How Long Does a Car Accident Claim Take to Settle?

/ / Law Blog
car accident claims

Getting in a car accident is awful on all levels when no one is injured. If there are injuries, then it is even worse. Not only do you have to deal with insurance companies that are challenging enough, but you also need to worry about getting proper medical care. Then, of course, you need to try to find a way to pay for it all – either from the insurance company or the at-fault party – without having a stress-induced nervous breakdown in the process.

In this article, we will try to allay some of that stress by discussing how long it normally takes to settle a car accident claim and discussing what factors come into play when the wait for a car accident claim settlement is particularly long.   

If after reading this blog, you have additional questions about your own circumstances, we welcome you to contact the seasoned car accident claim attorneys at Crary Buchanan. At Crary Buchanan, we are proud of our standard of excellence, which has allowed us to thrive as one of the oldest law firms on Florida’s Treasure Coast.  

Our car accident claim attorneys are passionate about giving you the highest quality representation. Call us today at 772-287-2600, or schedule a free estate planning consult online with our online contact form

How Long Does Settlement Normally Take?

As any lawyer worth his or her salt will tell you, the answer to how long it takes to settle a car accident claim is, as you might expect . . . it depends.  

In the bulk of cases, a car accident claim takes between a few months to a few years to settle. We know that is a pretty broad range, so the better way to conceptualize the settlement process is to look at the factors that impact how long a car accident claim will take.  

Those factors are as follows:

1. How easy it is to establish liability;
2. The seriousness of your injuries;
3. How easy it is to prove damages;
4. The insurance company’s responsiveness;
5. The amount of a possible settlement; and
6. Whether you have an experienced car accident claim attorney assisting you.

Let’s take a look at all of these factors.

1. Establishing Liability

Many car accidents result in each driver blaming the other. If the other driver was negligent, then he or she should pay for your damages and injuries, but most drivers try to remain blameless even when they are truly the at-fault party.  

Thus, the first hurdle to getting a settlement at all is in proving that the other driver was at fault, and therefore liable for your damages.

2. The seriousness of Your Injuries

The more serious your injuries, the more you will be in need of a substantial settlement. Yet, if you have serious injuries, it might take longer for you to recover, and for your doctor to give a reasonable estimate as to your total cost of medical expenses.  

A good rule of thumb is that you should wait until you have reached “maximum medical improvement” (MMI) before you settle a car accident claim. That is because it is not until you reach MMI that you will truly know what your medical bills will be in the present and for future treatment. 

In addition, if you have soft-tissue injuries – like whiplash, which is harder to objectively verify – your car accident claim will likely be held up because the insurance company will want additional information before providing compensation for a soft-tissue injury. That is because such injuries are often the source of fraudulent insurance claims.

3. Proving Damages

Another thing that might delay the settlement of your car accident claim is the difficulty with connecting your injuries to the car accident. A doctor may have trouble concluding that the car accident was the true cause of your injuries.  Thus, the insurance company will want to investigate further before making any settlement determinations.

4. Insurance Company Response

All insurance companies are not the same. Their ability to respond to inquiries and efficiently investigate a claim will vary widely. Thus, part of the delay in settling a car accident claim is how responsive the insurance company is, and how long their investigation might take.

5. The Possible Settlement Amount

When all is said and done with regard to the insurance company, it will propose a settlement of your car accident claim if it does not deny the claim altogether. You now have a choice. If the claim was denied, you can appeal the denial.  

If the insurance company makes a claim offer, you can (i) accept it, (ii) reject it and try to negotiate a higher settlement, or (iii) take your case to court in a personal injury lawsuit.  

Whenever you are making these decisions, it would be wise to have the help of an experienced car accident attorney in your corner.

6. Let the Car Accident Claim Attorneys at Crary Buchanan Help You.

Vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of personal injury and wrongful death in the nation. Many factors can contribute to a traffic accident, but as noted the primary reason is negligence. Drivers are negligent in a variety of ways. A driver who falls asleep may be considered negligent. When a careless driver causes an accident, you can pursue a personal injury claim or lawsuit.

It doesn’t matter what type of injury you sustained. You have the right to seek compensation if another driver caused you injury – even if you were partially responsible for the accident. Automobile and truck accident injuries can lead to a variety of expenses, and a personal injury claim can compensate you for these costs.  Yet, you need the right legal advocate on your side to get full and fair compensation for your damages. If you or someone you love suffered and injury, speak with a Stuart, Martin County personal injury attorney from Crary Buchanan. We want to help you recover the money you need.

At Crary Buchanan, we are committed to providing clients with exceptional service in every aspect of personal injury law. You can depend upon our 85 years of experience in the Florida legal industry.  

Our clients are more than case numbers; they are people. We recognize that you are an individual with unique needs and expectations. Our team is here to meet your need and exceed your expectations. When you work with us, you can have confidence that a caring legal advocate is on your side.

There is no need to be intimidated by making a personal injury claim after an auto or truck accident when you have the support of the talented team at Crary Buchanan. If you have more questions or want a dedicated personal injury attorney to help you, call 772-287-2600 or schedule a free consult online with our online contact form. You can always depend on Crary Buchanan for community, experience, and trust. Call today.