There is no such thing as an average time to settle an automobile accident claim because numerous factors influence how long it takes to calculate and settle a claim. Obviously, each automobile accident is unique, and the length of time it takes to settle an auto accident lawsuit varies depending on the specifics and facts of the case.
An automobile accident case can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months (or years) to resolve. There is a lot to look at on both sides, and if you have serious injuries and or property damage, the settlement process can take even longer than the standard timeline.
Settlement Process After a Car Accident
The first step in any settlement process is to hire an experienced car accident attorney. Hiring a vehicle accident attorney after a collision can help determine the value of the case early on. When an individual meets with a lawyer about their case, the lawyer will be familiar with the intricacies and circumstances and will be able to get the proof they require. Following that, an attorney can prepare to speak with an insurance company and protect the rights of their client.
The insurance adjuster will generally offer a settlement once the parties have filed a claim and the insurance company has documentation of all medical costs and losses. An attorney can work with the insurance adjusters to get you the money you deserve.
A vehicle accident lawyer can pursue a reasonable settlement using the data they collect and possibly the assistance of medical professionals and accident reconstructionists. They will not be able to give an exact timeline for an accident settlement. Most of the time, determining the length of a settlement process is out of the hands of the attorney. Unexpected delays might cause a settlement process to drag on. They have no way of knowing what turns your case will take, but they will do everything they can to help you get the best possible result.
What Factors Go into the Settlement Discussions?
If your settlement process lasts more than a few months, it may become more complicated and require more time. The following variables may have an impact on the settlement process and the length required to resolve a claim:
- Fault/liability: In some car accidents, establishing blame and showing negligence is more challenging. If a victim shares fault, it might make the procedure more difficult in jurisdictions like Iowa that apply comparative negligence, which apportions fault and damages. Determining liability may lengthen the settlement process.
- Witnesses: : If there were numerous eyewitnesses to the accident and you shared information with them in order for them to submit testimonies, personal injury lawyers will have to take the time to interview a large number of witnesses. This procedure can take months or even years. It may be difficult to coordinate with all of the witnesses and have them fulfill their critical roles at the most convenient moment.
- Recovery: The final amount of medical bills will be determined if a victim still needs treatment for thier injuries. Only after a person has fully recovered will they be able to determine the medical costs and any future medical care that may require. A victim will also have a better sense of what to ask for in terms of lost income compensation. A vehicle accident lawyer is unlikely to settle a claim until a victim has completed their recovery or are fully aware of all the recoverable damages to which they may be entitled.
Insurance Companies and Settlements
An individual who has recently sustained an injury should not have to deal with unpleasant phone calls with insurance adjusters, who are infamous for duping individuals into believing they are at fault or share fault in an accident and so do not deserve much, if any, compensation. Your lawyer can fight for the compensation to which you are entitled. They have fought insurance companies before and can use that experience to help you.
The more serious an accident is, the longer the case will take to resolve. According to the Insurance Information Institute, as the accident rate continues to increase, so does the size and length of insurance claims.
Insurance companies will look into a case and try to locate any minor bits of evidence they may use against you in order to lower the value of your claim. They could also take longer to offer or payout compensation. Working with a vehicle accident attorney might help win the case. A lawyer is familiar with insurance company techniques and can manage all communication with them while remaining productive.
Lawsuit vs. Settlement Timeline
Your personal injury case might be settled at any time if a lawsuit has been filed for your insurance claim. There are a few common bending points for settlement that might help figure out how long something will take. The optimum moment to settle a case is usually shortly after the claim has been filed for a lawsuit—this will usually push the other side or insurance companies into a settlement. This shows the insurance company that this is a serious matter. Sometimes the threat of litigation will result in an instant and significant rise in the offer from many insurers.
After the discovery phase of the action is completed, the second bending point occurs during the pre-trial meeting (or at a private mediation). This is generally when a case will be settled if it has not already come to a resolution. Most insurance companies and parties will want to avoid a trial.
Contact the Iowa Personal Injury Attorneys at Mueller, Schmidt, Mulholland & Cooling
After a car accident, it is imperative that you speak with an attorney as soon as possible. The statute of limitation laws in Iowa are strict. If you or a loved one have been injured, contact us today to discuss your case and obtain proper legal advice through a free consultation with one of our experienced auto accident attorneys. You can reach us online or by phone at (515) 444-4000