There is no real way to predict how long a car accident takes to settle—on average. However, there are certain factors that can affect how long it might take to settle yours.
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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 if 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.
General Timelines for a Car Accident Claim Settlement
Insurance companies have a limited time to respond to a claim and determine whether it will accept or deny it.
If the parties agree to a settlement, a car insurance company has 20 days to pay the claim under FL § 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 FL § 627.736.
These timelines are completely dependent, however, 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. Oftentimes, in serious accidents, surgeries, hospitalizations, and physical therapy are 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 expense—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 that 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 at 1-800-737-3733 can help you determine your future loss of income and provide that 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 that is 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.
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 at 1-800-737-3733 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 that the insurance company will pay you the compensation you are owed for your injuries.