How Long Does It Usually Take To Settle a Car Accident Lawsuit?

by William Mattar | December 25th, 2020

model car wreck and gavelCar accidents are one of the most common insurance claims made in New York City, as the city averages hundreds of car accidents per day. Each accident will involve insurance companies fighting it out to determine who is supposed to pay for things. Insurance companies don’t want to pay any more than is absolutely necessary.

Generally speaking, a car accident claim can take anywhere from a few months to many years to settle. There is no way to generalize, as each case is unique. Generally speaking, some common factors can affect claim duration.

The Degree of Injury

The degree of injury can affect claim duration. Accidents with major injuries will sometimes take additional time because the long-term nature of the injuries will need to be evaluated: if you have a long-term injury, then that will affect your life in a permanent way, and that could lead to a lawsuit for major damages; you do not want to compromise the claim before the true extent of the injury is ascertained. By knowing the extent of the injury and knowing the full extent of what you can expect in medical costs, you will be better prepared to engage in settlement negotiations.

Issues with Determining Liability

Before any lawsuit can be filed, all culpable parties must be identified. Obviously, the person at fault is the person who is going to be held liable for damages. But if there is a question about who was at fault, then things can get murkier. This is even more of an issue if more than two parties are potentially liable. Being able to determine who is liable will pave the way to quicker claim resolution.

The Amount and Quality of Evidence

This is part and parcel of determining liability. If you don’t have good evidence of who was at fault, then it may be more difficult to negotiate a settlement. This goes for everything from witnesses on the scene to police reports to photos of the vehicles. It also applies to medical records: often, a car accident injury isn’t immediately documented in the emergency room, and the problem may be more noticeable in the days and weeks following the accident.

The Settlement Demand

A settlement demand is the amount of money you are seeking from the insurance company. If your settlement demand is very high and the insurance company believes your injuries do not warrant your settlement demand figure, the case will likely not settle. Insurance companies are in the business of managing risks. If the risk of non-settlement outweighs the benefits of settlement, the insurance company will likely do what is possible to resolve the claim.

Court Case Timelines

This is something that is somewhat out of your control. If a settlement cannot be negotiated out of court, you will have to move the case through the court system. Delays are inherent in the court system. Hearings and meetings might be scheduled weeks or months away, and you may have to wait years before the case is finally tried before a jury.

Whether or Not You Hire an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer

Another consideration is the experience of your attorney. An attorney like those at William Mattar, that are experienced in handling car accident injury cases, will generally know what actions can be taken to expedite your claim so that you achieve the best possible settlement in the least amount of time. Contact William Mattar law offices today.