In my experience as a car accident lawyer, clients generally ask me the same questions. What is my personal injury case worth? How much can someone sue for in a car accident? What do personal injury attorneys charge for their services? These are all great questions. Another common question I receive is: How long does it take to get a car accident settlement?
We will take a close look at this question in this post!
The amount of time it takes to get a car accident settlement can vary greatly depending on a number of factors. The complexity of the case, the insurance company’s response, the willingness of the parties to reach a settlement, and the amount of time needed to properly investigate and prepare the case all play a role in determining the duration of the settlement process.
In some cases, a settlement can be reached relatively quickly, with the parties agreeing to terms within a few weeks or months of the accident. This may be the case when liability is clear, the damages are not in dispute, and there is a willingness on the parties to negotiate. Additionally, in cases where the negligent driver has low insurance limits (e.g., $10,000 bodily injury limits) and the damages are significant, the negligent driver’s insurance company may seek to quickly settle the car accident case.
However, in more complex cases, the settlement process can take much longer. Generally speaking, large, complex personal injury cases will require a lawsuit as insurance companies tend to fight harder on bigger personal injury cases. The discovery phase of the lawsuits can take over a year or longer, as both sides gather evidence, depose witnesses and experts, and build their case. This process may involve obtaining and reviewing police reports, medical records, and other documents that are essential to establish fault and the extent of injuries and damages.
After the investigation and discovery phase, settlement negotiations may take place between the parties. If a settlement offer is made, the other party has the right to review, analyze and consider the offer. The negotiation process can take from a few weeks to several months, depending on the parties’ willingness to negotiate and reach an agreement. Additionally, at some point during the case the parties will be required to attend mediation.
If the parties are unable to reach a settlement, the case may go to trial. The time frame for this process may depend on the court’s schedule and the amount of time needed for the preparation and presentation of the case. This can add several months, and sometimes even years to the process, as the trial date may be scheduled months (or longer) in advance.
It’s worth noting that it’s difficult to give an accurate estimate of how long it will take to settle a car accident case, as each case is unique. Factors such as the severity of the injuries, the complexity of the legal issues, and the insurance company’s response can all influence the length of the settlement process.
However, a good rule of thumb is that simpler cases with clear liability and minimal injuries can be resolved faster than more complex cases with multiple parties, disputed liability, and significant injuries.
It’s important to work with a qualified attorney who can advise you on the realistic time frame for your case and help you navigate the legal process. An experienced attorney will be able to help you understand the settlement process and the factors that can influence the duration of the case.
If you have been involved in a car accident, call us today at (561) 246-4137. It would be our privilege to represent you!