Adhering to all these suggestions may not always guarantee that your case will be resolved faster, but it will certainly help your attorney get your file set up quickly.
Being involved in a Florida personal injury incident or car accident is incredibly stressful and can greatly affect your ability to get around. One of the most common questions our team hears from clients is, “How long it will take for my accident claim to settle?” We understand the urgency of trying to get your life back on track quickly, which includes seeking medical treatment for your injuries and repairing your car (or purchasing a new car in some cases).
The best answer we can provide to this question is: it depends on a variety of factors. Every personal injury accident is unique, and depending on the circumstances of your accident, several variables may affect the outcome of your case according to our Clearwater personal injury law firm. Read this article to learn more about the factors that can affect the timeline for your car accident settlement.
Florida Personal Injury Accident Settlement Process Overview
Before Filing Your Claim
Filing a claim with your insurance company can be challenging because insurance agents are trained to minimize their company’s risk by offering low settlement amounts. They may even manipulate you into thinking that you share fault for the accident and deserve minimal compensation. Hiring an attorney can be an important step to maximizing your claim.
Attorneys have plenty of experience dealing with insurance companies and will be able to convince them to consider a more favorable result. Once you have provided your attorney with all information related to your accident, they will be able to further investigate the circumstances of the accident to handle the insurance claim on your behalf.
After Filing Your Claim
After your claim has been filed and the insurance company has received documentation of all your medical bills and expenses incurred from the accident, the insurance adjuster will have the information to offer a settlement. Depending on the circumstances of the case, their initial offer may be low. Your attorney will be able to negotiate with them to get you the compensation you deserve to help make you whole again.
If a fair settlement cannot be reached in the pre-litigation phase of your case, the next step would be to file a lawsuit. Your attorney will then gather evidence related to your claim through discovery. After receiving testimonies from medical experts and an accident reconstruction specialist if needed, your attorney will pursue the compensation you deserve for your accident.
While some cases may go to trial, it is more common that an attorney will reach a fair settlement prior to litigation. This ultimately saves time and money for all parties involved and may significantly reduce the length of time for you to get your car accident settlement.
How Long Does a Car Accident Settlement Take to Complete?
The average settlement time varies and can depend on several factors. Some circumstances that can influence the settlement time depend on who was at fault, who witnessed the accident, and the extent of your injuries.
The Party at Fault
If liability is uncontested and the driver who hit you is cited, this will generally make for a quicker settlement. In some cases, the other driver will admit fault before an in-depth investigation is required. However, if liability is unclear or contested, determining who was at fault can lengthen the amount of time it takes to reach a settlement.
You can help expedite the process to get your claim in by providing as much detail as possible in your initial consultation with your attorney. Providing important evidence such as photos, eyewitness contact information, and copies of your accident report will also shorten the initial time it takes to work up your claim.
If you were involved in an auto accident and the police were not called to the scene, you should ask witnesses for their personal statements. Getting their contact information will help your attorney build your case by stringing together eyewitness accounts to help build a complete picture. However, this will lengthen the amount of time to process your claim. Whenever possible, try to contact the police to file an official report.
Your Medical Condition
After an accident, you may not understand the full extent of your injuries for quite some time. Doctors can perform diagnostic care and treatment, but certain injuries will become worse over time. Settling your claim too quickly can stunt your recovery, especially if you are recommended for surgery several months after an accident, but your initial settlement will not cover the costs.
Continuing to care for and monitor your symptoms can lengthen the car accident settlement process, but this will ultimately be in your best interest. Try to be patient and remain consistent with your follow-up care during this process. It will assist your attorney in pursuing a strong case for compensation.
How to Help Your Personal Injury Case
After being involved in an auto accident, there are steps that you can take to protect your potential claim for compensation. Be sure to do the following if you are able:
- Call the police: After pulling out of harm’s way, it is important to call the police as soon as you are able. Having an official accident report will be crucial to determining liability in regard to your accident. The quicker liability can be established, the quicker the insurance company is likely to act.
- Perform an exchange of information: As quickly as possible, be sure to get the other driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance. The more quickly this information is provided to your attorney’s office, the more quickly they can set up your file and begin the negotiation process. If the police are called to the scene of an accident, they will perform a formal exchange when they file the accident report.
- Get witness contact information: As previously mentioned, eyewitness contact information can be very helpful to paint a picture of the accident as it happened. The sooner you can provide this to the attorney’s office, the sooner they can build a proper picture of the scene.
- Take pictures: It will be important for you to provide pictures of the scene and any property damage. This will help establish liability and encourage insurance companies to move more quickly on a claim.
- Seek medical treatment: Car accidents can involve serious trauma to the body and large amounts of force. It is important for you to seek treatment as quickly as possible after an accident. With your adrenaline flowing after an accident, you may not even realize the extent of your injuries for some time.
- Notify your insurance company of the accident: It is important to notify your insurance company as soon as possible after an accident to get a claim started. Be sure not to discuss any injuries with the adjuster you speak to or any details of the accident. Insurance adjusters are trained to mitigate damages for their company and will attempt to steer the conversation in a way that places some or all of the fault for the accident on you. Do not give them the opportunity to do this. Your attorney will be able to file the claim on your behalf once you have agreed to the representation.
Adhering to all these suggestions may not always guarantee that your case will be resolved faster, but it will certainly help your attorney get your file set up quickly. Overall, keeping these in mind will help set up your case for success.
Looking for an Experienced Florida Personal Injury Law Firm?
When determining how long it will take for your car accident claim to settle, finding the right law firm for your case will be an important step.
The team at Carey Leisure & Neal has been operating at a high level of excellence since our founding in 1984. Our goal is to get every case that comes into our office moving without missing a beat. If you have been injured in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence, our Clearwater Auto Accident Attorneys can help.