How Long Does It Take State Farm to Settle Claims in Pennsylvania?
February 9, 2024 | Car Accidents
Under Pennsylvania law, the clock starts ticking on your State Farm insurance claim as soon as you report the accident to them. If State Farm is your own insurance company, they must respond within 15 days. The response deadline for claims against another party’s liability insurance company (third-party claims) is 30 days after you report the accident.
By the end of this time, State Farm must respond to your claim in writing.
If the insurance company accepts your claim immediately, they must pay it promptly. However, the insurance company almost always asks for more time. They must provide a reason for the delay, and they must continue to give updates every 45 days. You will probably receive your money within a few weeks to a few months after you first file your claim. In unusually long cases, you could end up waiting years for your money.
Factors That Can Delay the Processing of Your Personal Injury Claim
Many factors that can delay the resolution of your claim, including the following:
- Delay in reaching maximum medical improvement (MMI). MMI is the point where doctors expect no further improvement in your condition. It will be difficult to estimate your medical expenses and lost earnings until you reach MMI.
- Incomplete documentation. You will need to provide a certain minimum amount of documentation to resolve your claim. The longer you take to provide it, the more delay you will experience.
- The overall complexity of your case. Medical malpractice cases and product liability claims are particularly notorious for this weakness. You might need to hire an expert witness to investigate your claim, which will take time even if you never go to court.
- High claim value. The higher the value of your claim, the harder the opposing party will fight to avoid paying it.
- You file a lawsuit. There can be good reasons for you to file a lawsuit even if you still plan to settle. Filing a lawsuit will probably delay the resolution of your claim, however.
- Bureaucratic inertia. A large insurance company is likely to have significant bureaucratic delays.
- Falsifying or exaggerating your claim (known as “malingering”). Can result in a complete collapse of trust in you. This could not only delay your claim–it could end up destroying it.
There are many other possible reasons for the delay. The ways in which your claim is likely to experience delays depends to a great extent on the specific facts of your case. Talk to your lawyer about this once they have gotten up to speed on your case.
Bad Faith Tactics
State Farm may deliberately delay claims, hoping that you will just give up and accept their ‘lowball’ offer, or accidentally miss the statute of limitations deadline to file a lawsuit.
Be on the lookout for the following tactics:
- Requests for unnecessary documentation
- Frequent changes in claims adjusters and repeated requests for information you’ve already provided
- Disputing your medical treatment as not “reasonable and necessary” when it is
- Undermining settlement negotiations by offering you a woefully inadequate sum and refusing to budge from there
- Deliberate misinterpretations of the meaning of their policy language
- Stonewalling you (“He’s on vacation…”, etc.).
- Issuing improper fraud allegations
- Insisting that you submit to an independent medical examination with their doctor
- Stalling during the negotiation process
If the insurance company manages to lull you into missing the statute of limitations deadline to file a lawsuit, the value of your claim will drop to zero immediately.
A Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You Expedite Your Settlement from State Farm
No matter your problem, you’re almost always better off with a lawyer than without one. Experienced Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers have often dealt with insurance companies, and they should know how to expedite claims against State Farm.
Contact the Car Accident Lawyers In Pennsylvania at Marzzacco Niven & Associates For Legal Help With Your Case Today
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