How Long Does A Car Accident Settlement Take?

July 7, 2024

By Promoting Justice

Car accidents involving moderate injuries where it is clear who the liable party is can settle as soon as a few months following the completion of medical treatment. However, due to each incident involving different injuries, parties, and other circumstances, the time taken to reach an auto accident settlement varies widely, with some settlements taking significantly longer than a few months to finalize. Understand the answer to “How long does a car accident settlement take?”, and find out how an experienced Vermont personal injury attorney can assist individuals with their auto accident legal claims; call Shillen Mackall Seldon & Spicer today at (802) 457-4848.

Overview of the Car Accident Settlement Process

Car accident settlements are a type of personal injury settlement, where the defining feature of the case involves a motor vehicle collision and a victim sustaining an injury in this incident because of the actions of another party. The American Bar Association (ABA) defines a personal injury settlement as agreeing to accept a sum of money in exchange for not pursuing a legal claim against the individual who caused the injury; the injured party typically signs a document that absolves the liable party from additional liability during the settlement process.

The Factors That Dictate the Settlement Process

Various factors influence the settlement process and the amount of possible compensation. Below are examples of these considerations:

  • Injury severity: This includes how the injury impacts the victim’s daily activities, as well as the injury’s long-term consequences.
  • Medical treatment: More substantial medical intervention can have a significant impact on the level of potential compensation, alongside the expected recovery duration.
  • Contributory negligence: If the victim’s actions contributed to the car accident in some way, this could reduce the amount of possible compensation.
  • Clear liability: If it is clear who the responsible party is, this may result in higher settlement offers compared to cases where liability is less clear.
  • Pre-existing medical conditions: If the victim has a pre-existing condition, this could complicate the settlement process; the victim needs to prove that the injury worsened their condition or caused new issues to boost their chances of a favorable settlement. 
  • Witness testimonies: Witness testimonies from industry specialists, such as accident reconstruction professionals and doctors, can offer valuable objective assessments, influencing a claim’s value.

Complications That Can Affect When Your Case Settles

Securing a settlement may involve different pitfalls that can prolong or even endanger the process. Here are some examples of the types of complications that make it challenging to promptly reach a favorable settlement:

  • Failing to take pictures and videos of the injury and accident scene, as well as not contacting the police to obtain a police report
  • Not immediately seeking medical assistance
  • Failing to maintain accurate records of losses
  • Downplaying or overstating the victim’s injuries
  • Admitting fault or quickly accepting unfavorable settlements by rushing into negotiations with the responsible party or their insurer
  • Waiting until after the statute of limitations period for personal injury claims to take action

Gain a more detailed answer to “How long does a car accident settlement take?”, and discover how a seasoned New Hampshire personal injury attorney from Shillen Mackall Seldon & Spicer can help in this area. Contact our legal team today to arrange a consultation.

Determining Compensation for Your Injuries from the Car Accident

According to the National Safety Council (NSC), examples of the types of costs to consider when determining compensation for a victim’s injuries include productivity and wage losses, medical expenses, vehicle damage, employers’ uninsured expenses, and administrative costs. These damages are usually quite straightforward to calculate, achieved through assessing bills, receipts, and employment contracts. Other damages, such as the pain and suffering experienced because of the car accident are more challenging to determine; some of the main methods used to calculate this type of damage include identifying an appropriate multiplier and multiplying this value by the injured person’s medical bills or assigning a monetary amount to each day of pain and suffering experienced by the victim.

Is There a Quicker Option To Settle My Car Accident Claim?

Insurers quickly provide initial offers to car accident victims after the incident, which can rapidly conclude the settlement process. However, while these offers may appear generous, they could be much lower than the level of damages incurred by the injured party. Because of this, the recommended approach is to thoroughly review any offers received and to consider reaching out to an experienced attorney before signing anything, particularly as the victim loses their right to additional compensation after reaching an agreement.

Should You Settle Your Car Accident Case?

Whether an individual should settle their car accident case or pursue litigation depends on the strength of the case and the victim’s circumstances. Pursuing litigation can result in the victim gaining more compensation than if they settled. However, litigation is a more time-consuming and costly procedure than negotiating a settlement; furthermore, if the victim loses the case, they could end up with no compensation and have to pay the other side’s legal fees.

How Long Does a Car Accident Settlement Take To Finalize?

The time taken to finalize a car accident settlement varies depending on the case. Before reaching a settlement, the victim needs to conclude their medical treatment by making a complete recovery or reaching a point of maximum improvement, and depending on the severity of their injuries, this timeframe can range between immediate to several years.

Additionally, the injured party needs to collect evidence and submit their claim, while also negotiating with the responsible party or their insurer, with each element taking between a week and a couple of months. Finally, if a settlement is possible, the check-issuing process begins, with the timeframe outlined below.

When Will I Get My Settlement Check?

Victims of car accidents typically receive settlement checks between 30 and 60 days of reaching an agreement from the liable party or their insurer. However, some factors may delay this process; for instance, the responsible party or insurer may delay issuing the check, the check could contain an error, such as having the wrong amount listed, unexpected paperwork could arise, or there might be issues with negotiating or determining final medical care expenses.

Contact a Florida Personal Injury Attorney Today

Auto accident claims involving complicated injuries, multiple vehicles, and commercial defendants typically have longer settlement periods than incidents with minor injuries and only two parties. Depending on the specifics of the case, car accident settlements can range between a few months and several years to complete. Acquire a more comprehensive answer to “How long does a car accident settlement take?”, and learn how a Florida personal injury attorney can assist individuals with identifying legal considerations, estimating a claim’s value, and negotiating a fair settlement; speak to a lawyer from Shillen Mackall Seldon & Spicer today by calling (802) 457-4848.