Car Accident 101: How Long Does It Take to Get a Settlement and Who Pays for Damages?

Waiting for your settlement money after a vehicle accident may be stressful and frustrating. It can take six to eight weeks in certain cases, but each scenario is different, and settlements can take a long period in other cases. Large amounts of energy and talks between attorneys and appropriate entities may be necessary in order to get a settlement check. Depending on the facts, circumstances, and damages involved in each case, it might take anything from a few months to many years.

Why Do Some Automobile Accident Cases Take So Long to Resolve?

The amount of time required for the wounded individual to achieve a full recovery is the number one reason why automobile accident settlements take so long. The last thing the victim and their lawyer want to do is settle a lawsuit before they know the full amount of their injuries and damages.

The settlement and negotiating procedure for a vehicle accident claim does not begin until the injured party’s medical treatment is completed, and the ailment is either cured or at maximal medical improvement. Other factors that contribute to the length of time it takes for a vehicle accident to be resolved include:

  • Disagreement about fault. If the other motorist denies culpability or it isn’t obvious at the moment of the collision, demonstrating that they were 100 percent at fault may be challenging. Your personal injury lawyer will need to examine the accident and gather information to back up your allegation that the other motorist is at fault.
  • The insurance company denies the evidence. Another issue that might delay a settlement is if the insurance company refuses to accept the evidence. In this situation, your lawyer may need to file a lawsuit and go to trial.

Receiving an opening settlement offer from the insurance company after filing a demand letter might take anywhere from two to six weeks (although they can take longer). Negotiations might continue for another two weeks until a reasonable resolution is reached.

Before mailing a check, the insurance company will demand a signed release of liability. Insurance companies are notorious for taking up to 30 days to release settlement cheques. When your attorney receives it, he or she will put money into a special trust or escrow account. This is just temporary, and your lawyer will release your settlement funds after the check clears (one to three days).

Your attorney, on the other hand, may be unable to obtain a reasonable settlement with the insurance. You can then choose to go to trial, which will take longer and include a completely other schedule.

Who Covers the Costs of a Car Accident Settlement?

The responsible party’s vehicle insurance company is usually the major source of car accident compensation payouts:

  • The at-fault driver’s insurance company
  • The at-fault driver personally
  • The insurer of a driver who was not at fault

Determining who is responsible for paying damages, and how much those damages are, is one job of your personal injury attorney. Contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker now at 800-333-0000 to request a free legal consultation.