How Long Does It Take to Settle a Car Accident Claim?
As an injury victim, it’s only natural to want to settle your car accident case as soon as possible. In reality, settlements don’t always happen quickly. That’s for a variety of reasons, ranging from difficult insurance companies to unclear liability.
Fortunately, a car accident claim lawyer at Craig Swapp & Associates can help you expedite your claim.
Factors That Can Affect Settlement Speed
Perhaps the biggest factor in determining the speed at which a settlement will occur is the extent of your injuries.
If you are unable to provide clear evidence of the harm you’ve endured, you may find yourself arguing with liable parties, including insurers, about whether your injuries are as bad as you claim.
For this reason alone, it’s helpful to get a written statement from a qualified physician regarding the extent of your injuries and expected recovery time.
To understand the issue from an insurer’s perspective, many injury victims have been known to fabricate or exaggerate their harm, particularly when it comes to injuries that are easier to “fake” (e.g., whiplash, chronic pain, etc.). Then, of course, you face the fact that insurers are motivated by their bottom line to deny your claim for any reason possible.
Still, you have the legal right to a speedy response from an insurance company. The time frame that an insurer is given to deny a claim or offer a settlement varies by state. In Utah, for example, insurers are given 30 days to fulfill or deny a claim.
Of course, if neither party can agree on a proper settlement amount, the case may go to court, which will all but ensure a longer process. This is particularly likely to be the case when the compensation in question is substantial.
Ultimately, while getting a speedy settlement should be prioritized, rarely should it take precedence over receiving the proper amount.
Time vs. Money
The biggest consideration you will have to take into account when deciding on a course of action is the tradeoff between time (waiting a shorter period) and money (receiving more compensation).
Rarely will you receive a settlement that’s both quick and generous, so it’s important to know where your priorities stand before coming into a negotiation.
For those who have serious injuries and don’t need an immediate infusion of cash, an actual suit might be the best course of action, as that will likely result in the highest amount of compensation—assuming you receive a favorable verdict.
In a settlement, insurers will rarely offer more than a fraction of what you would receive in a suit, but going to court is a risk in itself.
Additionally, if you do decide to go to court, it’s important to know the standard of liability your state uses for personal injury cases. Utah, for instance, uses the no-fault standard, which places limitations on when plaintiffs can recover damages.
Speak with a Car Accident Claim Lawyer
If you’ve been injured in a collision and want a quick settlement, it’s important to take action quickly. To help speed up the process, contact a car accident claim lawyer at Craig Swapp & Associates today. Call us at 1-800-404-9000, or schedule your free consultation by filling out the contact form below.