Car accident victims often find the wait for a claim settlement very frustrating. Though several personal injury claims like car accidents are settled out of court, they do not settle quickly. Several factors can affect how long a claim takes to settle, and this also depends on each case.
The laws that govern car accident claims also vary from state to state, and if you have a car accident claim, you should talk to a personal injury lawyer near you for proper advice. A lawyer will advise you on what you need to do to protect your claim, state laws, and help you with the process.
Waiting on a car accident settlement is never easy. After reviewing your case, your lawyer will consider all the factors that can affect the case and predict how long the case will take. Here are some of the factors that determine how long the settlement takes.
The legal basis for proving liability is to determine negligence. This is the defendant’s failure to act with enough care that any other person under the same circumstances would have. To establish if the at-fault party was negligent, the plaintiff’s lawyer has to prove that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care.
In this case, it can be the other driver who is obligated to uphold traffic laws and drive safely or the vehicle manufacturer, if defective parts caused the accident. This is because they should ensure that the vehicle is safe and reliable. Other parties, such as the mechanic or the local government, can also be held liable for the accident.
The plaintiff should also prove that the defendant breached the duty of care or was reckless and their actions caused the accident and the victim’s injuries. If the defendant denies fault or liability, the plaintiff will have to gather evidence or use experts to prove liability, and this can take time.
The Extent of the Injuries
If your injuries are severe, you may have a valid claim against the at-fault party. However, you will need medical records to prove the severity of your injuries. If the insurance policy is limited, you can only claim with some exceptions. The law will determine which injuries are serious and what you can claim. Your lawyer will consider the extent of your injuries when negotiating the settlement. Injuries that are challenging to prove or calculate will require more time, affecting how long the settlement takes.
Documentation and Evidence
A lot of documentation is needed to prove negligence, the severity of injuries, and damages, among others. If the accident caused a lot of harm, you would have to conduct a proper investigation to support your claim. Your lawyer will need accident reports, medical records, the police report, the at-fault party information, witness statements, medical bills, other expenses, losses, and proof of non-economic damages. Collecting this information and evidence can take the legal team some time.
Amount of Damages and Your Level of Patience
If you have a valid case and are claiming a lot of damages, the at-fault insurance can try to settle the case first and give you a low-ball offer. If you are impatient, you can accept the offer and get an unfair settlement. If you are patient enough, your lawyer will negotiate your claim and ensure you get fair compensation.
Consult a Car Accident Lawyer
If you have a car accident claim, you need to talk to an experienced car accident lawyer in your area immediately. Negotiating such claims is not easy. To have the best possible outcome, you should allow your lawyer to gather the evidence you need to prove liability and your damage so that you can get the maximum settlement.