How Long Does It Take to Settle an Automobile Accident Case?
There is no average amount of time to settle an automobile accident case, as various factors play a role in this timeline, such as:
- Establishing liability
- Understanding the extent of your damages
- The statute of limitations
- The insurance company’s cooperation
- If your case goes to trial
Establishing Fault in a Car Accident Claim
You must apply the standards for negligence to your case to prove fault in your accident. These standards comprise:
- Duty of care:The other party had a legal obligation to behave reasonably and to obey traffic laws and regulations while operating a motor vehicle.
- Breach of duty: The other party breached this duty of care by failing to exercise the appropriate duty of care.
- Causation: The other party’s breach of the duty of care caused an accident and your injuries.
- Damages: You suffered various losses, such as past and anticipated medical care costs, lost income, reduced earning potential, pain and suffering, and/or wrongful death if your loved one passed away from the accident.
If liability is clear in your case, as might be so in instances of drunk driving, for example, it may take less time to settle your claim. However, if multiple parties share liability in your case, you can expect your case to take longer to resolve, as it may be more complex than a traditional car accident claim.
Examining the Extent of Your Car Accident Injuries
The more severe your injuries are, the longer it may take to obtain a settlement. As such, how your injuries are going to impact your life in the future may not be clear.
If you are going to be dealing with life-altering injuries for the foreseeable future, it will be important for your attorney to consider your future medical expenses, emotional trauma, and the physical impact of your injuries. That way, you won’t run out of compensation while you’re still affected by the accident.
Will You Need to Bring Your Automobile Accident Case to Court?
If you can work out a settlement with the insurance company or the liable party outside of court, and their settlement offer adequately meets your needs, you may be able to avoid bringing your case to court. In that event, you could resolve your case within several months.
However, if you cannot reach a settlement with the insurance company outside of court, it may be in your best interest to move forward with a trial. Although bringing your case to court will increase the length of time it takes to secure the compensation you deserve, doing so could help you obtain a favorable outcome for your case.
What to Expect from the Insurance Company
Negotiating with the insurance company is one of the most difficult aspects of the car accident claims process. Many car accident victims go into insurance negotiations believing that the insurance company is on their side. However, this is not always the case.
Do not be surprised if the insurance company delays the processing of your claim or attempts to place blame on you for causing the accident. You will have to defend yourself and introduce evidence to support the other parties’ fault to avoid the insurance company taking advantage of you while you’re vulnerable.
Should negotiations prove unsuccessful, it could further delay the outcome of your car accident settlement. The sooner you get your car accident attorney to step in and negotiate with the insurance company for you, the sooner you may be able to obtain a settlement.
How Insurance Settlements Work in Car Accident Claims
It is important to understand what your insurance will actually cover. As described in Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), Florida is a no-fault state for auto insurance purposes. This law means you are going to file a claim with your own insurance company following an accident since your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage will account for a portion of your damages.
In addition, you may purchase uninsured or underinsured coverage. This will protect you if the person who caused the accident has no liability coverage or only has minimal coverage.
If you suffered a serious injury, you are allowed in certain cases to pursue the other party for additional damages via an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. We can help you determine whether this option is available to you.
When you involve the other party’s insurer in your case and file a claim or lawsuit, it could lengthen how long it will take to settle your claim. After all, involving more parties will necessitate more back and forth communication, which may drag out the process even more.
The Statute of Limitations May Play a Role in Your Auto Accident Timeline
If you need to file a lawsuit after your car accident, you must be mindful of the statute of limitations under Florida Statutes § 95.11(3)(a). Generally speaking, you have four years to file your lawsuit. However, if your loved one lost their life from their related injuries, the deadline changes to two years, per Florida Statutes § 95.11(4)(d).
Get Help From a Car Accident Lawyer on Our Team Today
When you are ready to move forward with your car accident insurance claims but need to know how long it might be before you recover the compensation you deserve, a car accident attorney at our firm can help.
Reach out to Phillips | Tadros, P.A., at (954) 642-8885 to get started on your case.
Our firm is proud to offer no-cost, risk-free consultations to car accident victims across the state of Florida.
We also take automobile accident cases on a contingency fee basis. That means you pay us nothing unless and until we settle your case.