How Long Do Car Accidents Take to Settle?
The amount of time it will take to settle your car accident claim will depend on certain factors specific to your situation. For this reason, it is recommended that you speak to a personal injury attorney specializing in car accidents to find out how long it has taken them to settle cases similar to yours.
During your consultation, you can ask how successful they have been in those cases in getting the outcome their clients wanted. Newark car accident lawyers Goldstein & Goldstein, LLP suggest setting up a free case evaluation with an attorney so that you can learn more about your rights and what damages you are entitled to.
Factors That Affect the Time it Takes to Settle
Each car accident case is different. It’s easier to establish fault in some cases than in others. If it is clear who is at fault, if the at-fault driver’s insurance policy includes coverage for all the damages and no one has suffered serious injuries, a settlement check could be cut within a month or two. However, if there are serious injuries and high medical expenses, the insurance company will fight to lower the settlement to save themselves money, taking up more time. If the accident totalled a brand new luxury vehicle, for example, then that will take longer to settle than if the damaged vehicle was older and less expensive. They can also drag out the process when it is unclear who the liable party is.
Your case starts with your initial consultation, which is an opportunity for you to explain what happened and to find out what it will be like as a client of that firm. You should bring as many documents to your initial consultation as you can, including:
- Your medical bills
- The police report
- The bill from the auto shop
- Proof of time missed from work
- Your medical records explaining your injuries
Your attorney will send a demand letter to the opposing party explaining the amount that you are asking for and will outline the reasons why they are at fault. The insurance company may not be cooperative and will try to minimize how much they will pay out. Their client, the other driver, may insist that they are not at fault, so both parties will need to enter negotiations. Your attorney will investigate your claim by reviewing photographic evidence from the scene of the accident, eyewitness testimony, and testimony from expert witnesses, who are authority figures in certain fields, such as medicine, and whose expertise can shed light on different aspects of the case.
Why You Need A Car Accident Attorney
The best way to know how long your car accident case will take to settle is to talk to an attorney who has successfully settled cases similar to yours. If there were minor injuries or no injuries, you could see a settlement check within a few weeks or one to two months. However, if both parties cannot agree on liability or a settlement amount, or if the case goes to trial, you may not see your settlement check for years. You have two years from when the accident occurred to file your claim, but don’t wait. Talk to an attorney today.