Have you been involved in a car accident and you’re wondering how long it will take to resolve the claim? Unfortunately, there’s no definitive answer. It’s almost impossible to predict the exact timeline for a car accident lawsuit because every case is different and there are factors involved.
A car crash can be traumatic. You’re left stressed dealing with property damages, injuries, and wondering how you’re going to move on. You’re probably already thinking of the claim process and how long it will take.
Truth is, it can take a few months or even several years. Hiring an experienced car accident lawyer is the first step to a successful lawsuit.
What Affects How Long It Will Take to Settle Your Claim?
Liability affects how much money you’ll be compensated and it might take some time to determine liability. However, the defendant may try to put some blame on you even when you are clearly not at fault. You do not want a comparative liability case so your lawyer may take any measures to prove you’re not liable.
Details of Your Case
If your case involves multiple parties or some details are missing, it might end up taking longer. For instance, if your claim involves a government entity or a trucking or delivery company, it might take longer to settle than that involving two drivers and insurance companies. Similarly, if some details are missing in your case, such as a police report, it might take a long time to settle.
You should wait until you’ve made full recovery to settle your car accident claim. This will help you quantify your medical expenses and possible future treatment. However, it might take long to recover but settling before this may lead to undercompensation.
Cooperation by the Insurance Company
The defendant’s insurance company may not be flexible when negotiating the settlement. Other companies have a legal team tasked with negotiating with your lawyer while others, especially small insurance companies, may have a backlog of claims and it might take some time to reach yours.
This can be lengthy as it involves both parties getting their information and evidence together, depositions, and finding witnesses. In case mediation fails, the case will have to go to trial with a potential appeal thus lengthening the claim.
Things to Consider Before Settling a Car Crash Claim
Have You Recovered Fully?
You should not settle your car accident claim until you know all your medical expenses including future treatment. If you have not made a full recovery, you might not have all the medical expenses information you need and you’ll miss out on the rightful compensation.
How Much Is Your Pain and Suffering Worth?
Your compensation should include non-economic damages like emotional distress, trauma, pain, and suffering. Translating the damages to monetary value might be a hassle but your experienced personal injury lawyer can help with that.
Is the Settlement Offer Better Than Trial?
Insurance companies strive to settle for the least amount possible. But, if you’re not satisfied with the offer, you can always take the case to trial. However, you’re not guaranteed a jury will award a larger amount. After considering the risks, your lawyer may advise you on the best way based on their experience.
Other factors include whether you’ve hired a lawyer, negotiated, and filed a lawsuit.
Your claim may take longer than you expect but you have a right to file a claim to be compensated for the injuries and damages. With an experienced personal injury lawyer, you will be well represented and maybe even get a better settlement that you’d have got without legal representation.