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Insurance companies live on a different timeframe than the insured. Sometimes, they will rush you to settle. Or, they are making you wait for your settlement. Both of these games are tactics to either settle your claim before you hire an attorney, or to make you wait so you will accept their first offer.

The insurer is fully aware that you are in a financial bind and that you have medical bills piling up, while at the same time you are unable to work. They know that you need the money and the longer they delay your claim, the better the odds that you will accept a low settlement.

Of course, delays are not always "tactics." Insurance companies are large corporations with many different levels of management. You may just be waiting for the insurance company to make their decision on a complicated claim, and it is taking some time.

Keep in mind, you have two years from the date of your accident to file a personal injury claim. Typically, we recommend completing your medical treatment before settling with the insurance company. During that time, you will be responsible for paying your medical bills, so be sure to submit any claims to your health insurance company. You can also make arrangements with the hospital to make monthly payments on your medical bills until you have your settlement from the insurance company.

If your health insurance is paying your medical bills, check your health insurance contract for a subrogation clause. Some health insurance policies require you to pay back the health insurance company for your medical bills once you reach a settlement for your car accident.

Finally, car accident claims can take a long time. It may be months or years before your claim is settled by the insurance company. Some cases will go to trial, so you should be prepared to wait on your settlement

If your claim is being ignored or delayed, consult with a personal injury attorney. Most attorney consultations are free, and the attorney will let you know if your case is simple and straightforward, or complicated enough to require an attorney.

Ben Glass
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Ben Glass is a nationally recognized ERISA disability & life insurance attorney in Fairfax, VA.