How Long Does It Take to Settle a Car Accident Case?
Mar 17, 2021 04:06 PM EDT
If you were recently in a car accident, you probably have several questions regarding how you can recover. Aside from the emotional and physical toll of being involved in a car accident, oftentimes you are stressed out financially as medical bills and car repair estimates pile up. In the case of a personal injury lawsuit, a personal injury lawyer will help negotiate a settlement for your car accident case.
Immediately following a car accident, you should obtain the contact information and insurance of the other driver(s) and document the scene with photos. This way, you have evidence to help with your case. You should also contact law enforcement and have them document the scene, so it is on record.
With years of experience practicing personal injury law, a lawyer will work as swiftly as possible to get you the compensation you are entitled to. They understand you may want your monetary settlement as quickly as possible due to the financial burden. You may be asking: how long does it take to negotiate a car accident settlement?
Here's everything you need to know to help guide you through the process so that you know what to expect should you ever be in this situation.
It is important to understand the car accident settlement process to get a sense of the timeframe.
Most car accident claims are resolved during the settlement process and may be settled within a few weeks or months. In more complex cases, it may take a year or longer.
"When it comes to car accidents, every case a lawyer takes on is unique and may involve different factors that affect the timing of a settlement," says Kimberlee Gee Legal, a legal consulting service based online at kimberleegeelegal.com.
Still, the general process is as follows:
You are treated medically for your injuries
You file a claim with your insurance company
The insurance company investigates your car accident
A reservation of rights letter is mailed to you by the insurance company
You file a personal injury suit against the insurance company or other parties involved
Your lawyer obtains evidence that supports your claim, such as bills, medical records, photographic evidence, video evidence, and more.
Your lawyer submits a demand package detailing your claims
The defendant may file a dispute, delaying the case
The insurance company or other parties involved respond to the demand with a settlement offer
You accept or negotiate the settlement until an agreement is reached
In some cases, disputes may arise which may delay your case by a few months or even years before you finally get it resolved. These disputes must be proven or contested before the case can continue forward with the timeline. Some common disputes include:
Whether you were liable for the accident
Whether your own negligence caused the accident
Whether the insurance company covered the accident
The extent of your injuries and whether they are due to pre-existing conditions
If medical treatment is necessary and how long you will need to continue receiving it
Once you have reached a settlement amount agreement with your insurance company or the defendant involved in your personal injury case, when can you expect to receive your settlement check? On average, it takes about four to six weeks from the date the offer was accepted to receive the settlement check. Once this is received, your lawyer will advise you to sign a document that affirms that you are satisfied with the settlement you have been offered for your claim.
The check will be sent to your lawyer, as they will be tasked with ensuring your medical expenses and any other claims are paid for in full. There may be other fees deducted from this amount, such as a contingency fee before the rest of the settlement is disbursed to you.
For further questions regarding negotiating a car accident settlement, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer that will fight for your rights and will not rest until you are satisfied with your settlement. These lawyers oftentimes offer a complimentary consultation to help answer any initial questions you may have without any obligation of having to use their service.