There is no one set timeline for when your personal injury case will settle. It all depends on the individual facts of your case. The more complex the facts, the longer your case could take. The short answer is that a car accident settlement can take between several weeks to several years. Here are some factors that could determine how quickly you could settle your case.
Liability May Be Disputed
The first thing that an insurance company must do before it even begins to talk about settling a case is to determine who was responsible for the accident. Both drivers may say that it was the other driver who was at fault, and the insurance companies must consider the factual record to reach the decision. This may require an extensive investigation by claims adjusters who want to examine physical evidence and speak to the drivers multiple times. While most liability determinations are made within two months, there is nothing that binds an insurance company to that timeline.
Whether the Responsible Driver Is Cooperating
The insurance company will need to complete its investigation. This means that the other driver will need to speak to their insurance company and give their own statement. If they are not reachable or refusing to participate in the process, it can slow up the investigation process.
The Extent of Your Injuries
Claims that are less complex are easier to settle. If your claim involves serious injuries, it could add more time to the process. If you are just dealing with property damage, the insurance company does not need to review medical records and documentation. However, if there is physical injury, the insurance company will take the time to review treatment notes and other reports to determine how much they think you should receive for pain and suffering.
The insurance company is not just paying you for your past costs, but it also must include things such as future lost wages and medical bills in its settlement calculations. This may take some time because the insurance company is trying to determine how badly you were hurt and whether and when you can work again. Oftentimes, future damages are even larger than your past or present ones. Most likely, you and the insurance company will have different opinions about the value of future damages because they will always claim that your injuries are less serious than they really are.
Atlanta Accident Attorneys Can Help
As you can see, there are numerous things that can be a speed bump for your accident claim. When you have an Atlanta accident lawyer on your side, they can help keep the insurance company moving towards a settlement and may increase the amount that you receive. Hiring an attorney shows the insurance company that you mean business. Otherwise, they may delay you and push you around, increasing the time that it takes to see your money. Call the Atlanta accident attorneys at the law firm of Slappey & Sadd at (888) 474-9616 or contact us online to set up your free initial consultation.