A Tradition of Legal Excellence

How long does it take to settle a car accident claim?

A car accident can leave you burdened both physically and financially – and it may seem like the claims process is dragging on forever.

Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to tell how long it will be before your claim is finally resolved. North Dakota law requires insurers to either approve or deny a claim in “a reasonable time,” but the meaning of that phrase isn’t exactly clear – and every situation is different. 

It could be a few months – or several years

The vast majority of car accident claims are settled through negotiated agreements, but there’s no huge rush to settle since North Dakota gives personal injury victims six years before they have to file an actual lawsuit. In practice, you’re probably looking at anywhere from several months to several years before the average claim is settled, depending upon:

  • The extent of your injuries: The more serious your injuries, the longer it may take before you recover – or recover well enough to know what sort of long-term issues you may face from your wounds.
  • Any complex issues of liability: If you were in a multi-vehicle accident or there are disputes about exactly how the wreck occurred, the investigation may take a great deal longer than the norm.
  • The insurance company’s response: If an insurance company is being reasonable, you may be able to settle your claim relatively quickly. If the company is trying to devalue or deny your claim, you may be in for a lengthy battle.

If you’ve been seriously injured in a car accident, North Dakota’s “no-fault” system is probably going to be inadequate for your needs. If so, you’ll have to file a claim against the other driver’s insurance. At that point, you may be doing yourself a major disservice if you try to handle the claim on your own.