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How Long Does the Process Take For An Auto Accident Case?

January 9, 2018 6:04 pm

Being involved in an automobile accident is bad enough, but suffering a personal injury as a result is even worse. When you are injured through no fault of your own, you could face months or even years of lost wages and reduced income. At the same time, you could find your out of pocket expenses mounting, with medical bills piling up, copays and deductibles at every turn and the cost of prescription medication and over-the-counter pain remedies eating you out of house and home.

In the face of all those expenses and financial uncertainty, it is easy to see why so many accident victims are as concerned with the speed of their claim as they are with the settlement amount. It can be tempting to go for the quick payout following an accident or personal injury, especially when you are short on funds and wondering how to make ends meet. But before you sign away your rights for a fast payment, it is important to look at the big picture, and why a fair settlement beats a fast one every time.

How Long Should the Process Take?

It is a common question, and an understandable one for accident victims. Every victim of personal injury wonders how long their case will take to settle, and how they will survive financially in the meantime. If you are working with an experienced personal injury law firm, the attorneys there will work hard to settle your case, not only quickly but for the highest amount of money as well.

Since every personal injury case is unique, there is no one answer to the question of how long the claim will take to settle. Some cases are relatively simple and straightforward, as a result, they take only a short period of time to resolve. Once the two parties agree on the extent of the injuries and the amount of medical bills and property damage, the settlement itself is pretty simple. These cases are easy, and they can be surprisingly fast.

Other personal injury cases are far more complex, requiring countless hours of discovery, extensive document searches, and mountains of medical bills and paperwork to resolve. These cases can take much longer, but a good personal injury attorney will do everything in their power to move things along as quickly as possible.

Getting Clients the Settlements They Deserve

When you work with an experienced personal injury attorney, the attorney and the firm they represent will work hard to move your claim through the process and arrive at a fair settlement. Depending on the dollar amount of the settlement and the complexity of the issues, the amount of time needed can vary quite widely. While the law firm will do everything in their power to speed the claim, the process needs to move at its own pace if you are to receive a just and equitable settlement.

Complicated Cases

Some personal injury cases are more complicated and time consuming than others, and the presence of these complexities could increase the amount of time it takes to settle your case. If the injuries you suffered were extensive, it may take longer to settle your case, but you can rest assured your attorney will be working hard behind the scenes. Your personal injury lawyer will be spending time with the insurance company, negotiating a higher settlement and working out the legal complexities of your case.

Your personal injury case may also take longer to settle if the other driver is suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Since there is a legal case involved, that case may need to be settled before your personal injury claim can go forward.

The Impact of the Insurance Company

Other things can slow down your personal injury case as well, including the refusal of the other party’s insurance company to offer a fair settlement for your injuries. Some insurance companies are experts at drawing things out, hoping that the passage of time will encourage injured parties to settle for a lower dollar amount.

In these cases, it is even more important to work with an experienced personal injury attorney. A good personal injury law firm will know how each insurance company operates, and their associates can take steps to overcome the roadblocks they erect along the way.

Do You Want a Fast Settlement or a Fair One?

When it comes to settling a personal injury claim, speed may be important, but the quality of the settlement is even more critical. In the end, it often boils down to a fast settlement versus a fair one.

If a fast settlement is your only goal, the insurance company will be only too happy to provide a lowball offer, but you should think twice before accepting it. If you settle too quickly or appear to anxious, you could be settling for a dollar amount that does not adequately compensate you for your medical bills, let alone your pain and suffering and lost wages.

If you want a fair settlement, one that provides just compensation for your injuries, you will need to be patient. If you are working with a quality personal injury attorney, they will have the expertise needed to craft a fair offer, and the knowledge needed to determine the fairness of any insurance company counteroffer.

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This post was written by Geoff Coston