In an ideal situation, what follows filing a Florida personal injury claim should be an aggressive effort on the part of your personal injury lawyer to work towards a settlement with the insurance company. This can happen at any time during the litigation process.
If you have received a personal injury settlement check offer that you have accepted from the insurance company, you may be expecting that everything will wrap up relatively quickly.
Why a Personal Injury Attorney?
Unfortunately, delays in receiving your settlement check can be extremely problematic for you. You may be under the impression that everything is over and that you’ll soon have the essential financial support that you need to move on with your life.
However, this is a great opportunity to rely on your personal injury attorney to help you with this situation. If you are at the point where you have reached the settlement with the adjuster to settle the injury claim, then you have already sent your confirmation like a letter accepting this, now you are in a waiting period.
If it has been a few weeks and the check has not arrived, what to do next? Your check should always arrive a few weeks after your agreement is reached.
However, no matter what the cause of the delay, your personal injury attorney can help you throughout the duration of your personal injury claim to speak directly with the insurance company.
Trying to handle the insurance company on your own can be overwhelming, confusing and frustrating. Retaining an attorney early on in a personal injury claim process, however, allows you to pass this responsibility on to someone else who may be more experienced in dealing with insurance companies.
The insurance company may delay communication with you or be cagey about it, providing you details at any stage in your claim because they will count on you simply giving up and going away.
However, if you have somebody advocating for you and pushing for further details to be released, you may have a better chance of having your injury claim closed out sooner rather than later.
Common Reasons for Delays with Settlement Checks
There may be a legitimate reason why you have not received a settlement check yet. These can include:
The home office for the insurance company is located far away from you, so the delivery of your official check may take longer.
The supervisor for your insurance adjustor may be out of the office due to illness or vacation, so he or she may not have been able to officially sign off on your claim.
If the claim was already approved by the supervisor and has been sent to the payment department located in another geographic location, it may be pending approval in that place.
The claims adjustor may have taken time off for illness or vacation shortly after settling your claim and never sent the paper work on to the supervisor for final approval.
A two-week delay in receiving your settlement check may be more common, even though three weeks might be acceptable if it’s for legitimate reasons. If it takes longer than this time period, you need to consult with your attorney. Your attorney may follow up directly with the adjustor. Calling after this time period has passed can help to push things along.
Make sure you keep notes of every day and the time that you contact the insurance adjustor. Request that your attorney do the same. Your attorney may also be more successful by asking to speak with the adjuster’s supervisor. If 30 days have gone by, however, and you still have not received your settlement check, it may be an opportunity to consult with the State Insurance Board.
Again, without a knowledgeable personal injury attorney helping you with this process, you may be unfamiliar with your rights and the insurance company may be counting on this so that they can justify their delay.
If you do have to file a complaint with the State Insurance Board, an insurance investigator would be added to your case. You may also be eligible to pursue a bad faith lawsuit against the company, if the insurance company refuses your check while having no legitimate reason to do so.
You would need an attorney to file a bad faith case. In any situation, you must not work with an insurance company following a personal injury accident. Having an experienced attorney at your side is extremely valuable.
When you are not able to get information from the insurance company, frequently receiving a call from an attorney can help to push otherwise non-compliant individuals into helping you figure out what to do next. A personal injury attorney can help move things along so that you can truly focus on recovery and other important aspects of your claim.