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How Long Does an Insurance Company Have to Settle a Claim in North Carolina?

On Behalf of Christian Ayers
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When you have bills and other expenses from an injury suffered due to someone else’s negligent behavior, it’s often their insurance company that will be responsible for paying. Usually, they won’t initially offer fair compensation, and the settlement amount will need to be negotiated. That process can often be accelerated, and your compensation can be improved with the help of a Charlotte personal injury attorney.

For victims who need the funds quickly, the concern of when the insurance company must settle is important.

How long does an insurance company have to settle a claim in North Carolina?

Deadline for Settling a Claim

The deadline for an insurance company to settle a claim is not clear-cut. The reality is that a settlement could be made at any point before a court issues a ruling, so the deadline is a floating one based on the pace of the courts and the litigation process. However, while this is possible, in many cases, that is not what occurs, and once a claim goes to court, it will follow through that process.

Generally, the deadline for going to court can serve as a kind of deadline for when a settlement would need to be negotiated. This deadline is set by the statute of limitations for personal injury law and, in most North Carolina claims, is three years. However, there are a number of circumstances where the statute of limitations could be a little bit different depending on a variety of factors involved.

In cases where injuries are discovered much later, the statute of limitations could be extended. However, filing a claim against the government could result in a tighter timeline. It’s always wise to contact a lawyer as soon as you recognize your injuries so that they can help you understand the statute of limitations for your particular situation.

Is it Better to Settle or Go to Court?

The alternative to settling a claim is going through litigation. Given this dynamic, many victims of personal injuries often wonder whether or not it is a better route to try and settle their claim outside of court or to go through with a trial. While the specifics of your case will dictate what the better option is for you, there are some general benefits and negatives to both options.

The one significant advantage of a trial is that it holds the possibility of the absolute maximum compensation package. However, there are some downsides to that option, and avoiding those disadvantages is the real benefit of a settlement.

For instance, a trial could take a long time to resolve. It will very likely be months before there is a ruling, and it’s not uncommon for these trials to last for years. This delay in receiving funds should be weighed against the fact that most settlements result in you having your money within 30 days of the agreement being finalized.

The other great advantage of a settlement is the way that it negates risk. You will receive whatever the terms of the settlement are. In a trial, there is always the possibility that the court will not rule in your favor. This could mean that instead of receiving a little more compensation than you would in a settlement, you end up receiving much less.


Q: How Could I Speed Up the Settlement Process?

A: The fastest way to speed up the settlement process is to accept less. However, this doesn’t always make sense, and you should make sure that you get fair compensation. The process can be sped up by having a more willing party on the other side of the negotiations.

Working with a Charlotte personal injury lawyer could help with that aspect. The presence of a lawyer indicates a real possibility of a claim going to trial, and if the other party is motivated to avoid that outcome, it could encourage the process along.

Q: What Should Be Compensated in a Personal Injury?

A: Personal injury claims are meant to provide compensation for those costs that have arisen as a direct result of the injuries caused by others. Many of these costs will have clear financial elements, such as medical bills, property damage, and lost wages. Those expenses are compensated through economic damages. Other psychological costs lack a clear financial component. However, these are still compensated through non-economic damages.

Q: What Does a Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Do?

A: When you work with a Charlotte personal injury attorney, they are responsible for seeking fair compensation for your injuries. This will typically involve an investigation of how your injuries occurred so that they can identify the parties at fault and gather evidence that proves their liability.

Often, there is an initial attempt to negotiate a settlement with the liable party, as this can have benefits for everyone involved. However, if a fair settlement can’t be reached, then your lawyer will need to take your case through litigation to seek what you’re owed.

Q: What Are Some Common Types of Personal Injuries?

A: A personal injury occurs when someone is injured as a result of the negligence of another party. These injuries usually involve a physical component. However, there could be other circumstances, such as certain premises liability cases where someone was robbed due to negligent security, that lacked physical injuries but involved property loss and psychological impact. Some of the more common types of personal injuries include:

Get Restitution by Settlement or Litigation

While settlements may have their advantages in terms of time, certainty, and privacy, it’s important that those who have been injured get fair compensation from the liable party, regardless of whether by settlement or litigation. That’s why it’s imperative that those seeking restitution have a Charlotte personal injury attorney who is prepared to pursue their client’s compensation by either route.

When you work with the team at Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler, you can feel confident knowing that your lawyer is comfortable whether they are negotiating a settlement or arguing your claim before the court. If you’ve been injured and are looking for someone who will be dedicated to getting you the compensation that you’re owed, contact us today.