How Long Does a Car Accident Settlement Take?

November 30 2023 | Auto Accidents
  • How Long Does A Car Accident Settlement Take

    As a personal injury law firm, the Hughes & Coleman team is consistently asked about the timeline of personal injury cases. We’re often asked how long a car accident case will take to settle, meaning how long it will take to get the victim their money. While this question is at the forefront of many of our clients’ minds, the answer is anything but clear-cut. The truth is, the timeline for resolving a car accident case can vary significantly and hinges on several factors unique to each car wreck. Determining how long it will take to settle a car accident case depends on many different variables, which an experienced car accident lawyer can help you navigate. In this blog, we’ll discuss how certain aspects of a case can either shorten or prolong a case’s timeline, how going to trial can affect the length of the case, and why cases may not settle immediately.

     

    Factors in a Car Accident Timeline

    Before discussing the potential timeline of a car accident settlement, it’s crucial to understand the various elements that can impact when a case can be settled. These factors can range from the complexity of the case to the severity of injuries sustained. The following are some common variables that can either expedite or prolong the steps in a personal injury lawsuit.

    Severity of Injuries: The extent of injuries sustained in a car accident plays a pivotal role in determining the timeline for settlement. Cases involving severe injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries or spinal cord damage, will often take longer to settle than cases that involve short-term injuries, such as sprains or strains.

    Medical Treatment Duration: Those who have been hurt in a wreck will want to finalize treatment before settling their claim. That’s because, once your claim settles, you will not be able to go back and obtain further compensation if you need additional medical care in the future. For individuals who are severely injured, the road to recovery may take months or even years. Those who must undergo multiple surgeries or rehabilitation will likely face a longer timeline to settle their case than someone who only needs a few weeks of physical therapy. Waiting until you’ve completed medical treatment may add to the overall timeline, but the documentation from this process will only strengthen your case and help ensure you’re compensated for all your injuries.

    Insurance Company Cooperation: The responsiveness and cooperation of the insurance companies involved can also impact the settlement timeline. Insurance adjusters know that many injured victims are in difficult financial situations. They may be unable to work, struggling to put food on the table, provide for their family, or pay their bills. Some insurance companies will exploit this vulnerability and delay their process to coerce injured parties into taking less than they deserve. An experienced Kentucky personal injury lawyer or Tennessee personal injury lawyer knows the obligations and timelines insurance companies must follow. Our team will do what it takes to accelerate matters with the insurance company. If we find that they have failed in their duties or are causing unnecessary delays, we may file a bad faith insurance claim against them.

    Disputed Liability: Cases where liability is disputed can lead to prolonged settlement negotiations. If there are any questions or doubts about who is at fault for the collision, further investigation and documentation may be necessary in order to reach a settlement.

    Negotiation Process: The negotiation process itself can contribute to the timeline. Quick settlements may occur when both parties are willing to reach a compromise. However, multiple rounds of negotiations, offers, and counteroffers can extend the process. The negotiation process will determine if your case needs to go to mediation and, ultimately, if your attorney will recommend taking your case to trial.

     

    Car Accident Trials and Their Impact on Timelines

    In many cases, an agreeable settlement can be reached before ever going to trial. Our attorneys at Hughes & Coleman Injury Lawyers are skilled at obtaining maximum compensation and knowing when to settle a car accident injury claim. However, there are instances where going to trial becomes unavoidable. When other parties involved don’t cooperate or are unwilling to provide our clients with what they deserve, our team will begin exploring litigation. The decision to go to trial introduces a new set of timelines into the equation.

    When a case must go to trial, the injured party (plaintiff) must file a complaint against the at-fault party (defendant). This document will include the details of the case as well as the parties involved, and it will initiate the trial procedure.

    Once documents have been filed, the discovery phase can begin. This will involve obtaining records, documents, and depositions. Depositions are sworn statements you or others provide regarding the accident. After discovery, pre-trial motions can be filed. This allows the court to rule on certain matters before the trial begins.

    Following pre-trial motions, a jury is selected. If the parties still have not come to a favorable outcome by this point, a trial date will be assigned, and the trial will be held. This process may take a few days to several weeks, depending on the case and the amount of evidence submitted.

    The timeline between the initial car crash and the point of going to trial is typically a lengthy process. While many clients are wary of the extended timeline a jury trial brings, going to court is sometimes necessary to obtain the best outcome for our clients. If the insurance company is uncooperative and refuses to offer a fair settlement, taking the case to trial is often the best choice to obtain what our client is rightfully owed. While settling early may seem tempting to those who want to avoid taking their case to court, this may leave money on the table and insufficient funds to cover medical expenses. Our team carefully weighs the pros and cons of proceeding to trial and will work with you to determine if this course will be necessary to get the most compensation possible.

     

    An Auto Accident Victim’s Role

    Injured victims can take steps to help them navigate the legal landscape more efficiently and potentially expedite the settlement process. If you’ve been hurt due to someone else’s negligence in a car wreck, here are a few tips:

    Seek Medical Attention: Prompt medical attention after a car accident is crucial for your health and the legal process. Documenting injuries and following through with prescribed treatment demonstrates the seriousness of your case. Additionally, documentation obtained in your medical records will be used to argue your settlement. The sooner you begin treating your injuries, the sooner you will begin healing and the closer you will be to closing your personal injury case.

    Obtain Documentation: Keeping detailed records of medical treatments, expenses, and any other relevant information will strengthen your case. This documentation is invaluable during negotiations and can expedite the settlement process.

    Maintain Communication: Staying in touch with your attorney and your legal team, promptly responding to requests for information or documentation, and notifying them of any changes to your contact information can prevent unnecessary delays. Timely communication ensures that your legal team has the necessary tools to advocate effectively on your behalf.

     

    How Long Does It Take to Settle a Car Wreck Claim?

    So, just how long will it take for your car accident injury claim to settle? It depends. While this answer is vague and somewhat disappointing for those seeking an easy answer, the potential timeline for an injury claim can vary widely depending on many different factors. Like our clients, each case is unique. Our legal professionals can evaluate your case and help determine an approximate timeline based on your specific situation.

     

    How to settle a car accident claim with Hughes & Coleman

    Hiring a personal injury attorney who handles car accident cases can help you settle your claim in a timely manner and obtain maximum compensation. The legal team at Hughes & Coleman understands that our clients want to get to the end of their case as quickly as possible. While some cases may only take a few months to settle, others can take much longer. However, cases with extended timelines are often due to necessary medical treatment, the case’s complexity, or extensive negotiation. Handling a serious injury claim and negotiating with the insurance company on your own can create delays in your case or cause you to lose out on the money you deserve. That’s why getting an attorney on your side as quickly as possible is so important. In each state, a victim will only have a set period of time to file a claim. If you do not file within this time period, it may be too late to hire a car accident injury lawyer, and you can lose the ability to pursue the compensation you deserve, so don’t wait.

    The legal professionals at Hughes & Coleman have decades of experience obtaining maximum compensation without the need to take a case to trial. However, if we don’t believe you’re getting a fair offer, our litigation team is willing to go to court and fight on your behalf to get every penny you deserve. Our legal professionals will take every aspect of your case into consideration when determining whether a trial is necessary. We’ll guide you through each option and stand by you every step of the way. If you’ve been hurt in a car crash, Get Hughes & Coleman and Get It Done.

     

    Call us today at 800-800-4600 for a free consultation.

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