Getting in a car accident is traumatic any way you look at it. If you were fortunate, and there are no injuries involved, you will still be dealing with insurance companies and repair bills. In the worst-case scenario, you could be dealing with a life-changing injury, pain and suffering, time missed from work, and sky-high medical costs.
When a client comes to us with a car accident case, often one of their first questions is how long their case will take. We understand that you are anxious to receive compensation for your injuries and car repairs and to get on with your life. Unfortunately, however, there isn’t always a clear answer to this question.
How long your car accident case will take depends on several factors such as:
Extent of Your Injuries
Injuries have a lot to do with how long your case will take. If you or a loved one has been injured in the accident, your lawyer will not want to move ahead with your case until you have healed. They call this “maximum medical improvement” or MMI. Only then will your lawyer be able to fully assess the extent and any lasting impact of your injuries and be able to better arrive at a dollar amount of what the injury portion of your case is worth. You may have a broken bone for instance, but down the road it may be determined it is not healing properly and surgery or physical therapy is required. Additional treatment can increase the dollar amount of your case because of things like additional medical bills.
Who is at Fault?
If there is a case of clear liability, meaning it is obvious who caused the wreck, your case may move along quicker. Often if the liability is very clear, the insurance company for the driver at fault will want to settle the case sooner than later. To drag a case out and fight all the way to trial is expensive and will not necessarily help them. If liability is complicated, however, it will take more time to dissect the actual circumstances of your accident. The insurance company may then feel that they have a chance to prove their client was not at fault. This will increase the time it takes to complete your case.
Value of Case
If you sustained significant injuries and have high medical bills and/or permanent injuries, your case may take longer to complete. companies often fight these cases harder and will be less open to settling your case.
The Good News
All of the above aside, it is important to keep in mind that insurance companies will usually work hard to avoid going to trial. Our firm is ready and willing to take a case to trial should that approach be necessary; however, we also know that trials can be lengthy and expensive for all parties concerned, so it is often not our client’s preference and/or in our client’s best interest to go to trial if a settlement can be reached before then. We look at each of our cases individually and work with our clients to make the best decision for their case, themselves, and their loved ones.
We understand that you may have debt from your accident that you are dealing with and that you are anxious to put your car accident behind you. We make every effort to ensure that your case moves forward smoothly and efficiently so you can get on with your life. Our personal injury team works with our clients every step of the way to make sure the process is clear and that there is someone always available to answer questions and lend a listening ear. If you have been in a car accident, call us today to discuss your case. We’re available 24/7, and we can often come to you. The first consultation is free, and we’ll talk with you to review the facts of your case and help you make the best decision for yourself and your family.