The most common insurance claims are for car accidents. After being hurt in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, you have the right to file an injury claim to compensate for your damages. Most accident victims always wonder how long will it take for a car accident claim to settle. The answer is that it can take anywhere between few months to several years for you to receive settlement.
Settlement Without Litigation
If a case is settled outside court without filing a lawsuit, it usually can be settled within a few weeks. It typically occurs when it is clear who is at-fault and the party responsible is willing to settle. In these cases, usually limited damages have occurred and negotiations are completed within a short period.
Settlement After Litigation
If settlement is not possible, a lawsuit may be filed to determine liability and claim for compensation. The amount of time this may take depends on several factors. Every lawsuit begins with a complaint, which can be in the form of a written document or a petition. Once the defendant has been served with a copy of the petition, the defendant can file a written answer.
Once these documents are filed in court, both parties must share the evidence they intend to bring to the trial. Each side performs depositions or makes formal requests of documents. If both the plaintiff the defendant provides a clear picture of the liability then settlement can occur in this case.
If the settlement does not occur then the case moves to the next step and a trail occurs. Trials are decided by a jury and both sides are provided with the opportunity to present their evidence. The jury evaluates the evidence before making a decision. At the end of the trail, a settlement can be offered. But often defendants refuse to pay the settlement and file for an appeal. In such cases, the settlement can take longer than completion of trial.
Factors Affecting the Settlement Timeline
If you are pursuing compensation for minor medical expenses, a settlement may be resolved fast. However, if you are seeking compensation for a life-long disability it could take much longer to settle your case. Some common factors that can influence the time taken to claim settlement include
- Multiple factors involved in the accident causing issues with proving liability
- The extent of injuries incurred by the victims
- The quality and quantity of evidence present on the case
- The efficiency of insurance company to respond to claims
- Court case and proceedings
How can a Professional Car Accident Lawyer help you?
An excellent personal injury attorney has experience in car accident cases, trials and out of court settlements. They can help you understand the steps in the settlement claims procedure and guide you to receive the maximum settlement at the earliest possible time. An experienced car accident lawyer has expertise on when to settle and when to go for trial. A professional lawyer will keep you informed on every step of the procedure and fight for your settlement.