Skip to main content

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

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?

+ Read More

Attorney answers 5

Best Answer

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.


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 create an attorney-client relationship.


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.


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.


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.

Avvo personal injury email series

Sign up to receive a 3-part series of useful information and advice about personal injury law.

Personal injury topics

Recommended articles about Personal injury

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer