How long will it take to settle my case?
One of the first things people want to know after a car accident is how long it will take to settle their case. This question is completely natural because, of course, drivers want the accident claims process to be over as quickly as possible. After all, many drivers who have been involved in an accident need to take time off work due to injuries or to repair their vehicle and may be facing financial hardships.Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this common question. Some cases will always take longer than others. And in most situations, settling too quickly after a crash could mean the driver gets less money than s/he deserves.
When it comes to car accident settlements, there are several factors that can extend the amount of time it will take until a driver receives his/her compensation award. Some of the most common reasons that settlements may take a longer time than usual include:
- Unclear Fault: When both drivers believe they are innocent and the police are unable to determine the cause of the accident, insurance companies will refuse to pay any settlements until a driver can prove liability.
- No Proof that the Injuries Happened in the Crash: If an insurance company believes that a driver’s injuries existed before the accident, it will refuse to pay. In many cases, expert medical testimony may be necessary to prove when the injuries actually happened.
- The Driver Has Not Fully Recovered from the Accident: If an injured driver has not fully healed from his/her injuries, it is in his/her best interests to wait. After all, the injury could get worse and require more medical treatment. If a driver accepts a settlement offer before s/he learns about the full cost of his/her medical expenses, s/he cannot go back to the insurance company and ask for more money later.
No, especially not before running it by an attorney. Accepting an early settlement is almost always a bad idea. Insurance companies know that most people need cash right away after an accident, so they use that urgency to their advantage. Insurance companies often send their initial settlement offer for a minor accident within as little as 30 days. However, that first offer is almost always less than the driver deserves.
Accepting the first offer, especially one that was sent within 30 days after the accident, could mean that the driver only gets a small portion of what s/he actually deserves. The attorneys of Tronfeld West & Durrett will review any accident settlement offer and ensure it covers all the victim’s accident-related costs.