A car accident is a very traumatic experience for anyone. Not only does it cause physical injury, but can also lead to a lot of financial troubles. The mental and emotional problems that follow as a result of the accident don’t help either. Not only are you affected by the accident but your family members and close friends as well. And if another person caused the accident, then the pain and trauma are that much higher.
Car accident cases are generally straightforward, and the settlement happens quickly. However, in some situations, the settlement may take longer than expected. Fighting for a settlement can be very stressful for an accident victim and his/her family.
But even before we go into why a settlement could get delayed, it is necessary to know all the steps involved in litigation for a car accident.
- The plaintiff files a complaint against the opposite party.
- The defendant gets served a copy of the complaint by the plaintiff. This will generally take a few weeks, but this step can drag on for months in some situations.
- The defendant will then have to respond to the complaint. Generally, he/she gets about a month to file the response.
- The collection of information begins at this stage. Each party will have to give all the information they have about the accident. This step generally takes a few months as there could be a lot of information to collate.
- The trial begins once the information is in. In most cases, the trial will take one or two days.
- Any party who is not happy with the result of the trial can appeal to the court. Appeals could be filed at many levels.
Why Would A Car Accident Settlement Take Long?
While most people expect car accident settlements to not take too long, in some situations, these cases may go on for a long period of time. There could be several factors that may affect a car accident settlement.
The Severity Of Damages
How severe and what type of damage the accident has caused can influence the time taken for the settlement. Damages can be of two types – damage to your vehicle as well as your physical injuries and mental trauma. Let us look at an example:
You own a regular car and it gets totaled in an accident. You also fracture an arm in the same accident. In a situation like this, where the damage and injury are straightforward, the settlement may not take too long. However, if the car involved in the accident was a brand new, high-end vehicle, and you suffer injuries that require multiple surgeries and months of recuperation, then the settlement may get complicated and take a longer time.
Also, if you suffer serious life-threatening injuries like brain damage, paralysis, loss of limb, or something similar, then the car accident settlement amounts could be massive, and this can cause further delays.
Cooperation From The Opposite Party
This has a significant influence on the amount of time an accident settlement could take. If you have severe injuries with high medical bills, then the opposite party’s insurance company will try to minimize the settlement amount and may not be very cooperative. In addition, if the opposite driver refuses to accept his mistake, then the insurance company will also make it tough for you to get a settlement. It is important that both parties cooperate with each other for an accident settlement to be concluded quickly.
Time Taken In Legal Proceedings
Legal proceedings can take a long time, especially if the initial settlement talks don’t go very well. Your lawyer will have to file a legal complaint if the responsible driver doesn’t accept fault and if his/her insurance company doesn’t cooperate. While, in principle, the litigation is supposed to speed up the process, it can do just the opposite, especially if the opposite driver’s insurance company decides to fight the claim, dragging the proceedings further.
Lack Of Clarity For Fault
If it is not clear who was really at fault at the time of the accident, the opposite driver or his/her insurance company may not agree to settle. Or even if there is a slight chance that you were also responsible for the accident, then again, the opposite drive may decide to fight the case. This can further delay the settlement.
Car accidents are by themselves very traumatic, and you will take a long time to heal from them, not just physically but mentally as well. Every car accident is different from the other. Some may get settled quickly while some may go on for months or years. There could be several factors that affect the time taken to solve the case and come to a settlement. In some situations, the cases could drag on for years. At such times, not having good counsel can cost you greatly. A good attorney will not only gather all the information on your behalf and represent you in a court of law but will also fight to handle the insurance company and ensure you get the compensation amount you deserve.
If you or a family member has been involved in a car accident, then leave the worrying about the settlement to Rector Stuzynski LLC. We have been dealing with car accidents for decades and know what it takes to get a fair settlement for our clients. We will ensure we collect all the information about the accident from you and will look at each and every detail thoroughly. Not only will we guide you every step of the way, but will also represent you in the court of law. We will fight till the end for your settlement and ensure you get justice. Our team will not rest till you get a fair settlement that you are satisfied with. Contact Rector Stuzynski LLC for a free case evaluation today. You can either opt for a virtual consultation or give us a call to book an appointment.