How Long Do Car Accident Settlements Take?
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How long your car accident settlement takes will rest on the details of your individual situation. Some claimants are able to resolve their cases in a matter of days. Others must go through the court system to get the compensation they deserve.
Some elements that may prolong your case’s resolution include:
- The severity of your injuries
- The amount of money involved
- The parties involved
- The willingness of the liable insurance company to settle
Many insurance companies are quick to offer a settlement following a collision. They do this to prevent claimants from going to court or pursuing the cost of additional damages. You cannot truly know the cost of your economic and noneconomic damages without completing your recommended course of medical treatment.
If you accept any amount of money from the insurance company, you will be unable to pursue further funds should you incur additional losses. For that reason, you may choose to work with a personal injury lawyer who can calculate the cost of your accident-related expenses and advocate for your legal rights.
Factors That Impact Your Case’s Resolution
Again, how long your car accident settlement takes will rest on the details of your situation.
Here are some additional factors that could play a role in how long it takes for you to recover compensation for your collision-related expenses:
The Severity of Your Injuries
In a severe accident, sometimes, the status of a claimant’s health changes daily. For example, let’s say that you were in a collision and suffered traumatic brain damage. In this situation, your cognitive processes, mobility, and internal functions could fluctuate daily. Your car accident settlement would take a long time to settle since you are continuously incurring more expenses by the hour. It would not be prudent to accept the first offer the insurance company makes since you cannot know the full extent of your losses.
The Availability of Evidence
The insurance company may deny liability for your collision and refuse to make an offer that covers your damages. Like most personal injury claims, to get the compensation you need, your case will need to be built on evidence that reflects negligence. You may need to collect proof of liability to get compensation. This could include photos, videos, witness statements, police reports, and your medical records.
As you can imagine, collecting these vital pieces of information takes time. While evidence could benefit your case in the end, it could take days, weeks, or months to gather.
The Number of Parties Involved
If your car accident involved multiple parties and insurance companies, it can take longer for the case to resolve. For example, if your collision was the result of a faulty vehicular component, dealing with the part’s manufacturer can become complicated. If the part contributed to multiple collisions nationwide, your case may be better suited for a mass tort rather than an independent lawsuit or claim. These types of civil action can take years to resolve.
Virginia’s Statute of Limitations
You are not required to accept any amount of money from the liable insurer.
You may choose to work with a lawyer if the liable insurance company:
- Refuses to accept liability
- Repeatedly offers you unfair settlements
- Purposefully drags out your case in hopes that you will drop the claim
In these situations, you may want to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party to recover the cost of your economic and noneconomic damages. Again, this takes time. Additionally, you must file your lawsuit within a predetermined period. Under Code of Virginia §8.01-243, you generally have two years from the date of the collision to take your case to court.
If you are a qualifying representative and you are filing a wrongful death claim on behalf of a loved one, under Code of Virginia §8.01-244, you have two years from the date of their passing to file a wrongful death action. Should you fail to take legal action within the state’s statute of limitations, you could be barred from recovering compensation for your injuries and related expenses.
Get Help from a Car Accident Lawyer
A lawyer from the Parrish Law Firm, PLLC can look into the details of your situation and estimate how long your car accident settlement will take. Our lead attorney and founding partner, Jim Parrish, once represented insurance companies. This experience lent him valuable insight into how insurance companies deal with car accident claims and deny claimants compensation.
To begin a free case evaluation, call the Parrish Law Firm, PLLC today at (571) 229-1800.