to you about, rental coverage, and how that’s going to protect you. And they’re going to move from there.

How long is it going to take?

So, how long is it going to take? Well, typically it takes about three business days to get the adjuster to call you back. Some insurance companies says will, they will call you, call you within 24 hours, some say, well, you know, three business day, or a business day. Obviously this is going to depend if this is a weekend, or if this is during the week But do note that, in our area, especially in the winter months,  things tend to get a little busier for these guys. So what ends up happening is, an adjuster may not call you back, you know, for or five days.

If you’ve not receiving a call when you’re waiting four days after you file the claim, you want to start contacting them or you want to kind of at least make contact with a supervisor, or somebody, because there are claims that can get fallen through the cracks, and if that’s the case, you may be waiting for five, six, seven weeks. Now, usually if you’re calling at fault party’s insurance company, person who hit you, they might not even come out until they talk to their own client. And so, what happens is, it creates a very, very bad circumstance for people in your position, because, you are waiting for the party at fault to make a phone call and to verify the accident did happen, in fact.  Well, that’s an issue, because the party may not call, or the party might be embarrassed, or they don’t want to help.

So, here you are left at their wheel, if you want, just to make a phone call, and then confirm that the accident happened. You can get through that. The best option is to get a police report. If you get a police report, you can send it to the insurance company and say, “Hey, the accident did happen. Here is proof of that.” It was your insured who hit me, please send somebody out to inspect the vehicle and get this process going. If there is no police report, then you’re going to provide some other sort of evidence like a witness or something and hope that this person actually comes forward and calls their own carrier.

The way that insurance companies see it, is they seem to think that , the policy for this individual is in fact  an asset. So it’s like me calling a bank and saying, “Hey, give me some of their money”. Well, they can’t do that until at least they’ve verified with the individual that this in fact happened. And, that can, be problematic. That leads me to my segueway here, and it’s important for you can see your coverages. It’s very important that you have PIP coverage.

It’s very important that you have Uninsured Motorists Coverage. If you don’t have those coverages in Spokane, I think it’s estimated that about 30 to 40 percent of the drivers out there have no, they don’t have either of those coverages. They are uninsured, or they don’t have enough liability coverage to protect you. So,it may be an accident where you’re not at fault at all, and they still are coming for you to. You’re still going to be left to pay your own damages even though you had nothing to do with the accident.

If you have any questions, or get involved in a vehicle accident and there are injuries, that you would like to discuss and help navigating the process, please give us a call.You can reach me at 509-927-3840. I’m Hector Quiroga with the Quiroga Law Office. Thank you.

How Long to Resolve a Vehicle Claim? | Copyrighted Material of the Quiroga Law Office, PLLC