How Long Does it Take to Get a Car Accident Settlement?

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

caused you.

 

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

that.