An accident is one of the worst-case scenarios that can happen as you drive. If you are hurt in a car accident that was not your fault, you have the right to file for a personal injury claim to get compensated for your damages.
If you were responsible for the crash in a fault state, you will be liable, and getting Attorney Billy Johnson as your defense lawyer will be crucial. Many car accident victims wonder how long it will take for their car accident claim to be settled.
The truth is, it might take anywhere between three months and a year.
Factors That Affect How Fast Your Car Accident Claim Will Be Settled:
The following factors contribute to how long your car accident claim will be settled:
- The Process of Obtaining the Settlement Itself
Seeking compensation from your insurer after an accident may not be that simple. To obtain your monetary claim, you may need to:
- Gather witness statements
- Exchange insurance information with the other driver involved
- Research a reputable car accident law firm to hire and sign an agreement with them
- Negotiate with the insurance company
- Document your medical damages and other damages of which you seek compensation.
- Proving Liability
If another driver’s negligence led to your accident and subsequent injury, he or she is liable for damages. Proving this liability is often difficult or there might be a disagreement about who actually caused the accident. If there is an argument or you cannot adequately prove the other driver was liable, it will take a while for the claims process and the insurance company to release funds.
- The Extent Of Your Injuries
The funds your insurance company will release will also cater to the cost of your medical bills. This means that if you have major injuries that will require an extended stay at the hospital, it will take a long time to determine the full extent of medical damages.
It will also take a while for your doctors to determine how long it will take for you to fully recover and how extensive your treatment will be.
Your lawyer will need information about the extent of your injury to account for all the damages in your claim. Again, if you have less specific injuries such as generalized pain, whiplash, or soft tissue injuries, the insurance company will require more information because such injuries are used in fraudulent claims.
- Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI)
MMI is a point in your treatment where your condition has improved as fully as it was expected to, even if your doctor requires additional treatment. Before settling your case, you are advised to wait until you have reached MMI.
This way, your lawyer will be able to calculate the value of your damages accurately. Waiting to settle before you reach MMI will mean losing out on any additional losses you could face due to your accident in the near future.
- Insurance Company Response Time
Insurance companies are known to take a while to respond to a claim, which is frustrating and will make your injury case take longer.
There could be some delay on the part of an insurance company in the hope that you will give up and drop the case. Others will take a while to investigate every aspect of the injury to determine fine details about liability and damages.
- Problems with Determining Damages
Your doctor might have trouble determining whether your injuries were due to negligence or an accident. In this case, the insurance company will use this uncertainty as grounds to deny compensation. You will need to find a doctor that can testify that your injuries were caused by the other driver’s negligence, which will again take time.
When Does Filing A Lawsuit Become Necessary?
Once your insurance company has accepted your claim and made you an offer or denied it, you must decide how to proceed. You may:
- Accept the company’s offer
- Appeal the denial of your claim
- Reject the offer and negotiate for higher payment
- Reject the offer and file a civil suit for compensation
To determine the best way to proceed, you are highly advised to seek the advice of a qualified car accident lawyer. They will evaluate your case, the evidence available, and help you weigh the cons and pros of every option.
Accepting the company’s offer is arguably the fastest and least hassling option. However, it may not be worth it if the company puts forward an amount that is too low to cover your damages. Negotiating the amount will take longer, and going to court will take even longer.
What Damages Should I Include In My Claim?
- The cost of medical treatment, physical therapy, and rehabilitation
- Injuries such as disfigurement, loss of limb use, amputation, or loss of quality of life
- Property damage in case your car is totaled, which can be the cost to repair the car or its entire value
- Lost wages due to time spent in the hospital or time recovering at home, or inability to ever go back to work
- Other expenses, such as home modification to cater to impaired mobility
- Non-economic claims such as pain and suffering due to the impact of the accident, loss of consortium due to losing a spouse, or punitive damages to the other driver who caused the accident.
If you and your insurer agree on an amount, you will get your check-in four to six weeks. In this case, you will sign a release form that will settle the claim officially and states that you are giving up your right to sue the driver or any other party that caused the accident.
The company will send the check to your lawyer, who after deducting their fees, will send you the balance as a check.