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How long should an insurance company take to evaluate a claim?

Newbury, NH |

I was injured in a car accident the other persons insurance is reviewing the claim. I need a complete knee joint replacement but have no insurance. The claim was assigned to an adjuster then 4 months later transfered to a claims specialist. He has had it for about 3 weeks now and says that it will take him another month to evaluate. I have no insurance and need to settle to pay for the surgury which is schedualed in less than 2 months. I have gotten him all medical and letters supporting the need for surgury from my doctors but he keeps putting me off. I sent two demand letters which were ignored what can I do to speed things up? Please dont just tell me I need an attorney.

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Attorney answers 2


Why not consult with an attorney? Most personal injury attorneys do not charge you, unless they win an award for you-- and can get these matters done more quickly. I can guarantee you that without counsel you will wait a long time for the insurance adjuster to get back to you. You also need to understand the difference between having your medical bills paid, and securing an award for pain and suffering, and I guarantee you the adjuster will never get around to telling you about that either. Try contacting (use avvo directory) a NH personal injury attorney and learn what can and cannot be done. By refusing to discuss your case with an attorney, you are playing right into the insurer's hands.

You might find my legal guide on selecting and hiring a lawyer helpful.
You might find my legal guide on Is it Legal? Is it Illegal? helpful.
You might find my legal guide on the understanding the different court systems helpful.
You might find my legal guide on legal terms used in litigation helpful.
(Even if you are not filing a lawsuit this information can be useful).
Mr. Sarno is licensed to practice law in NJ and NY. His response here is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/ client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter in question. Many times the questioner may leave out details which would make the reply unsuitable. Mr. Sarno strongly advises the questioner to confer with a local attorney about this issue.


As I am licensed in Vermont and Florida, I cannot give you specific advise as to New Hampshire law. However, generally, the situation you describe is the usual insurance company delay and runaround. That is why people with a serious injury like yours turn to a personal injury attorney to assist them. I assume you will not be performing the knee surgery on yourself, so why would you attempt to negotiate a fair resolution of your claim without the assistance of a "legal surgeon"?

One option you have is to file a complaint with the New Hampshire Insurance Commissioner's Office and advise them of what you consider to be inordinate delays and failure to negotiate your claim in a fair manner. Do not expect the insurance commissioners office to be able to advise you on legal matters concerning your claim or the fair value of your claim; they are not qualified to provide that type of advice and do not.

You may find it helpful to review some of the Legal Guides which I have published on A v v, which address some of the issues you are dealing with. I wish you luck in attempting to resolve this matter on your own.