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When Can I Expect to Resolve My Car Crash Case?

If you are like many car accident victims, you want to know how long it will take to settle your claim with the negligent driver’s insurance company. This is understandable. You need the settlement proceeds to pay your expensive medical bills and to replace the wages you are losing while you are recovering from your injuries. Unfortunately, no two cases are alike, and your individual situation will play a part in determining how long the settlement process may take. However, understanding the factors that can influence how quickly a settlement can be reached can help to relieve your worries if your case does not get resolved as quickly as you would like.

Reasons it Could Be a Long Time Before You Settle Your Case

If your injuries and property damages are relatively minor, you may be able to settle your case within the weeks or months after your accident. The insurance adjuster may try to get you to do this even if your injuries are serious. Factors that could influence the length of your settlement process include:

  • Nature and severity of injuries. One main argument in car accident cases is the severity of the victim’s injuries. If the insurance company does not believe that you really are as injured as you claim—especially if the accident was minor, you suffered a soft tissue injury, or you had a preexisting injury to the same area injured in the crash—it may be reluctant to settle your case.
  • Treatment is not complete. Some injuries, like traumatic brain injuries, spinal injuries, back injuries, and internal bleeding, can take weeks or longer for symptoms to develop. In addition, your medical treatment could take a year or longer to be completed or for the doctor to provide you with a final diagnosis. You need to be certain that you know how you were really injured, what long-term treatments may be required, and what your final prognosis is before settling your case. An experienced car accident attorney will want to wait until you have this information before settling your case—allowing you to receive the highest amount of compensation available.
  • Insurance company. The type and size of the insurance company for the negligent driver could affect how long it takes to settle your case. Some larger carriers are more conservative in settling claims and often offer lower settlements. Many insurance companies have a team of attorneys they regularly use to defend claims. This can make it more challenging—if not impossible—for your attorney to settle your case without filing a lawsuit.
  • Liability issues. If there are issues as to who caused the accident or whether your own negligence contributed to the crash, it will take your attorney longer to settle your case. The insurance adjuster could point the finger at you—even if it is obvious the other driver was completely at fault. Your attorney may need to take additional steps—such as taking the deposition of the negligent driver—before he can convince the insurance adjuster he is wrong.

The bottom line is that you do not want to let impatience make you settle for less than you deserve. If you or a family member were injured in an accident caused by another driver, start an online chat or call us at 888-733-2992 to schedule a free consultation to learn how we may be able to help.


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