How Long Does a Car Accident Settlement Usually Take?

After a serious car accident people frequent want a prompt settlement of their car accident injury claim. There are however several considerations that go into determining how long the settlement process will take and whether or not it is in your best interests to try to settle as quickly as possible. This article will explain how the amount of time your car accident settlement will take is dependent upon how long you spend receiving medical treatments followed by how long settlement negotiations take.

 The settlement proceeds from a personal injury case usually come from the insurance company of the at-fault driver. The professional adjusters and other employees of that insurance company do not look out for you, their job is to look out for their employer and pay you as little as possible. They are not required to pay your medical bills, lost wages or other expenses as they accrue. In most cases you will receive one amount from the at-fault carrier which is to permanently and totally compensate you for your claim.

 Before you can negotiate you need to complete all of your medical treatments and obtain a professional medical opinion regarding any permanent impairment.  If you settle your case, and then later realize that you still need more medical treatments or that you will never fully recovery, it will likely be impossible to go back to the insurance company and demand more money. In serious car accident cases the medical treatments may go on for a year or more. These cases may take a longer time period to settle. In smaller cases, such as those involving a single emergency room visit, the time period to settle may be much quicker.

The insurance company also expects you to fully and professionally present your claim, as well as to negotiate, to obtain the maximum amount you can receive. It is not unusual at all even in cases with serious injuries and clear fault for an insurance company to initially deny a claim all together, or to offer only a small fraction of what will be the final figure. A quick settlement, or taking the insurance company’s first offer, may not be in your best financial interest. It is not uncommon for each side in a serious case to spend several days evaluating the last settlement demand or offer before determining their next step.

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