Being involved in a car accident can be traumatic and stressful not only for you as the victim, but also to those around you, including family and friends. As such, the only thing in your mind is how quickly you will get better and get back to your normal duties. When filing a car accident lawsuit is the only option left for you to be whole again, you are probably going to have myriad questions about the whole process.
Quite notably, your biggest hurdle will be determining the amount of time it will take to successfully file a car accident lawsuit, and how quickly you can get compensated for your injuries. Normally, you will be seeking medical treatment for injuries sustained, while at the same time working extra hard to get justice. For this reason, the car accident settlement process ought to be fast and convenient for you.
Unfortunately, there is no standard timeframe for a car accident lawsuit. The amount of time it takes to have you settled will basically be dependent on a number of factors. Like any other lawsuit, a car accident claim follows a regular timeline which must be taken into account step by step. This means that your case could take months or years to settle. All of the following contributory factors will be explained to you by your lawyer before formally filing a lawsuit:
Nobody wants their case to take years before it is finally settled. The anxiety of having your claim put to test of a judge or jury does not always sit well with car accident victims, especially when their finances are tight. In this case, you should familiarize yourself with the aspects that determine how fast or slow your case will be determined. This way, you will be able to plan your finances accordingly, and at the same time, embark on moving on with life while still waiting on justice to serve its purpose. Some of these factors include:
The extent of your injuries is a contentious matter when it comes to litigating a car accident claim. If the injuries raise no cause of alarm or they are relatively mild, the insurance company or the defendant may decide to settle quickly to avoid the huge costs involved in defending the case. In such a scenario, your case may be settled in a few months from the date of injury. On the same note, this does not mean that you can receive a fair settlement without validation to the insurance company. For example, a car accident victim may demand compensation for scrapes or bruises, which in many cases require no medical attention. As such, the defendant’s insurance company will demand to see all of the medical bills and records in your case. The length of time it takes to receive all medical bills and records from every medical provider will prolong the time taken to settle your car accident claim.
One of the major determinants of time taken to settle a car accident lawsuit is the defendant’s insurance company. The insurance company’s global policies on personal injury claims will have a dramatic impact on the time taken to compensate you. For example, some insurance companies use a very conservative policy in offering settlements, in which they will force your personal injury attorney to pursue your case through litigation and sometimes trial.
This strategy sometimes works for some insurance companies, as certain Plaintiff personal injury attorneys are hesitant to proceed to litigation or trial because they dislike the work and public speaking necessary for trial. These attorneys will recommend that their clients settle their case for less because they do not want to go to trial. In these cases, the insurance company is sometimes able to get away with paying a low settlement amount by pushing the injured party’s attorney toward trial.
Other insurance companies are more reasonable, where they may offer a fair settlement before a lawsuit is even filed with the court. These insurance companies want to avoid the cost of litigation and trial, and they save money by offering a reasonable amount to the victim in the beginning instead of paying for their own lawyers.
While many car accident lawyers settle their cases out of court without going to trial, they may have important reasons why your case is not settling as quickly as you would like it to. For example, you may still be going through treatment, and your lawyer will want you to fully complete treatment so that he/she can know the full medical bills to claim for your case. Alternatively, they may be overwhelmed with other work at their office and neglect your case, which is not an acceptable excuse. Hiring an incompetent car accident lawyer can delay your case until the last possible moment. This is why you are advised to vouch for lawyers with a proven track record, as they are aware of the processes involved in such cases, and they will effectively communicate to you how long they predict your case will take, and what are your largest roadblocks.
If you believe you have a car accident claim that you would like help with, please reach out to our qualified attorneys for a free consultation.