If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you need to recover just compensation as quickly as possible. So, how long does a car accident settlement take with a lawyer? Here’s what you need to know.
One of the main reasons to hire a lawyer after a car accident is to improve your chances of obtaining a fair settlement. Of course, you also need to try to make sure you receive just compensation as quickly as possible. With this in mind, you might be wondering, “How long does a car accident settlement take with a lawyer?”
Recovering just compensation after a car accident is not easy. It also isn’t necessarily a quick process. In fact, you don’t want the process to go too quickly, as this will almost certainly mean settling for less than you deserve. Before you settle, you need to have a clear understanding of how much you are entitled to recover—including how much you are entitled to receive for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses.
10 Factors that Impact How Long It Takes to Obtain a Car Accident Settlement
So, how long does a car accident settlement take with a lawyer? The short answer is, “It depends.” In fact, here are 10 factors that can all impact how long it takes to obtain a car accident settlement:
1. How Quickly You Hire a Lawyer
The sooner you hire a lawyer, the better chance you will have of obtaining a quick and favorable settlement. If you are serious about recovering the financial compensation you deserve, you should speak with a local lawyer about your car accident claim as soon as possible.
2. How Quickly You Obtain Medical Treatment
In addition to quickly hiring a lawyer, it is important that you quickly obtain medical treatment as well. If you delay unnecessarily in seeing a doctor, this will give the insurance companies more room to argue that your medical bills aren’t related to your car accident.
3. What Evidence is Available
Convincing the insurance companies to settle requires evidence of liability. This is another reason why it is important to hire a lawyer right away. Your lawyer will need to conduct an investigation—and he or she will need to do so before any critical evidence disappears.
4. How Clearly the Evidence Proves Fault
If the evidence doesn’t clearly point to the other driver being at fault, then this will most likely lengthen the settlement timeline. Your lawyer will need to argue for liability on your behalf, and he or she may need to argue against allegations of contributory negligence or comparative fault as well.
5. What Insurance Coverage is Available
The available insurance coverage is a key factor in many car accident settlement negotiations. Simply put, the more insurance coverage that is available, the less likely the insurance companies will offer a policy-limit settlement. Of course, having more coverage on the table is a good thing—even if it means that your lawyer needs to do more work to secure the maximum compensation available.
6. Whether the Insurance Company Acts in Good Faith
Insurance companies have an obligation to process all car accident claims in good faith. This is the law in California and other states across the country. Unfortunately, the insurance companies don’t always comply with the law; and, if an insurance company engages in bad-faith insurance practices when processing your claim, this could delay your financial recovery. On the positive side, if you fall victim to bad-faith insurance practices, your lawyer may be able to help you recover additional compensation.
7. How Much You Are Entitled to Recover
Similar to the amount of insurance coverage that is available, the amount you are entitled to recover will likely influence your settlement timeline as well. The greater the value of your claim, the more likely the insurance companies will try to get you to settle for just a fraction of what you are owed.
8. How Much You Are Willing to Accept
When you have a car accident claim, it is up to you do decide when (and if) to settle. This means that you will need to decide how much you are willing to accept. Most likely, your lawyer will advise you of a reasonable settlement range; and, if you receive an offer within this range, it will be up to you to decide whether to resolve your claim or keep fighting for more.
9. How Likely You Would Be To Win At Trial
If the insurance companies know that you are likely to win at trial (and you have a lawyer who is capable of winning at trial), they are far more likely to make a fair settlement offer. As a result, your lawyer’s ability to present a compelling case is likely to be a key factor when it comes to determining how long it takes your claim to settle.
10. What Steps You Take to Protect Your Rights
Finally, while your lawyer’s abilities will be crucial to your ability to quickly obtain a fair settlement, the steps you take matter, too. The more effort you put into helping your lawyer, the more likely you are to obtain an efficient and favorable result in your car accident insurance claim.
Why Is My Car Accident Settlement Taking So Long?
If you were injured in a car accident and you filed an insurance claim without hiring a lawyer, you might be wondering, “Why is my car accident settlement taking so long?” The short answer is: Because you have let the insurance companies take control of the process.
When you have a car accident claim, it is up to you to make sure you receive just compensation—and the best thing you can do is hire an experienced lawyer to fight on your behalf. If you are struggling to obtain payment from the insurance companies, it might not be too late to hire a lawyer, but you will definitely want to schedule a free initial consultation as soon as possible.
Should You Hire a Lawyer to Pursue a Car Accident Settlement?
Of course a settlement is never guaranteed, and no lawyer can ensure that he or she will be able to convince the insurance companies to settle for just compensation. But, hiring a lawyer gives you the best chance to obtain a fair settlement, and you have no reason not to put an experienced lawyer on your side.