After being involved in a motor vehicle accident in Illinois, you have a lot to think about, including paying for vehicle repairs, medical expenses, and supporting your family while you’re out of work.
You don't have to pay these financial costs out of pocket, and don't have to worry about future medical bills anymore. If you were injured in an auto accident because of another driver's negligence, you can pursue full compensation through a lawsuit.
When you need a legal advocate to stand up and defend you, call our reputable car accident attorneys at CCAL. Our Cook County car accident attorneys have handled thousands of car accident injury cases for injured parties throughout Illinois.
There is no clear-cut answer to the question, "How long does it take for an insurance company to pay out a claim after an auto accident?" Most claims that don't go to court can be paid out within a few days, weeks, or months. If a case goes through a court trial, the time it takes to settle the case increases dramatically. It could be years before you get any kind of financial compensation. We have helped thousands of car accident clients recover the fair compensation they need to cover their expenses and we can help you, too. To schedule a no-cost initial consultation, contact our Chicago personal injury law firm today at (312) 300-2515.
Illinois Statute of Limitations
Before hiring an attorney to represent you in a personal injury lawsuit, it’s important to know how long you have to file a claim for compensation. Don't assume that you have all of the time and decide to delay the initial filing. If you do so, you won't be able to recover any financial compensation.
If you're injured in an auto accident in Illinois, the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit is two years after you were injured. This time limit affects any personal injury case in Illinois and is found at 735 Illinois Compiled Statutes section 5/13-202. The two-year statute of limitations applies to everyone who was injured in a car accident, whether they were the driver, passenger, cyclist, or pedestrian.
Depending on where you live, the statute of limitations for wrongful death lawsuits may be different. If an injured person dies in a car accident, his or her surviving relatives must file a wrongful death suit against the driver within one year of the accident, or within the time frame set by the state where the accident occurred.
If you want to file a property damage lawsuit, Illinois law 735 ILCS 13-205 stipulates that you do so within five years of the motor vehicle accident date.
How Long Does it Take to Settle a Car Accident Case in Illinois?
If you were involved a Chicago car accident and believe the other party was at fault, the first step in filing a claim is to contact the other party’s insurance company. A third-party insurance claim is when you file an insurance claim for someone else. You may be able to file the claim online or over the telephone.
You need to hire an attorney at this point. A lawyer who specializes in auto accidents can help you file the proper insurance claims and assist you in planning the next steps in your case.
The process of filing a lawsuit differs from that of filing an insurance claim. You must file the claim immediately after the accident, even if you're not sure whether you're eligible for compensation.
Filing the Insurance Claim
You may need to file an insurance claim under Illinois law. To do so, you must first submit a written request for the documents. Once you receive the documents, you must file your claim within 15 days of receiving them. Once the insurance company has received your completed forms, they then have two months to investigate the case and decide whether or not to pay out your claim.
After filing an insurance claim, the insurer conducting the investigation has to look into the case. The insurance company has 60 days or two years from the filing date to decide whether to pay or deny the claim. This time frame helps prevent insurance adjusters who ignore or delay decisions.
During the investigation, the insurance provider may contact you to ask questions. It’s in your best interest to have an experienced Chicago car accident attorney from CCAL with you during these questions.
If you do not have an auto attorney, the insurance adjuster may try to misconstrue your words and use them against you. This may not happen if an experienced attorney is present to protect your legal rights and best interests.
Insurance Company Investigation
Insurance company representatives don't have your best interests in mind, so their investigation could result in unfair and incorrect conclusions. Your car accident attorney will conduct an independent investigation and collect adequate evidence including:
- Police reports
- Vehicle inspections to test the vehicle for malfunctioning parts or defects
- Findings from accident reconstruction experts
- Medical reports that prove your injuries resulted from the crash
This evidence can help you challenge the insurance company’s conclusions or denial of your accident claim. After conducting the investigation, you and your car accident attorney will estimate your past and future financial damages so you know how much to ask for in negotiations with the insurance company. When calculating financial damages, your auto crash attorney will factor in:
- Medical costs
- Lost income
- Vehicle and property repairs
You must note that the investigation and calculation process may take several weeks to complete. Your Chicago personal injury lawyer at CCAL will work relentlessly to move the process forward as quickly as possible without sacrificing quality.
The Demand Letter is Sent
After your car crash attorney has all the evidence and information they can possibly acquire, they'll help you draft and send a demand letter to the insurance company. In the demand letter, you’ll outline what the automobile accident has already cost you and what you, your auto accident attorney, and your doctor estimate you'll incur in the future.
Insurance providers need not respond to demand letters. Some companies may ignore the letter outright, but an aggressive car accident attorney can ensure they respond. Other auto accident lawyers may stop reaching out to the insurance provider after weeks or months of not hearing back, but the legal team at CCAL won’t tolerate foot-dragging. We will make sure the auto insurance provider treats you with the respect you deserve.
Once the insurance carrier finishes its investigation, they'll either approve or deny your claim. If they approve, your automobile accident lawyer will then enter into settlement negotiations with the at-fault driver’s lawyer and their insurance company.
If they deny your accident claim, you can appeal and continue your efforts to recover financial compensation. However, you need to find out the reason the insurance company denied your claim, review all the evidence you submitted, and write a letter stating why their decision contradicts the evidence of your accident case.
If the insurance company approves your accident claim, you and your auto accident attorney will move forward in the negotiation process. Often, insurance offers a lowball settlement offer than what your claim is worth. Your automobile accident attorney at CCAL will negotiate fiercely to receive fair compensation based on the evidence and facts of your case.
This claims process may last just one day if the settlement is satisfactory, but it could take weeks or even months to settle. If the insurance company doesn't make an offer, you and your auto accident lawyer may file a lawsuit. Most automobile accident cases are settled out of court, but sometimes there is no other legal option.
Keep in mind that a court trial will significantly increase the amount of time before you may receive financial compensation. However, you and your car accident attorney will discuss what is best for you and your case.
Top-Rated Car Accident Lawyers in Chicago
Don’t let the insurance carrier cheat you out of the financial compensation you need. At CCAL, we won’t settle for anything less than what you deserve. Our skilled Chicago car accident attorneys have won adequate restitution for thousands of clients in the Chicago area, including clients in Kendall County, DuPage County, Cook County, Will County, Kane County, and Lake County.
Don’t settle for a low-ball settlement offer; contact CCAL today at (312) 300-2515 for an initial consultation at no cost to you.