When a victim suffers injuries and property damage as a result of a car accident, they may file a personal injury claim. The settlement, or in other words, the agreement reached between the victim and the negligent party or their insurance, happens when the opposing party is asked to pay compensation for the victim’s suffering. This only happens upon negotiation, which often takes from months to years to resolve.
So why do car accident settlements take so long?
To answer this question, we must first look at why settlements are the go-to solution to most auto accident cases.
Importance Of Getting A Settlement
Most car accident cases lead to car accident injury settlements. Do not get this mixed up with court verdicts. While involved parties can reach a settlement either before or even during a court case, it is always important for the injured party to obtain a fair settlement.
After the accident, the victim will often sustain injuries that require long treatments. Additionally, they may lose the ability to work due to their condition. Settlements give the victim tranquility, helping them to recover. They also give them a chance to go back to their lives. A professional and seasoned attorney will always work to maximize the victim’s compensation so that they receive what they’re rightfully owed. In order to fight for justice, however, an attorney might meet many hurdles on their way. These hurdles might prolong the settlement process.
Common Reasons Why Car Accident Settlements Take So Long
There can be a variety of reasons why a particular vehicle accident settlement is taking long to conclude. They include seemingly dragging negotiations with insurance companies, additional accident investigation, or reaching what is known as Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI), or the fullest reasonably expected recovery the victim can obtain regardless of what treatment they might receive in the future. Furthermore, there are several factors that can affect the overall length of a car accident settlement that go beyond this. They include:
The gravity of the injuries sustained in the crash.
While most medical expenses are often included in the settlement demand, it is oftentimes difficult to determine the exact amount, especially if lifelong treatment is required.
How many individuals and parties were involved in the collision.
If your car accident involved more than two parties, this might delay the settlement process as your attorney will have to negotiate with different parties and their legal representatives.
Availability of evidence that supports the claim.
Many car accident cases are prolonged due to liability issues, prompting the at-fault party to request further information or even reject the evidence at hand. In such cases, your attorney will require more time to provide sufficient evidence.
Legal complexities involved in the case.
Lack of cooperation from the defendant and their attorney as well as legal maneuvers such as denial of any wrongdoing or filing a motion to dismiss might all increase the likelihood your settlement will take longer than anticipated.
Insurance company negotiations.
Settlement negotiations might stall due to uncooperative insurance company representatives for a variety of reasons. A seasoned attorney should be able to navigate these issues as they arise.
In other cases, your case can end up taking longer to conclude due to other legal elements. Legal processes that can slow down car accident settlements include:
Filing a lawsuit.
While most car accident cases are settled outside of the court system, your attorney might find it necessary to file a lawsuit to obtain the compensation you deserve.
In the event your case goes to court, the plaintiff and defendants are given time to obtain as much relevant information as possible, this is known as the discovery process.
Motions and court hearings.
When involved parties file motions such as a motion to dismiss, cases experience unwanted delays.
When an insurance company denies your car insurance claim, you and your attorney can fight by filing an appeal. The insurance company will then review your appeal and the information available. This process can lengthen the settlement process.
Insurance Companies Face Many Challenges While Reviewing A Claim
In the settlement process, the auto insurance company will go over the accident claim so it may evaluate and assess it before completing it. This process might be delayed due to a series of factors. They include investigating the accident, determining fault and liability, evaluating how extensive the damages are, and negotiating with the parties involved.
If the victim of a car accident does not want to rely solely on what the insurance company discovers on its own, finding legal representation can improve the injured party’s chances at being rightly compensated for their damage, wage loss, pain, and suffering.
What’s The Role Of The Attorney In A Car Accident Settlement?
The car accident attorney helps the victim by investigating the accident thoroughly.
Lawyers with years of experience know how to identify potential evidence that the untrained eye can easily miss. Additionally, car accident attorneys have a team working with them, helping them and the victim to gather relevant evidence that strengthens the victim’s personal injury claim.
Car accident attorneys are also acquainted with auto insurance companies’ methods of negotiation. They understand that insurance companies will tend to drag their feet if the settlement demand is large and know how to work around this and other limitations in order to secure their clients what they’re owed.
Additionally, car accident attorneys are also aware that certain cases must go to court. By relying on a seasoned personal injury attorney to represent you, you can rest assured that your case will be properly handled in court.
If I Hire An Attorney, Will My Car Settlement Take Longer?
Most victims of car accident cases contact insurance companies before speaking to an attorney. This might make sense at the time, but as the victim realizes their injuries require medical treatment and the bills begin to pile up, they fear they need help.
While choosing to seek justice and proper compensation will undoubtedly mean that the settlement takes longer, it doesn’t mean that it will not be worth it in the long run.
Many victims often accept settlements quickly from auto insurance only to find out that their injuries worsened over time. Car accident victims benefit from discussing their cases with an attorney before accepting what the insurance has to offer as they are aware of similar situations. They can protect your rights by keeping you from receiving less than what you need to cover your medical bills. This will save you time and money while helping you to keep your peace of mind.
As the attorney works for your rights, you are allowed to put your mind to what matters: recovering and getting back on your feet.
If you are concerned about your car accident case and how you are going to pay for the medical bills that just won’t stop coming, do not hesitate. Contact us by calling us at 1-800-418-8282 for a free case evaluation. Our team is ready 24/7 to help you.