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How Long Does It Take to Settle a Car Accident Case?

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

When you’ve been involved in a car accident that’s going to court, you might wonder how long it takes to get a car accident settlement. Here’s what to know.

Do you need money after a car accident? Your car accident settlement case may be taking longer than you think. 

How long do car accident cases take?

Overall, a car accident case can last up to a year. A variety of factors are at play, such as personal injuries, property damage, and insurance cooperation.

Moreover, an attorney can help you close the case faster. If you’re struggling to make ends meet, you can take out a settlement loan until you receive the compensation you’re owed. 

This article will explore the time it takes to conclude an auto accident settlement. Let’s explore. 

The Extent of the Injury 

The insurance companies will scrutinize your injuries, especially if you’re dealing with severe injuries. Debilitating injuries may require months or years of physical care. Long-term care also includes physical therapy or mental health counseling, both of which should be covered in the settlement. 

Overall, you’ll need a hefty settlement to take care of your injuries. Your doctor will provide a recovery timeframe and outline the severity of your injuries. From there, the insurance carrier will decide the appropriate sum. 

Since insurance companies are in the business of saving money, they’ll itemize each cost carefully. Additionally, the insurance carrier may suspect you’re exaggerating your injuries to get a higher payout. As a result, they may take additional time examining your injuries. 

Car Repairs

Car repairs alone can add weeks to the claims process. Expect lengthy negotiations if your car underwent severe damage. Insurance carriers may dispute the extent of the damage and argue with mechanics.

Mechanics must confer with insurance providers throughout the repair process. Additionally, not all insurance reps respond to mechanics in a timely fashion. In some instances, it may take weeks before a rep responds to a mechanic. 

In many cases, the insurance provider wants to take the car to a mechanic of their choice. The chosen mechanic may cut corners and cause long-term damage to your car.

Therefore, choose a mechanic that suits your comfort level. As a consumer, you have the right to take your car to a mechanic of your choosing. If an insurance rep insists on a particular mechanic, involve an attorney.

Mechanic disputes can add more time to the process. However, the fight is worth it, as you’ll get a quality mechanic that will fix your vehicle. 

Insurance Company Cooperation

Insurance bureaucracy is the main reason behind the delays. Insurance companies are in no hurry to provide a settlement, but reps usually try to end the process sooner rather than later. In some cases, however, insurance carriers will delay the process intentionally, hoping victims will drop the claims. 

However, some states mandate that insurance companies settle a claim within a certain timeframe. 

  • Example: New Mexico stipulates that insurance companies must conclude the settlement process within 60 days. If carriers need additional time, they must submit a formal request. 

In most cases, insurance companies will settle the claims process within 30 days. However, this 30-day period usually applies to the following cases:

  • Cases where the offending party admitted fault
  • Cases where the victim sustained minor injuries

That said, settling a claim within a month isn’t always the best option for victims. In many cases, insurance companies offer meager payouts. Sadly, many victims take the first offer.

It may be in your best interest to reject the original offer and negotiate a higher sum. The negotiation process could take weeks or months, but you could receive a higher settlement. 

Hiring an Attorney

Attorneys can speed up the process on your behalf. Legal counsel can be costly, but they’re worth additional expense. Attorneys can support you in the following ways:

  • They can help you gather the most compelling evidence
  • They can help you find witnesses
  • They can tell you how to talk to insurance reps and adjusters
  • They can conduct an independent investigation that will bolster your claim

An independent investigation will probe deeper into the events that caused the accident. It can also invalidate claims made by defendants and insurance companies.

Attorneys can collect statements from witnesses and other drivers. They can also review the police report in detail and point out any errors. Above all, they will determine if all of the witness accounts are the same. 

These types of investigations can lengthen the settlement process. However, the investigation can provide irrefutable evidence.

As such, you may get a higher settlement with the help of an attorney. Lawyers can also negotiate a higher settlement for you.

Negotiations involving an attorney could take longer, but the additional time will be worth it. In some cases, they can double the original offer through extensive negotiations. 

The Court Process

Even with an attorney by your side, the insurance negotiations could fall through. In other cases, your attorney may advise you to pursue the matter in court.

You may also need to file a suit if the offending driver’s insurance policy doesn’t cover the full damages. Regardless, car accident cases can take up to a year in civil court. 

How to Deal With a Long Car Accident Settlement Case

Overall, a car accident settlement can end in as little as 30 days. For complex cases, however, be prepared for weeks or months of investigations and negotiations. You can speed up your auto accident settlement with the help of an experienced attorney. 

Do you need financial support as you deal with a car accident injury settlement? Click here to learn how a settlement loan can help you. 

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