Car accidents cause intense financial pressure on accident victims, many of whom are in too much pain to work. At the exact moment when they don’t have money coming in the door, their bills have exploded. Many accident victims are afraid they cannot pay their mortgage or rent.
If you’ve been involved in an accident, we can help. Groth & Associates has negotiated many settlements for car accident victims. One common question involves time—”When will I get my settlement?” The answer, unfortunately, is “it depends.” There are several factors involved, which our car accident lawyer examines below.
Is Fault in Dispute?
Under personal injury law, you can only sue someone for an accident if they were at least partially at fault. Essentially, fault means responsibility. If someone caused your accident, you can sue them.
The parties involved in a car accident often disagree about the fault. For example, you might have been rear-ended in a parking lot because the driver was following too closely or looking at their phone. But the other driver might claim you pulled out in front of them or braked too suddenly. This is a disagreement about who is responsible for the collision.
To determine fault, insurance adjusters and lawyers must gather evidence—police reports, pictures, and eyewitness statements. The fault might take months to determine. In some cases, however, the two sides will never agree on fault—in which case you’ll end up in court for a judge or jury to decide.
If the fault isn’t in dispute, you can probably get a settlement within 6 months. If there’s disagreement, however, you might need to wait more than a year for your trial. Any jury verdict can also be appealed.
Are Your Injuries Permanent?
You can seek compensation for all sorts of losses related to your injuries, such as medical expenses, future medical expenses, lost wages, and loss of earning capacity. To fully understand the extent of these losses, you might need to wait. If you make a demand for compensation too soon, you might not request enough compensation.
Remember, when you accept a settlement, you will probably need to sign a release of liability, which means you can’t sue the defendant again for more money. Generally, we make a settlement offer when our clients reach maximum medical improvement. This means your condition can’t improve with more treatment, and we will have a firm grasp on the full extent of your losses.
Do You Have an Attorney?
Many insurance companies feel no pressure to offer a fair settlement if a victim doesn’t have a lawyer. Instead, one common tactic is to drag out negotiations so long that you feel you have no choice but to accept the first lowball offer. An attorney can often speed up the settlement process considerably. For immediate assistance, contact Groth & Associates today.
Our firm has handled countless car accident lawsuits and settlements. We can meet in a free consultation to review the facts of your case and provide an individualized assessment of your odds of receiving a settlement.