Is there a limit for insurance companies on how long it should take to determine liability?

Asked about 3 years ago - Denver, CO

I was in an accident on 5/9/11. I was hit by an elderly gentleman in a parking lot; he says I hit him. My insurance company determined I had right of way and therefore he was liable.

His insurance company is "still investigating" the liability over a week later. It has been over 3 weeks since the accident. Do they have to determine liability within a specific time frame?

Attorney answers (5)

  1. James Todd Tenge

    Pro

    Contributor Level 10

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Best Answer
    chosen by asker

    Answered . The insurance company has a duty to act reasonably and with due diligence. So no, there is not an actual time limit set by statute. Three weeks is a bit long, but completely unusual.

    Generally, we document what they claim they need (assuming it is reasonable), and once we've provided it to them, we expect an answer quickly. Of course, you need to document this in writing.

    If it gets too long, then you simply indicate you will need to file suit against their insured to have a judge or jury determine liability if they won't. That usually gets the ball rolling.

  2. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . There is no time limit, and it may be awhile if there is no police report.

    Click on name or picture to see profile page.
  3. Louisa Tzu-I Chen

    Contributor Level 7

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The short answer to your question is no, insurance companies do not have to determine liability within a specific time frame. Unfortunately, you or your insurance company would need to follow up with the other driver's insurance company. Best of luck!

    This response is for information purposes only. This response does not consitute legal advise.
  4. Paul Y. Lee

    Contributor Level 18

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . I don't believe 3 weeks is that unusual. I doubt there is a time limit for "determining liability."

    That being said, if the other insurance company takes too long or if the results of the investigation are not satisfactory, it or its insured risks being sued. Therefore, it is in the insurer's interest to be diligent.

    Have your insurer call and find out if things can be speeded up.

    This response is for information purpose only and does not constitute a legal advice. This response does not... more
  5. Garrett David May

    Contributor Level 8

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Three weeks does not seem like an unreasonable amount of time. If your car was rendered unusable, then it is in the insurance company's best interest to settle the property damages in a little time as possible, as each day that passes means you are entitled to further 'loss of use' damages.

    In my experience, insurance companies are very unpredictable with regards to how long it takes them to determine liability.

    Best of luck.

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