No one can accurately predict how long it will take to settle an insurance claim lawsuit. There are many factors that play a role in determining the length of time it takes to settle a property damage insurance claim lawsuit. Some of those factors include: (1) the credibility of the witnesses and claimant; (2) the presence or absence of alternative explanations for the cause of the loss; (3) the attitude of the claims adjuster; and (4) the stage of the litigation.
Perceptions of credibility play a factor in the length of time it takes to settle a case. If the carrier views you, your experts or your lawyer as less than honest, it will take a long time to settle your case. It is important that you and your representatives provide the carrier with a consistent version of events that is logical and makes sense to avoid any delays caused by the carrier's perception of your lack of credibility.
If there are alternative causes of loss - one of which is covered and one that is not - it will take longer to settle your case. For instance, many Hurricane Ike claims have alternative causes of loss, windstorm and flood surge. Finding an appropriate balance between the causes of loss takes time.
The attitude of the claims adjuster plays a role in the loss. If the claims adjuster does not like you, your claim, your representatives, he can delay resolution of the loss. It is very important to recognize that the claims adjuster can be a friend or enemy. If an enemy, it is important to take steps to remove him from settlement authority your claim.
In almost all circumstance, it is important to get the litigation process started as soon as your lawyer's investigation is complete. The litigation process takes time. It could take up to 24 months to resolve an insurance claim lawsuit. But, in almost all circumstances, the closer you are to a trial setting, the more willing a carrier becomes to explore settlement options.
Accordingly to resolve an insurance litigation claim, it is important to select the right representatives to represent you; to thoroughly investigate the cause of the loss; and to start the litigation process as soon as the investigation is complete.