How long does compensation take after a car accident?

There are many reasons why your car accident compensation claim is not yet finalised. Find out why, how you can accept a compensation offer and what might delay payment.

If you’ve lodged your car accident compensation claim and you’re playing the waiting game, it’s important to know that the time it takes to finalise your claim or receive an offer can vary.

Your claim may taking longer than expected due to any of the following reasons:

  • If you sustained injuries, claims will only be finalised once your injuries have healed or stabilised. This is to ensure adequate compensation is provided to cover your medical treatment including any ongoing care that may be required.
  • Injuries will need to be assessed by a medical practitioner and depending on the complexity of the injuries, this can add to the assessment time.
  • Your loss of earnings will need to be accurately calculated including any additional expenses that have resulted due to the accident. 

Although the above factors are outside your control, where possible, it is important that you act promptly and get legal advice especially once an offer is made to you. This will ensure there are no delays on your end in receiving your compensation payout.

How do I accept an offer for compensation?

Following your claim for compensation, you will receive  an offer from the insurance company. If you haven’t already, engage a personal injury lawyer so that they can review the documents for you. As a rule of thumb, you should not accept an offer from an insurance company until you obtain independent legal advice. 

Once you have received legal advice and are happy with the offer, you will need to draft a letter in writing confirming your acceptance of the offer. 

Delays in payment of compensation claim

Once you have accepted the offer, your mind will turn to payment and when it will arrive in your bank account.

With compensation claims for car accidents, you need to be mindful that payments do not happen instantly. They can take some time to arrive and there are several reasons for this.

You may experience delays in payment of your compensation claim due to:

  • Pending paperwork to finalise the deal.
  • The insurer has a significant backlog.
  • If your matter was settled in court, the money may be first paid to your lawyer who will need to await the clearance of funds before sending the payment to you.

Although it is reasonable to expect delays, if you find your payments are still not forthcoming, it may be best to get a personal injury lawyer to handle the matter for you.

What happens if I reject an offer?

All offers for compensation from a car accident may not be satisfactory. This is why it is critical to obtain independent legal advice from personal injury experts. 

If you find yourself in a position where you wish to reject an offer, you are allowed to do so. You do, however, need to be aware of the consequences of rejecting an offer.

Once you reject an offer, you will need to understand the following:

  • You cannot change your mind and accept the offer at a later time.
  • If your insurance company thinks the offer is fair, they may not negotiate further with you.
  • If there is no further negotiation between you and the insurance company, you may need to go to court to finalise the matter.

It can be unsettling to reject an offer. There are many factors to consider when assessing an offer for compensation for a car accident. Not only are you dealing with insurance companies but you are also healing from injuries.

Chat to one of Masselos & Co’s personal injury specialists and get the assistance you need to finalise your compensation claim.

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