How Long Can It Take to Settle a Car Accident Claim?
This is one of the most common questions accident victims ask their attorneys. The answer depends on several factors that are specific to your claim, especially the type and severity of your injury, whether the insurance company cooperates and if the case goes to trial.
You can discuss this issue with the experienced New Jersey car accident lawyers at the Lynch Law Firm, PC in a free consultation. We are here to answer your legal questions.
Factors Affecting the Duration of a Claim
There are three primary factors that affect the duration of a claim:
Type of Injury
One of the most important factors affecting the length of your car accident claim is the type of injury you suffered. Generally, the more serious the injury, the longer it will take to resolve your claim. This is because it will take longer for you to complete treatment.
Lawyers generally wait for victims to reach maximum medical improvement to estimate the full value of damages. At this point, your condition has stabilized and doctors can determine if you may need future medical care. Your lawyer may also have a better idea of the full cost of your medical expenses.
A large part of your settlement may be your medical expenses, both what you have already paid and what you may need to pay in the future.
Whether the Insurance Company Cooperates
The insurance company has the right to investigate an accident and communicate with the parties involved fully. However, there are deadlines for settling claims.
In New Jersey, the insurance company has up to 45 days to settle a third-party claim. In some situations, this time limit may be extended if the insurance company needs to conduct an additional investigation. However, you must receive a written explanation if your claim is not resolved within 45 days.
Some insurance companies may take the entire 45 days while others may resolve the claim much faster. Some have company policies that require them to resolve a claim faster than 45 days.
Smaller insurance companies may take longer to process a claim because there are fewer adjusters to handle it. Some companies require several internal reviews and approval by several different parties before the claim can be resolved.
If your claim is denied, it will take much longer to resolve.
Whether the Case Goes to Trial
If your claim is denied or the insurance company fails to make a reasonable offer of compensation, your case may proceed to trial. Your lawyer may try to negotiate a settlement shortly after filing the lawsuit. However, if a settlement is not reached, you may need to go to trial to have a chance of obtaining fair compensation.
One of the most important parts of the pre-trial process is discovery when lawyers request information about a claim. The insurance company may not offer another settlement until after this process is completed, which often takes several months. There may also be several settlement and pre-trial conferences scheduled before the trial date.
Contact Lynch Law Firm, PC for More Information
If you have questions about your car accident claim, contact Lynch Law Firm, PC for a free consultation. We are here to answer your questions and if you hire us to represent you, there are no upfront fees.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we may be able to assist you.
Call us today at (800) 518-0508 .