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How Long Does It Take To Negotiate a Personal Injury Settlement?

by Susan Seymour

After being involved in a car accident, one of the biggest concerns is when you can expect compensation. Medical bills may pile up while you recover from your injuries, placing a financial burden on you and your family.

Below, learn about how long car accident settlement negotiations may take and some factors that can make the process take longer. A licensed car accident lawyer is ready to review your situation and discuss how he may help you obtain a fair settlement in a free consultation.

The Negotiation Timeline After A Car Accident

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Most car accident claims are resolved during the settlement process. Claims may be settled within weeks or months, but some cases may take a year or longer. Each case is unique and may involve different factors affecting a settlement’s timing.

The typical steps involved in a car accident claim include:

• You receive medical treatment for your injuries and reach maximum medical improvement
• The insurance company investigates the accident
• The insurance company determines who is at fault and to what degree
• You receive a reservation of rights letter from the insurance company
• Your lawyer obtains all medical records, bills and other supporting evidence
• Your lawyer prepares a demand package and submits it to the insurance company
• The insurance company responds to the demand

The insurance company will then typically offer a settlement. You will have a chance to review the offer, accept it, reject it, or make a counteroffer. If you counteroffer, your lawyer needs to prepare a letter to the insurance company and describe why you believe you are eligible for more compensation. This process will proceed until you, and the insurance company agree on an offer.

When To Expect A Settlement Check To Arrive?

After you and the insurance company settle, it can usually take four to six weeks from the offer’s acceptance to receive the settlement check. You will need to sign a document that states that you are receiving the settlement in satisfaction of your claim.

The check will usually be given to your lawyer, who will pay off any unpaid medical bills or medical liens on your claim.

They will also deduct the contingency fee and any out-of-pocket expenses from this amount before disbursing the rest of the settlement.

General Steps In The Settlement Negotiation Process

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The settlement negotiation process is similar to purchasing a car. You may demand a high compensation, and then the insurance company may respond with a meagre offer. You may ultimately resolve your claim somewhere in the middle.

During the negotiation process, the insurance company will try to show weaknesses in your claim. Your lawyer may respond by providing evidence that supports your demand amount, such as your medical records.

This process continues until you, and the insurance company agree on a final settlement amount. This process takes 15 to 90 days, on average. Click here and know how professionals can help.

Factors That Could Cause A Lawsuit To Take Longer Than Expected

The legal process is as quick and pain-free as possible for the clients. However, sometimes a lawsuit can take longer than expected. Reasons for why the legal process can take longer than anticipated include:

Medical Treatment

It may be the case that the required medical treatment is taking longer than expected to treat injuries. This can complicate the legal process as it is difficult to determine how much should be awarded in compensation for medical care that hasn’t yet been finished. Usually, compensation for medical expenses can only be claimed once the victim is released from care.

A Large Amount Of Compensation Is Involved

An insurance company is much more likely to take longer in reviewing a claim when a large amount of payment could be awarded to the claimant. Some insurance providers may even offer multiple relatively small amounts of compensation to the claimants in the hopes that one will eventually be accepted. This can make a lawsuit last significantly longer.

The Defendant

Cases can take longer to be settled if the defendant and their insurance company are unwilling to cooperate. The defendant will usually try to place liability on the claimant before accepting responsibility for an accident.

The Case Goes To Trial

More often than not, your lawsuit will be settled outside the courtroom with negotiations led by attorneys and insurance companies. However, if a case does go to trial, this can significantly delay the process. Your lawyers will have to build a solid case to be put forward to a judge and then be deliberated by a jury. It can take months or even years to receive a court date, which is why most cases are settled without needing to go to trial.

By hiring legal representation, you can significantly reduce the time necessary to get the outcome you deserve. Call the professionals today for a free consultation who will deal with your insurance company, lead settlement negotiations, and offer invaluable legal advice.

Common Disputes In Car Accident Claims

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Some disputes may arise during your car accident claim. These disputes may lead to a longer timeline to resolve your claim.

Common arguments involved in car accident claims include:

• Whether the insured was liable for the accident
• Whether your negligence contributed to the accident
• Whether the insurance policy covered the accident
• The extent of your injuries
• Whether your injuries were due to pre-existing conditions
• The necessity for specific medical treatment
• How long will you need to continue receiving medical treatment

Your lawyer needs to respond to these disputes and provide additional information to support your claim to come to a resolution.

Talk To An Experienced Lawyer To Learn More

If you were injured in a car accident, it is recommended that you seek legal representation as soon as possible. The experienced lawyers are prepared to investigate your claim and handle all communications and negotiations with the insurance company on your behalf.

Schedule a free consultation to find out about your legal options.