If you have been in a car accident then you will probably have a lot on your mind
considering the shock, disruption to your life and the injury. If you make a
personal injury claim, then you will want it to be settled as quickly as
possible. Unfortunately, the time that a car accident settlement can take to come
through can vary massively.
If you make a claim, and the insurance company comes back with an offer, you
could accept that offer and have some money in your bank account in a matter of
just a few weeks – but that would be a low offer, and probably not really
anywhere close to what you could get if you were persistent and willing to wait.
If you work with a car accident attorney then you could get something through
that is much more in line with the distress and the expense that the accident has
To get a good settlement, the insurance company would want to review all of your
bills and medical records – they need to know what the injury that you sustained
was, what problems you have now as a result of the injury, and whether you will
need medical treatments in the future. They want to know that you reach the
maximum medical improvement, and they will want to work out what complications
you might be facing so that they know what to expect in the future and whether
you are going to need a lot of ongoing care. Typically, an injured person would
reach the level of ‘maximum medical improvement’ in a matter of months, but it
can sometimes take longer than that.
When you reach that point, they will want to see the medical records, bills, and
your employment history. Getting those records together will take some time, and
the insurance company would want 30 days to evaluate the records that you submit.
After that, you can expect a delay of a few weeks to negotiate the claim, and
then another short delay to get the settlement paperwork done and the money sent
out. So, depending on how severe your injuries were, you could expect that a
settlement would be achieved within four to six months. If you want to get a
higher settlement than that initial offer, then there is even more negotiation
needing done – including the threat of taking things to trial. This can delay the
settlement for a year or two in some cases – imagine that the insurance company
offers you $10,000 but you know that you’re going to need medical care for life.
If you refuse the settlement and start the process of going to court, then there
is a high chance that the insurance company would increase that offer by a huge
margin – perhaps turning $10,000 into $200,000 because they know that there is
the possibility that going to court could cost millions. Not all cases are worth
going to court over, but a good attorney will be able to offer you advice on
— Cars Weekly (@CarsWeekly1) November 20, 2017