Written on Nov 29, 2016 9:31:16 AM
How Long Does it Take to Get a Car Accident Settlement?
Topics: auto accident
A very common question for auto accident victims who have been injured by the negligence of another goes something like, “how long does it take to get a car accident settlement? What’s the proper amount of time for such a thing?”
It’s a perfectly understandable concern. After all, being the victim of another driver’s negligence doesn’t stop the bills from coming due—you still need food and shelter, and possibly even pay enormous hospital bills.
The trouble is that this can be a very difficult question to answer.
Why Auto Accident Settlements May Take a While
There are a number of factors that can affect how long car accident settlements take, including:
Your Ongoing Medical Treatment
In many cases, a settlement will be made based on an estimate of your current and projected medical costs.
The trouble is that a projection of your medical costs may fall well short of your actual costs—which is why many auto accident attorneys might try to recommend that you wait until your treatment is complete before reaching a settlement.
Depending on the extent of your injuries, this could take many weeks or months. Also, your adherence to any treatment regimen recommended by your doctor may be a factor in your car accident case.
Your Insurance Company
We all buy auto insurance in Florida to provide protection against medical and vehicular repair (and because it’s Florida state law).
However, the important thing to remember is that the insurer is in the business of making money—something they cannot do if they pay out your car accident claim blindly.
Different insurance companies may have different policies in place regarding the payment of car accident claims, which can affect how quickly your claim is paid.
Evidence of Your Damages from the Accident
When negotiating a settlement for an auto accident, the strength of the evidence you’ve collected regarding the damages you’ve suffered can have an enormous impact on the speed with which you reach a settlement.
Stronger evidence of the other party’s neglect and of your injuries arising from the accident can mean a faster settlement and resolution.
However, it’s important to note that even ironclad evidence doesn’t guarantee a fast settlement, because of:
The Other Party
If you’re pursuing a personal injury claim against the other driver, they may or may not want to push for a jury trial regardless of the evidence.
Also, just because the other party offers a settlement doesn’t mean it will be a good offer.
You may be presented with a settlement that barely covers a fraction of your damages, and have to enter a long negotiation process or take the case to trial.
Because of the above factors, a car accident settlement might take as little as a few weeks to process paperwork, or over a year.
Car Accident Settlement FAQs
1. What is a car accident settlement?
A car accident settlement is an agreement between two parties - the victim (plaintiff) and the at-fault party (defendant) - to resolve a dispute related to a car accident without going to trial. This agreement usually involves the defendant compensating the plaintiff for damages incurred as a result of the accident.
2. What types of damages can be included in a car accident settlement?
The most common types of damages that can be included in a car accident settlement are medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. However, the specific damages that can be claimed may vary depending on the circumstances of the accident and the laws in the jurisdiction where the accident occurred.
3. How is the settlement amount determined?
The settlement amount is usually determined through negotiations between the plaintiff and defendant, or their respective insurance companies. The amount may be based on factors such as the extent of damages, liability, and potential for future expenses. It is important to note that a settlement amount should be fair and just for both parties involved.
4. Do I need a lawyer to settle my car accident claim?
While hiring a lawyer is not required to settle a car accident claim, it is highly recommended. A lawyer can provide valuable guidance and representation throughout the settlement process, ensuring that your rights are protected and that you receive fair compensation for your damages.
5. How long does it take to settle a car accident claim?
The timeline for settling a car accident claim can vary depending on the complexity of the case. In some cases, a settlement can be reached within a few weeks or months, while in others it may take longer, especially if the case goes to trial. It is important to have realistic expectations and to work closely with your lawyer during this process.
How An Auto Accident Lawyer Can Help
This is where having an experienced auto accident attorney on hand can help. By reviewing the particulars of your case and helping you organize your evidence and working with the insurance company, a Florida car accident lawyer can help you be better prepared for the battle ahead.
At Lowman Law Firm, we're here to help you settle a car accident with the compensation you deserve for your injuries and medical expenses. Get a free car accident case evaluation today. We serve the Brooksville, Spring Hill, and Dade City areas.