Q How long will it take to settle my auto accident claim for compensation?
When you have to file a claim for compensation following a car accident, you're not alone in wanting to know how long it will take to settle your claim. Many auto crash victims wonder about this because they want to get on with their lives, and need the settlement proceeds to pay for medical care and their monthly expenses.
Unfortunately, there's not a definitive time period for resolving a claim with the negligent driver’s insurance company. However, there are certain factors that can make the process go more quickly—or more slowly.
Factors Influencing How Long Car Wreck Claims Take to Settle
In most cases, accident victims can settle claims quickly if they're willing to accept significantly less than what they're entitled to. However, settling for a reduced amount isn't in your best interest. Even if receiving reimbursement quickly is tempting, resist the urge and let your experienced car accident attorney take the time he or she needs to obtain the best possible settlement for you.
Factors that could influence how long this might take include:
- Severity of your injuries. If your injuries aren't serious and your claim is worth less money, the insurance company may be willing to settle it more quickly. However, if you suffered more long-term or disabling injuries, the insurance adjuster has a duty to investigate your claim more carefully and raise disputes over what's discovered. This could require your attorney to hire an expert witness or obtain additional proof to convince the adjuster that your settlement offer is justified.
- Your medical recovery. You may be surprised to learn that the time it takes for you to recover from the injuries will affect the period to complete your settlement. It's likely that your attorney won't offer to settle your claim until you reach your maximum medical recovery, even if it's not a complete recovery; or you receive a final prognosis. This enables him to include full medical expenses and wage losses in your agreement.
- Documentation. Your attorney needs to obtain documentation of your medical treatment, medical bills, and your wage loss damages. This can take some time, especially when you receive extensive medical treatment from more than one doctor. However, your attorney needs this information to prove the seriousness of your injuries and the amount you're owed before he or she sends a demand package to the insurance company.
- Disputes. Whenever there are disputes about the cause of the wreck or the severity of your injuries, it takes longer to settle your claim. This may result in the need to provide additional information, engage in more extensive negotiations, and file a lawsuit on your behalf.
If you must file a claim for compensation for injuries caused in a car accident, call my office for a free consultation. I can advise you of your rights to compensation, how long it could take to resolve your case, and how I can assist you in obtaining the compensation that you deserve. Call today to schedule your appointment.