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How long does it take to settle a car accident claim?

The severity of the injuries and losses sustained play a huge role in determining the length of time it takes to settle a claim. Settling refers to coming to agreeable terms with the insurance company.

For instance, claims where there are obvious injuries with no long term effects will take the least amount of time to settle. For example, if a victim suffers a broken leg as the result of an accident, there is an expectation that the injury will heal in a short period of time with a relatively low amount of medical intervention.

In situations where injuries are more severe, for instance, emotional trauma, long-term pain or loss of cognitive functioning, the case will take longer due to the current level of medical intervention along with necessary ongoing treatments and therapies. In these instances, the insurance company may not agree with the proposed settlement amount and seek to negotiate. Where negotiations fail, the case proceeds to court where a judge or jury – after reviewing and weighing the evidence – makes the determination as to the award amount.

Settlements can take several months to greater than one year for injury cases. If a case proceeds to court, the time to completion is multiplied, sometimes exponentially.

Even when seeking a settlement with the insurance company, it is a good idea to have a lawyer review your case and work on your behalf to achieve the best settlement possible.

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