If you were injured in a car accident, you could be anxious to settle your case because you need the money to pay your medical bills and other living expenses while you are off work healing without a paycheck. You may wonder how long it will be to resolve your claim with the negligent driver’s insurance company. That’s a common question for most car accident victims. Unfortunately, there is no black and white answer. The circumstances of every case are different and in many cases, settling quickly may not be in your best interest. It could mean that you are receiving less than what you are really entitled to.
Factors That Can Influence How Long It Takes to Settle Your Case
Some cases do settle quickly. If there was little property damage to your vehicle and your injuries are not very serious, you may be able to come to an agreement with the insurance adjuster quickly. Other times, the adjuster could try to take advantage of you and try to get you to settle for less than you are entitled to—especially if you do not have an experienced attorney representing you. Do not make this mistake.
Sometimes the insurance company will refuse to settle, and you may have to file a lawsuit against the negligent driver. Reasons your case could take longer to resolve include:
- Information gathering. Your attorney will need to gather all the important evidence, such as police reports, medical records, medical bills, vehicle repair bills, receipts, and photographs, in order to determine the cause of the crash to obtain a favorable settlement. It can take time to obtain these official documents. In addition, your attorney may not be able to obtain all the information he needs until he can take the negligent driver’s deposition and compel the insurance company to release certain documents.
- Ongoing medical treatment. If you are still receiving medical treatment, you and your doctor may not know the full extent of your treatment or your prognosis. It can be best to wait until this is known to be certain that you are fully compensated for all of your medical expenses and your lost wages. Cases involving long-term injuries often take much longer to complete, but ultimately you could receive more compensation.
- Serious injuries. In cases where your injuries are severe and the settlement amount will be higher, the insurance company may be more likely to argue about the extent of your injuries. The adjuster could also be unwilling to settle your case until he thoroughly investigates whether there is a defense to your claim and your credibility as a witness.
- Liability issues. Cases where liability is at issue can take longer to resolve. If there was a multi-vehicle accident, a car defect that contributed to your injuries, or you may have been partially at fault in causing the crash, these issues can complicate your case and drag it out.
Let Our Experienced Attorneys Obtain the Best Settlement for You
If you receive an offer from an insurance adjuster, you do not want to accept it without consulting with an experienced car accident attorney. It is most likely less than you are entitled to and an attempt by the adjuster to take advantage of your desire to settle the case quickly. Our car accident attorneys have extensive experience negotiating settlements for victims and are here to help. Call us at 866-299-0558 to schedule a free consultation.