Request your free case evaluation

We’ll meet with you to help you understand your legal options and what to do next.

Enter your contact information:

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Why is my car accident settlement taking so long? And what can I do about it?

Why is my car accident settlement taking so long?

why is my car accident settlement taking so long

When you’re recovering from an accident, waiting for the insurance company to get their act together and offer you a fair and reasonable settlement can be infuriating.

“Why the heck is my settlement taking so long? Do they even care about me?”

Unfortunately, the wheels of justice often turn slowly, leaving innocent, injured folks stuck in limbo. It’s frustrating, and it isn’t fair.

In this blog, let’s take a look at some of the reasons why your car accident claim is stuck in neutral, and explore what your legal options might be to move the process along. Or, at the very least, keep the bill collectors away while you fight for what’s yours.

why is my car accident settlement taking so long

Car accident investigations take time, even in ideal circumstances

why is my car accident settlement taking so long

The simple truth is that personal injury claims are complicated matters—even in cases that seem fairly straightforward. Even if everybody involved is working diligently and with the best of intentions, claims just don’t get processed overnight. Reaching a car accident settlement takes time, period.

Below are some of the key factors that can make for a longer road to fair compensation.

Determination of fault

A not-so-simple question: who was responsible for your car accident?

You may think it’s the other driver. In fact, you may know it’s the other driver. But the other driver might have a very different view of the car accident.

Fault for a car accident can be shared between multiple individuals or parties—and not just the involved drivers, but potentially also equipment manufacturers, a driver’s employer (if they were on the job), a restaurant that overserved a drunk driver, a municipality that failed to install proper signage, or any other factor that contributed to the crash.

And in Washington, any percentage of blame that you share will reduce the size of your insurance check by the same percentage. If you’re 20% to blame, that’s 20% of your settlement out the window. Unfortunately, that gives insurance companies a powerful incentive to look for any evidence they can find to knock your claim down a few pegs.

RELATED POST: Is Washington a no-fault state? A look at car accident liability

The severity of your injuries (and the amount of money you’re demanding)

Generally speaking, the more severe your injuries, the more expensive your case will be for the insurance company—and the more difficult it will be to actually calculate a truly fair settlement amount.

For starters, it’s usually wise to wait until you reach maximum medical improvement before you take a settlement offer. If you’re still recovering, it’s much harder to estimate with any certainty how much long-term medical treatment you’ll need, whether you’ll be able to return to work, and how your day-to-day life will be impacted. And if your injuries are severe, it’ll probably take longer just to get to that point in your recovery.

That’s not to say it’s necessarily easy to calculate such things, even after you’ve reached maximum medical improvement. Because there’s such a large degree of subjectivity and range of possible outcomes, the insurance company is very motivated to make estimates that favor themselves—not you. This can cause the settlement process to drag on and on, particularly if you refuse to accept a settlement offer that isn’t fair to you.

RELATED POST: How do car accident settlements work?

why is my car accident settlement taking so long

People we’ve helped

Insurance companies don't always play fair

why is my car accident settlement taking so long

Even if you have all the truth and all the evidence on your side, the insurance company may use delay and stall tactics to bully you into accepting a smaller settlement than you deserve.

The insurance companies understand that you’re in a tough spot. While they’ve got millions and millions of dollars coming in each month in policyholder premiums, you may be stuck with little to no income and mounting debts. You need help as soon as possible; they can afford to drag it out until they get what they want.

So, are you getting the run-around? Here are a few classic signs:

  • You’re getting multiple requests for documents, often a few at a time, often for information that’s redundant or that you’ve already provided.
  • Asking for medical records or other personal information that’s clearly irrelevant or obtrusive.
  • The insurance adjuster is dodging your phone calls.
  • You get no explanation for why your claim was denied, or you get a settlement offer that’s just plain insultingly low.

Basically, they’re hoping you’re so bewildered, frustrated, and upset by the process—and so desperate for some cash—that you’ll just throw in the towel and take whatever you’re being offered.

why is my car accident settlement taking so long

A personal injury lawyer like Zach Herschensohn can help you hold a stalling insurance company accountable

why is my car accident settlement taking so long

When you attempt to settle your personal injury case on your own, you need to understand that insurance companies have all the time, resources, and knowledge on their side. Can it be done? Sure, but that’s also a lot to juggle if you’re a novice in personal injury law—and also still recovering from a car accident.

One of the best ways to even the odds is by hiring an experienced car accident lawyer who can advocate for you and protect you—not only from an insurance company that’s playing games, but from the bill collectors that are also waiting to get paid.

A great personal injury attorney like Zach Herschensohn knows how to gather evidence, submit documents, and build a case quickly and efficiently. He can also tell you, objectively, how much your case is worth and handle the negotiation process on your behalf. This has many benefits for you, including less stress, more time spent focusing on your health instead of your personal injury case, and an overall smoother road as you navigate your insurance claim.

why is my car accident settlement taking so long

It's always better to get a fair settlement than a quick settlement

why is my car accident settlement taking so long

While it’s definitely true that an experienced attorney can often help you settle your car accident case faster than you could on your own, speed is not really the most important goal. A lawyer’s job is to get you what you deserve, and if the insurance company is being unreasonable, trying to settle early is really the last thing you want to do.

Because once you settle, that’s it. You can’t go back and get more. You give up your right to demand more or file a personal injury lawsuit, even if it later turns out your long-term medical expenses are going to be a lot higher than you anticipated.

Again, insurance companies are counting on this. They want you to take their lowball offer and get out of their hair for good. That’s why they stall. Better to wait a bit longer to get a settlement check that will actually be big enough to support you and your family.

What about the pileup of medical bills and other expenses in the meantime? When you hire Herschensohn Law to represent you, one of our skilled car accident lawyers can help you set up medical liens and agreements with your creditors, basically delaying your need to pay until your personal injury case is resolved.

Even better, after a successful case, your attorney may be able to negotiate with healthcare providers to reduce your bills, allowing more of your settlement check to end up in your own pocket.

why is my car accident settlement taking so long

Sick of waiting to get paid? Contact Herschensohn Law today

If the insurance company wants a fight, we’ll give them one. The personal injury attorneys at Herschensohn Law know the tactics insurance companies use to stall and pressure claimants after car accidents. And we’ve dedicated our careers to protecting accident victims and holding the at-fault party accountable. We’d love the opportunity to speak with you about your personal injury case and discuss how our team may be able to help.

Request your free consultation today by calling (206) 588-4344 or reaching out online.

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.

Our results speak for themselves


Hurt? Let our law firm handle the details

When you request your free consultation, Kent personal injury attorney Zach Herschensohn will listen to you, answer your questions, lay out your legal options, and give you down-to-earth legal advice.

When you work with our law office, there are no obligations, hidden fees, or fine print. It’s that simple.

Request your free case evaluation

We’ll meet with you to help you understand your legal options and what to do next.

Enter your contact information:

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

We’re proud to fight—and win—for injured people in Kent, Washington. View our case results to learn more.