Car Accident Settlements_ Process and Timeline

How do car accident settlements work? When a person is involved in a car accident, one of the first questions they ask is when and how they’ll get their settlement. After all, a car accident can wreak havoc on a person’s financial stability. It leaves them in a vulnerable financial position. However, resolving a car accident claim is a process that can take time.

At JJ Legal, we can help you understand the car accident settlement process and how long that process can take. The more you understand how a car accident claim works, the better you’ll be able to deal with the potential ups and downs of filing your claim and reaching a fair settlement.

Car Accident Settlements: The Process

A car accident settlement is an agreement between two parties to settle a claim or dispute. Typical car accident settlements occur between an injured individual and the insurance company of the at-fault party. After reviewing the details of a car accident claim, an insurer estimates the claim’s value. It should compensate for the financial losses their insured inflicted on the injured party by causing the accident. These losses include medical expenses and property damage.

A car accident settlement is intended to resolve an injured individual’s claim, allowing both parties to move forward from the accident. Accepting a settlement offer from an insurer means you agree that you cannot pursue legal action against the insurer seeking more money if the settlement offer falls short of covering your losses.

Filing a car accident claim involves notifying your insurer and the at-fault party’s insurer that the accident took place. Then you collect evidence, send a demand letter to the at-fault party’s insurance company, and negotiate for the money you deserve. You can streamline this process and make it easier on yourself by hiring an experienced car accident attorney to handle your case.

Negotiating a Settlement with the Insurance Company

One of the most intimidating aspects of recovering money from an insurance company following an accident is the negotiation process. Some insurers use aggressive tactics to intimidate vulnerable accident victims into accepting an initial settlement offer below the fair value of their car accident claim.

Rarely is it in your best interest to accept an initial settlement offer. Insurance companies are for-profit businesses. Part of the way they keep profits high is by quickly moving through accident claims. They offer low payouts to people desperate for money to stay afloat during the tough times caused by the accident.

Negotiating for the fair and accurate value of your claim is essential. However, you must understand what your claim is worth. That means not always taking the insurance company’s estimate at face value.

Consulting an experienced car accident attorney is a wise move. An attorney can carefully review the specifics of your situation. They calculate the fair value of your claim based on your medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and other factors that may influence the value of your claim. You can make more informed decisions while your lawyer negotiates with the insurance company when your lawyer accurately estimates the value of all your financial and intangible losses. They can negotiate aggressively for you, free you to focus on healing from your injuries.

Accepting a Settlement Agreement

You can accept the insurance company’s settlement offer if negotiations are successful. A final settlement agreement, signed by the parties, officially settles your car accident claim. The document outlines the settlement terms and the amount the insurer agrees to pay for your injuries. These agreements also contain language that prevents you from taking legal action against the insurer, so before you sign, you must be confident that you are getting what you deserve from the agreement.

A settlement agreement also typically includes information on the payment process, including the approximate date and payment method.

What Happens When Negotiations Stall?

What happens when negotiations stall, or the insurer refuses to negotiate with you in good faith? You still have legal options for recovering the money you need. If you find an insurance company offer unacceptable, your attorney may suggest moving forward with a personal injury lawsuit and taking your case to court.

An attorney is essential when negotiations sour or the negotiation process gets dragged out for an extended period. You have limited time to file a personal injury lawsuit. Insurers know this. Some insurance adjusters employ tactics designed to wait you out and extend the negotiation process past the legal deadline for filing a personal injury lawsuit against them. At that time, you have almost no option but to accept whatever settlement offer they present.

Working with an attorney means you have a knowledgeable advocate who can manage legal deadlines and have a plan in place should negotiations fail.

How Long Does a Car Accident Settlement Take?

Car Accident Settlements_ Process and Timeline

How long it takes to settle a car accident claim and how quickly you get your money varies. Some claims are resolved in a matter of weeks. However, complex claims involving severe injuries and significant financial losses can take months and sometimes years to resolve.

Every car accident claim is unique. If you have concerns about the time it may take to settle your claim, speak with a knowledgeable car accident attorney. An attorney can thoroughly review your situation and give you a better idea of how long it may take to resolve your claim. In some situations, the faster and more eager you are to settle, the less money an insurer may be willing to offer. Negotiations for maximum compensation can require time and patience.

Get Help Negotiating a Fair Settlement Offer Today

Did a careless motorist injure you in an accident? You have legal rights. Discuss your claim with a knowledgeable car accident attorney today to learn more about your options for recovering maximum compensation for your losses. At JJ Legal, our dedicated legal team has recovered over $1 billion in verdicts and settlements for our clients.

Call 312-200-2000 and schedule a free consultation with one of our car accident lawyers today.

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