How long does a car accident settlement take?

If you or a loved one has been in a car accident, you probably have many negative consequences as a result.  You could have suffered property damage and may have also been injured.  You might have medical bills and lost days of work and income.  A car accident victim will want compensation for all the damages they had to endure and will file a no-fault insurance claim or even a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party.   Although the actual car accident occurred in a split second, the aftermath and injury or insurance claims will take a while to deal with. 

You Must Seek Compensation If You Have Been a Car Accident Victim

If you have been a victim of a car accident that occurred through no fault of your own, you will want to collect money for your damages.  You may need compensation for your car and property damages, your medical bills, lost wages, and any pain and suffering you endured.   In order to receive compensation, you will need to either file a claim against the at-fault party’s insurance provider or file a personal injury tort lawsuit at your local civil court.  You do not need a lawyer to file a complaint, but it is always advised to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney.  

After filing either of these claims, you will enter a period where both sides will attempt to negotiate a settlement.  In order to achieve a settlement agreement, both parties will need to make compromises and concessions to come to a mutually accepted solution.  The settlement agreement will detail how much liability, fault, and payment the at-fault party will pay to the victim.  Again, it is always wise to have an attorney to represent you in negotiations. 

The Length of Time for Settlement Varies on Each Car Accident Case

If you have been the victim of a car accident and are in the negotiation phase, you may wonder how long a car accident settlement takes.  You may be frustrated that your case is taking longer than expected.  However, how long a car accident settlement takes depends on each case’s unique circumstances.

A recent Martindale-Nolo survey was conducted on American car accident victims and the length it took them to receive a settlement.  The survey indicated that the majority of accident claims were settled out-of-court, and the average time of a claim settled is just under 11 months.  However, there were a wide range of settlement times reported.  The survey also indicated that many claims that were settled quickly were often settled for a low amount.  Oftentimes, people rushed to a settlement in order to end the aggravation of the case.

Certain circumstances can make the settlement process shorter or longer.  Generally, smaller claims for smaller accidents will be easier to resolve.  Claims with substantial property or financial loss might take longer to negotiate.  Additionally, claims where a victim or where multiple victims were severely injured could take longer as there will be a lot of medical evidence for the parties to go through.  Also, cases where people refuse to admit fault can prove difficult and delay settlement discussions.  However, cases tend to go more smoothly when the victim is represented by a personal injury lawyer.  Not only can a lawyer help with all the logistics and paperwork, but they will be able to firmly negotiate with the other side. They will not tolerate any tricks the other party might try to pull.  Without a lawyer, a person can easily get lost and confused in the settlement discussion phase.  

Make Sure Your Settlement is Fair

A settlement is just that –  settling on an amount somewhere between what both parties want.  However, it is important not to rush into an agreement that might not be fully fair to you just because you want the case to be over.  It is important to remember that any initial settlement offer will be a very low amount.  Although it is easy to lose patience, taking the time to negotiate the claim can help reward you with a better payout in the end. Click here to learn more about car accident settlements.  

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