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How Long Does It Take the Insurance Company Take to Respond to a Demand Letter?

letter How long does it take for an injury company to respond to demand letter in a personal injury case? It depends on the jurisdiction, the size of the case, the complexity of the medicine of the injuries, and whether there is a dispute about who is responsible for the crash.

It also depends on the insurance company. Some insurers move more quickly than others.

Recently we performed an analysis of our last 110 cases at Miller & Zois to answer that question of how long individual insurance companies take to respond to demand packages. The chart below shows 110 recent cases handled by our firm, broken down by the insurance company. We compared the time from when our demand package on behalf of our clients was submitted to the insurance company, to the time it took them to respond with their initial offer. We did not include cases where our client became tired of waiting for the insurance company and instructed us to file suit.

Ins. Comp.No. CasesAvg. (Days)Shortest (Days)Longest (Days)
Liberty Mutual46834128
Maryland Auto Insuarance37742116
State Farm206715187
Total Most Common Providers2656

Ins. Comp.No. CasesAvg. (Days)Shortest (Days)Longest (Days)
AAA Insurance192
AAA MidAtlantic175
Agency Ins. Co.121
Auto Injury Solutions118
BGE Comp.194
Farmers Ins.117
James River Ins. Co.198
Mac Risk Mgt.187
National General Ins.1112
Net. Adj.135
State Nat.1105

As the chart illustrates, the average response time from the insurance companies that handle most of the claims is about two months. An important number to consider is the longer response time, which can be as long as seven months. We always want to push the insurance company along. We want to settle every car accident case as quickly as we can. But we cannot advance the case at a speed that will compromise the value of the case. Our second goal is to get a quick settlement. But our first goal is to maximize the value of your claim.

Obviously, there are real limitations to this study. You would need a sampling of thousands to get reliable data within a small standard deviation, particularly given the factor at play in individual cases. There are some factors that influence the time it takes for the insurance company to respond to our demand package with their first offer. Some of these factors include:

  • Whether there had been earlier communications regarding the client's injuries and medical bills
  • How the amount of medical bills compares to the policy limits for the at-fault driver
  • The amount and complexity of the medical records and bills
  • Whether or not the client had any previous accidents and/or treatment
  • Internal circumstances within the insurance company, such as the caseload of the adjuster
  • The size of the insurance policy at issue

The last factor, the size of the insurance policy, is a big factor. Take, for example, an insurance company like Progressive that typically writes small policies that are cover only the state minimum of $30,000 per claim. This means that when the value of the claim exceeds $30,000, the claims adjuster can put down their pencil. That speeds up the process. Larger cases with companies that write larger commercial policies - like Travelers, Chubb or Brethren - are going to take longer to evaluate. Plus, there are more bureaucratic lawyers with larger cases. The bigger the claim, the higher you have to go up the food chain to get upper management to sign off on the evaluation of the case. This takes more time which is why a trucking insurer is going to take longer than passenger car insurance companies.

What Can I Do Get My Money Faster?

Is there a path to getting a faster response to your demand letter to get a faster settlement? Absolutely. Simply become the squeaky wheel and call the adjuster every day, adamantly complaining that the settlement offer is taking too long.

There is just one problem with this route. You are telling the adjuster that you really just want to settle your case and you have no willingness to go to trial. Adjusters smell blood. The settlement offer reflects that perceived weakness in your willingness to file suit. Parenthetically, this is why it is important to have a lawyer in serious cases that have a history of success in a courtroom. If your law firm does not have a history of success, your offer is going to suffer.

Also, submitting records and bills a bit at a time does not really help speed up an offer to settle unless the injuries are severe and the bills are high at the beginning of the claim. The adjuster at that time might be concerned about their driver's policy limits and legal exposure.

Getting a Lawyer

If you have been hurt in a traffic accident, you need a lawyer with experience, resources, and a track record of success. Call 1-800-553-8082 to speak with a car accident attorney who specializes in handling these claims or get a free online no obligation consultation. Find out if Miller & Zois are the best lawyers for you.

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