How Long Does it Take to Settle a Car Accident Claim?

If you have been in an auto accident, receiving money for your damages is the utmost priority. These can include hefty medical bills and car repair costs. If the accident inhibited you from working, a large settlement could go a long way to getting you through the ordeal. 

Whether or not your claim is straightforward, insurance adjusters are famous for lowballing offers to try to save the insurance companies the most amount of money. However, if you have an experienced attorney by your side, they know they can’t take you for a fool. A vehicle accident attorney could be essential in resolving your car accident claim as quickly and effectively as possible.

What Is a Car Accident Settlement?

When you are involved in a car accident that was mainly the fault of another person, you may be entitled to compensation for the losses you suffer, such as your physical agility, lost wages, property damage, and quality of life.

In most states, the at-fault party’s insurance company is directly responsible for compensating car accident victims for their damages. This process involves skilled negotiations, as insurers are more concerned with preserving assets for shareholders than paying hefty claims. When you are injured in a wreck, you shouldn’t try to negotiate with the insurance companies on your own as they are less likely to give you their best offer.  If you accept a settlement from them, you release the insurance company and the at-fault driver from future liability.

An insurance settlement will take far less time than a lawsuit will, however, you must consider several factors when making your decisions. 

A Broad Timeline for Car Accident Settlements

Every case is unique, and there is no definitive timeline that will ensure your claim is settled in a specific amount of time. Talking to a lawyer is always a good idea in these situations as they are skilled at negotiating with insurance companies and can litigate your claim if an insurance settlement is inadequate. Here are a few of the steps you and your attorney will take and estimate how much time you could devote to each step.

  • Seeking medical care after a car accident and knowing your diagnosis could take from one month to a year, depending on how severe the injuries are.
  • Gathering evidence from police reports, witnesses, medical records, cell phone video, and repair shop bills with the help of your attorney could take from two to six months.
  • Estimating your claim’s worth with your attorney’s help, which could take two to six months, depending on how your medical treatment is progressing
  • Your attorney will typically send a demand letter to the insurer and negotiate a settlement that could take about four to six weeks for them to agree.

If the insurer will not provide a fair settlement, a lawsuit can be filed in civil court with the help of an attorney. Drafting one and filing it can take several weeks, after which discovery is conducted by both sides for approximately six to 12 months before the trial. Personal injury trials usually last one to three days, and the defendant can always agree to settle at any time. 

How Long Do You Have to Decide to File a Lawsuit?

When you and your attorney conclude that an insurance settlement is not adequate and wish the compensation to be awarded by a jury, you must file your personal injury lawsuit within a certain amount of time from your accident. Most state’s statutes of limitations give between two and four years to file suit from the date of the accident.

Many Factors to Consider When Settling a Car Accident Claim

After a car accident, you might be worried about how you will pay your bills and support your family. This is an important factor to consider when you decide whether you accept a quick insurance settlement or wait longer with the prospect of a larger payout. The best thing you can do is consult an experienced Price Benowitz personal injury attorney who will be able to evaluate your case and provide valuable insight on the best way to proceed. Contact us today to discuss your case with an attorney.