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How Long Does it Take to Settle a Car Accident Claim?

car accident lawsuit

If you’re involved in a car accident and were at no-fault, you can file for a car accident claim, and the driver of the other vehicle who is at fault is required to compensate you for the damages.

It’s his/her insurance company who will pay for the damages, and the at-fault driver will pay in the form of a raised premium on his/her car insurance. Depending on a particular case, the settlement between the car insurance company and you can take somewhere from a month to a year.

Factors Influencing the Car Accident Claim Settlement

Multiple factors decide the speediness of a car accident claim in court. Some of them are:

  • Determining and proving liability
  • The extent of personal injury and property damage
  • Evidence at hand
  • How soon insurance companies arrive at the conclusion
  • The amount to be settled

To get a better understanding of the time frame, let’s explore each factor in brief.

Determining and Proving Liability

In a car accident case, there are three possibilities. It was the fault of one of the drivers that led to the injury, it was a shared fault in which case both the parties are responsible for the accident, it was a no-fault accident, and it was really no one’s fault that caused the accident.

Many a car accident claim gets settled outside of the court, requiring no civil lawsuits. But if it gets difficult for the insurance companies to determine who is at fault exactly, then the civil courts come into play.

How soon the court can conclude and prove a liability will determine how long your car accident claim takes. If you’re in a no-fault state and covered by no-fault insurance, then you’ll receive the compensation for the damages irrespective of who was at fault.

Extent Of Personal Injury And Property Damage

The level of injuries and damages claimed do play a part in determining the length of a car accident trial. This is because the court has to go over every injury and would need an explanation for each of the injuries. Furthermore, it would need to ensure that the injuries and damages were part of the accident and not sustained anywhere else prior or after the accident.

If it was a fatal crash and you’re severely injured still receiving treatments, then it can take weeks or months to calculate the total medical expenses. That’s why experienced attorneys advise their clients to wait till you reach “Maximum Medical Improvement.” It is a point when you have recovered completely or to an extent where you don’t have to incur medical expenses.

The same thing goes with your car damage. You need to go over the damages and calculate the total cost of the damage.

Evidence at Hand

When settling a case, evidence plays a significant role. Therefore, attorneys ask you to inform them and the police about the accident as soon as possible. Insurance photographers collect evidence that will support their case in court. When you’re at the scene, you can also collect the evidence in the form of photos or videos after you’ve ensured everyone’s safety.

The court will have to correlate the evidence at hand with the damages to arrive at a conclusion. The better the quality of evidence, the faster the claim is going to conclude.

Insurance Company’s Speed of Investigation

Not all insurance companies operate at the same pace. It can be frustrating if they work at a snail speed. There have been cases where they simply delay the procedure so that the claimant withdraws the case altogether.

Depending on the state you’re in, the insurance company involved in the car accident claim must adhere to strict deadlines. The time limit to acknowledge receiving a claim is 15 days or so, and they have additional 15 days to accept or reject a claim.

The Amount to be Settled

Last but not least, it’s the amount you claim that can possibly shorten or delay the case settlement. If you file for a higher amount, then there’s going to be more disputes. Therefore, when filing a car accident claim, you must ensure that the damage resulted from the car accident and not from anywhere else.

Start Your Car Accident Claim Today

Settling a case out of court is always a better option than fighting it out in court. Not only is it quicker to resolve, but it’s also less expensive. By hiring an experienced car accident attorney, you can devise the best roadmap for getting the car accident claim in the least possible time. Contact us to learn more.

Jay A. Bolotin is a partner at the injury law firm of Young, Reverman & Bolotin. Serving the people of Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio, Jay dedicates his career to helping clients in the tri-state area obtain financial compensation after suffering serious injuries. He focuses his practice on cases involving car accidents, trucking accidents, dog bites and animal attacks, and other types of personal injury incidents.

Years of Experience: More than 25 years
Registration Status:: Active
Bar Admissions: Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, and Cincinati Bar Association