Are you wondering, “when do I get my car accident settlement?” A car accident settlement can take weeks or months to resolve.
The process depends on a variety of factors, such as the nature of your injuries and the extent of the property damage. Plus, insurance companies may fail to respond to inquiries promptly. Therefore, hire a lawyer who can speed along the process.
This article will highlight car accident settlement information in greater detail. Let’s explore.
Damage includes personal injuries and property damage. Serious damage and injures may come with longer delays.
- Example: If you sustained a lifelong injury (i.e. paralysis or brain damage), you’re facing extensive delays during the negotiation process. In some cases, you may not receive a settlement at all. Since dire injuries and property damage are costly, insurance companies will fight harder to minimize payments.
Even if you suffer a few injuries, you could still face a lengthy process.
- Example: Your car was totaled, and you sustained a broken arm. The insurance company could cover your medical bills without delay. However, reps could wrangle over the value of the car.
Additionally, insurance carriers will scrutinize your injuries heavily, especially if you have long-term injuries that require ongoing care. Reps may also ask for medical documentation. Insurance companies examine injuries closely to either minimize or reject your claim.
Don’t assume your insurance company is on your side. They will also assess your injuries and find ways to save money.
When it comes to medical claims, you may need to file a claim with your insurance company, especially if the other driver doesn’t have insurance.
Carriers may even question the severity of your injuries. The same scrutiny applies to property damage.
Expect routine delays from the other driver and his or her insurance company. In many cases, insurance carriers intentionally prolong the process, hoping you’ll give up the case. With that, many states impose deadlines that force insurance companies to respond.
- Example: States may give insurance companies 15 days to acknowledge your claim. Other states may provide a 10-day window where insurance providers will notify their intent to accept your claim.
When it comes to repairs, insurance reps will itemize each repair cost. They may even argue with the mechanic over the repair costs, delaying the process further.
Also, they may insist on bringing the car to an approved mechanic. Insurance companies tend to choose certain shops because the mechanics will cut corners. Cheap repairs can damage your car in the long-term.
Therefore, insist on taking the vehicle to a shop of your choosing. If insurance carriers refuse to relent, involve an attorney. Fighting over the right mechanic can extend the process, but it’s worth the delay.
Plus, the mechanic who fixes your car must correspond with the insurance company regularly. Insurance reps may fail to respond to mechanics promptly. In some cases, response times could be a week or longer.
Despite the complexities, it can take 1 or 2 weeks to settle auto repair issues. In more extreme cases, the process could take weeks or longer.
The Lawsuit Process
If negotiations fail, you can take the matter to court. Another option is to reject the first offer and file a lawsuit. For civil trials, the process can take anywhere from a few months to a few years. Civil trials consist of the following steps:
- Pleading: As the plaintiff, you submit your complaint to the court. The defendant must respond accordingly.
- Discovery: The period in which all sides investigate the details. This phase entails gathering evidence and obtaining answers from the other side.
- Pre-Trial: This is a court hearing between the plaintiff and the defendant, including their attorneys. A judge will preside over the hearing. This phase will resolve lingering disputes, or the other side may offer a settlement.
- Trial: The trial phase lasts anywhere between 3 to 10 days.
- Post-Trial: If you win your award, you’ll wait for the defendant to send you a check. Your attorney can ensure you receive your settlement money sooner rather than later. However, prepare for additional delays if you or the defendant appeal the verdict.
Overall, the appeals process can take between 3 to 5 months.
An insurance adjuster may try to close the case as soon as possible. Also, an insurance carrier can offer a quick payout. Don’t be fooled.
In many cases, insurance adjusters close car accident claims before victims realize the full extent of their injuries. Further, they may attempt to hasten the process before you contact an attorney.
Additionally, insurance reps offer quick payouts to close cases faster. Many victims think the first offer is satisfactory and accept the offer. More than likely, insurance companies offer fast payouts because they know the true value of your settlement.
If insurance companies offer a quick settlement, contact an attorney. An attorney can tell you if the amount offered is acceptable. If it’s not, reject the offer.
- Note: An adjuster may pressure you to accept an offer. They could claim the first offer is the only offer. However, you have the right to reject settlements and negotiate.
If you reject the offer, your lawyer will negotiate on your behalf. Even though the negotiation process can take weeks or months, you can receive more money in the long-term.
How Can I Win an Accident Settlement Case?
To increase your odds of winning an accident settlement, contact an attorney immediately. The settlement process involves many hurdles that can delay your case by weeks or months.
Insurance reps are also trained to use various tactics against you, resulting in a case dismissal. However, attorneys can counter underhanded tactics from insurance companies and adjusters.
Attorneys can also streamline the process and make sure you receive your settlement quickly.
Want to learn more? Click here to learn what you should do after a car accident.