There is no real way to predict how long a car accident takes to settle—on average. However, certain factors can affect how long it might take to settle yours. These factors include:
- If the insurance company is willing to negotiate with you
- If there is evidence indicating you share fault for the accident
- How much evidence you can collect to prove your case
- How much money you are asking for
- Whether or not you hire a car accident lawyer to handle your claim
Why Some Car Accident Claims Take Longer to Settle
Here are three primary reasons why a car accident claim might take longer to settle:
- Legal and/or Factual Issues. If liability is difficult to prove or the insurance company truly believes that you do not have a claim, a car accident claim may take longer to settle. Another factual issue arises when there is a dispute as to whether the negligence or recklessness of the driver of the other vehicle actually caused your injuries.
- Large Amounts of Money. Whenever there are large amounts of money at stake, insurance companies often attempt to do everything in their power to avoid payment. Sometimes, insurance companies hope that a victim will get tired of waiting and simply accept a smaller settlement offer.
- Maximum Medical Improvement Has Not Been Reached. It is very difficult to establish the final cost of injuries if maximum medical improvement has not been reached. The more serious your injuries are, the longer you may have to wait to receive a settlement.
Trying to handle a claim of any length on your own can be stressful. If it stretches on for months or years, you could end up devoting an unnecessary amount of time to legal matters when you should have focused on rebuilding your life.
Instead of doing all the work alone, a personal injury lawyer from our firm can do it for you. For example, we spent a year tirelessly working on Rudy D.’s claim after he suffered a rear-end car accident. “A year later and my case is wrapping up with a result that I am more than satisfied with,” he reported.
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General Timelines for a Car Accident Claim Settlement
Insurance companies have a limited time to respond to a claim and determine whether they will accept or deny it.
If the parties agree to a settlement, a car insurance company has 20 days to pay the claim under Florida Statutes § 627.4265. If it is a Personal Injury Protection claim, the car insurance company has 30 days to pay a claim from the time it is submitted, according to Florida Statutes § 627.736.
However, these timelines are completely dependent on how long it takes to get certain information to the insurance companies. The following are some areas that can either speed up or delay the car accident claim settlement process.
Providing Full Medical Expenses
To recover full compensation for your medical expenses, your medical treatment must be completed, or at the very least, you must have a prognosis. In serious accidents, surgeries, hospitalizations, and physical therapy are often required, and medical treatment can take months or years to complete. How fast your car accident claim is settled will largely be dependent on when a full tally of medical expenses—along with a calculation of future medical expenses—can be established.
With help from a medical professional, you should be able to take the necessary steps to determine your “maximum medical improvement,” which means there are no unexpected medical complications or permanent disabilities. Once these numbers are calculated, they can be submitted to the insurance company.
Providing Full Lost Wages and Future Loss of Income
The amount of lost wages is typically an easy amount to calculate. However, you will want to also determine the future loss of income if you are unable to return to work due to a temporary or permanent disability.
Contacting a car accident lawyer at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can help you determine your future loss of income. We can also provide that number to the insurance company on your behalf.
The negotiation process can take a considerable amount of time. Patience typically pays off if the settlement offers are staggeringly low. Having a victim willing to “walk away” from negotiations and file a lawsuit can increase the chances that an insurance company will raise their settlement offer.
If you are unwilling to wait for a larger settlement, you are always free to take any settlement offer the insurance company provides you. However, we suggest that you run all offers by our team first.
What a Car Accident Lawyer on Our Team Can Do for You
When you choose to work with a car accident lawyer from the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine, you can leave the legal heavy lifting to us while you focus on your recovery. An attorney at our firm can do the following:
- Investigate the details of your case
- Identify the liable parties
- Collect evidence to support your case
- Determine a value for all of your damages
- Hire accident reconstruction experts to testify on your behalf
- Handle all communications with the insurance company
- Take your case to trial if needed
Our team will ensure all paperwork is filed with the court in a timely manner. We do not want you to lose your opportunity to seek the compensation you deserve due to another driver’s negligence.
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How Much Is a Car Accident Claim Worth?
The amount you can recover for your injuries depends on many of the same factors that impact how long it takes to negotiate a settlement, and the number and severity of the injuries you sustained.
There are many types of injuries you can seek compensation for, including the following:
- Pain and suffering, or the impact the accident had on your emotional and physical wellbeing
- Disability, or the loss or reduction of a physical or intellectual capability
- Diminished quality of life, or the impact of the accident on your ability to live life the way you want to, participate in certain activities, and so on
- Medical expenses, or the money you have to spend to survive the accident and ensure your wounds heal to the extent possible
- Repair expenses, or the money you have to spend to get your car fixed and to continue to fulfill your obligations while your car is not available for use
- Loss of wages, or the money you could not earn from your job while you stayed home to rest and recover from the accident
Who Should I Settle My Claim With?
The first insurance company you will probably deal with after an accident is your own. Your insurance coverage can help you pay for necessary medical bills. Depending on what type of policy you hold, you may also be able to collect compensation for repair bills and other damages.
If your insurance policy does not cover all of your needs, and if you can prove that someone else bears partial or total responsibility for the car accident, you may have to deal with the liable party’s insurance company as well.
No matter how many insurance companies your claim involves, an attorney from our firm can serve as a mediator. With us on the job, you do not have to worry about negotiating on your own behalf or dealing with the insurer’s attempts to undervalue your claim. We work hard to protect our clients.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney in Florida
If you have been injured in a car accident, waiting for compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering can be frustrating. Contact the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine to speak with a member of our team.
We can help you determine how long your particular car accident claim will take and when you can expect the insurance company will pay you the compensation you are owed for your injuries.
We want to put our knowledge, experience, and resources to work for you.SPEAK TO AN ATTORNEY NOW