No response after accepting the settlement offer?

by Maria
(Bakersfield, CA)

On 11/14/13 I decided to accept the settlement offer made by the insurance company. The next day I called my attorney's office and asked them to do the paperwork and accept the offer. I was told that it will take 30 days for the insurance company to respond.

On Monday 12/16/13 I called my attorney's office and asked if they heard from the company. I was told NO. I called again the next day and I was told the attorney will call me back, but I never heard from him.

How long does it take for this to get done? Is there a law governing the amount of time they have to respond? Is the insurance company stalling? What can I do to speed this up? Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "No response after accepting the settlement offer?":

Maria (Bakersfield, CA):

There isn’t a law in the State of California governing the amount of time an insurance company has to respond to an attorney’s settlement acceptance.

Several issues may be delaying the final settlement of your claim:

1. Your attorneys may be busy with other clients. Workers compensation law takes up a substantial amount of an attorney’s time and effort. This is especially true if your attorney is involved in trial, or workers comp administrative hearings.

2. The insurance company may be one which moves slowly. That’s not unusual, especially for large insurance companies. Insurance adjusters normally have anywhere from 100 to 150 claims to work on at any given time.

3. Your attorneys may not have had time to prepare the letter to the insurance company accepting your offer. From the facts you present, your attorney indicated it would take about 30 days for the insurance company to respond. Your attorney didn't tell you she had already sent the letter to the insurance company.

It’s not unusual for a final settlement to take anywhere from 30 - 90 days after the client notifies the attorney of his or her acceptance of the offer. Any one or more of the above issues may be controlling the time prolonging the matter.

You can be sure your attorney is doing everything she can to expedite the final settlement of your claim. Remember, your attorney doesn’t get paid until she actually settles your claim.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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