Car accidents remain extremely common in the United States and many of these incidents typically result in costly lawsuits or settlements. When both parties involved in an automobile accident decide to settle, several questions arise. One such question is “how long will a settlement take?” The reality is that the duration of a car accident settlement generally depends on multiple factors.
Factors That Impact The Length Of A Car Accident Settlement
According to legal encyclopedia Nolo, studies reveal that approximately 95% of car accident lawsuits reach a settlement before trial. Claims associated with car accidents may be settled in as little as a few months or as long as several years. However, there are many factors that influence the length of the ensuing settlement. Below is a closer look at five of these factors.
Severity Of All Parties’ Injuries
Depending on the severity of the physical injuries sustained by all parties involved in the accident, your settlement may take from a few months to more than a year. If you and the other driver (or drivers) only suffered minor bruises, the settlement will be short and the total sum of money involved in the case will be relatively small. If you or anyone else experienced whiplash, a serious back or neck injury, or any other type of severe pain, the settlement will likely take longer. The scale of all damages sustained by each vehicle involved in the accident may also impact the length of negotiations.
Number Of Parties Involved
In addition to the severity of injuries, the number of drivers involved in the accident can also impact the length of your settlement. For example, an accident involving four drivers will typically entail more collection of evidence than one involving only two motorists.
Cooperation Of Your Insurance Company
The longer your insurance company takes to respond to your claims and questions about the accident, the longer you can expect the settlement to take. Depending on the state’s laws, insurers typically have between 30 and 45 days to accept or deny a claim. Be sure to verify that your insurance company is not attempting to minimize your injuries if they are severe, or to incorrectly blame you for them. In the event that the claim is rejected, your case may take longer to close given that court cases can also have varying lengths.
Accident Investigation & Data Development
Not all investigations of car accidents take the same amount of time. The duration of a probe often depends on factors such as the number of parties involved and the specific circumstances of the case (day and time of the accident, road and weather conditions, etc.). An experienced personal injury attorney who specializes in car accidents can help you by collecting information and statements from all drivers involved in the incident, as well as a copy of the police report. Your lawyer should also verify that all accounts of the accident are consistent.
Court Cases & Proceedings
Court cases may take a significant amount of time to reach a verdict, especially when one party is demanding a large sum of money to cover medical payments. Car accident cases also often involve a mandatory discovery phase. If one of the parties involved is not satisfied with the verdict, they may appeal this decision in a higher court. This would add on to the obligatory discovery period.
It is important to note that if your car accident resulted in severe injuries, a lengthy settlement may be beneficial, as it can help you receive the most out of your claim and may even lead to long-term financial stability for you.
Speak To The Experienced Car Accident Attorneys
Reach out to the experienced personal injury attorneys at Parnall & Adams Law in Albuquerque for more information on the average duration of a car accident settlement. As a career civil litigator and a prior federal prosecutor, we know that each case is unique and thus strive to fully understand every client’s needs and concerns.
The process of arriving at a final settlement following a car accident is often a long and complex one. However, the team at Parnall & Adams will always strive to ensure that you receive justice and fair treatment. We will always consider how both liability and compensation for damages apply to your specific case. We can help you recover economic damages (medical expenses, vehicle or property damage, etc.) as well as non-economic damages (emotional distress, pain and suffering, disfigurement, etc.). As long as you send us all medical bills, records, and a copy of the police report from your accident, we can review your settlement offer within 24 hours of initial contact.