Why Is My Accident Settlement Taking so Long?

October 12, 2023 | Gary Annes
Why Is My Accident Settlement Taking so Long?

Car accidents can result in debilitating injuries that leave accident victims needing ongoing medical treatment and rehabilitation. When an accident victim can establish the legal elements of their personal injury claim or lawsuit, they may recover compensation.

However, depending on the insurance company and the nature and extent of the accident victim's injuries, it can sometimes take time before the insurance company puts a reasonable settlement offer on the table.

After all, insurance companies are not incentivized to fully and fairly compensate you for your car accident losses. Rather, adjusters will try to resolve car accident claims as quickly and cheaply as possible.

By having an experienced car accident attorney in your corner, you increase your chances of receiving a favorable settlement result efficiently. Your lawyer will streamline the process, moving it along as quickly as possible.

For example, your attorney can aggressively negotiate with insurance company representatives and possibly threaten them with litigation if settlement negotiations are not going anywhere. If you decide to litigate your case in court, your lawyer will handle every step to obtain a fair and efficient result.

Every step of the way, your lawyer can answer your legal questions, advocate for your rights, and streamline the process to increase your chances of recovering a favorable monetary result in your case.

Types of Accidents That Involve Motor Vehicles

Many types of accidents can result from driver negligence. These include car, truckpedestrianbicycle, and motorcycle accidents. These collisions typically happen when people drive recklessly or carelessly or violate one or more traffic laws.

Specific traffic accidents that may result from negligent driving include:

Why Is My Accident Settlement Taking so Long?
  • T-bone or broadside accidents, where a negligent driver causes the front of their vehicle to strike the side panel of another vehicle that is traveling on an intersecting road
  • Rear-end or tailgate accidents, where a negligent driver follows another vehicle too closely, causing the front of their vehicle to hit the back of another vehicle
  • Sideswipe accidents, where the sides of two vehicles strike one another while moving in the same direction
  • Head-on collisions, where the front of one vehicle strikes the front of another, potentially leading to permanent injuries and fatalities for involved drivers and passengers

If you suffered injuries in one of these car crashes because of driver negligence, a skilled car accident attorney can enter an appearance in your case and help streamline the process.

Specifically, your lawyer can promptly begin investigating the circumstances of your accident, gathering documents on your behalf, and filing a claim with the insurance company in a timely manner.

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Why Do Motor Vehicle Accidents Happen?

Motor vehicle crashes typically occur because of driver negligence in some form.

One of the most common types of negligence that causes a traffic accident is road-rule violations. For example, a driver might fail to use their mirrors, exceed the speed limit, fail to yield the right-of-way to another vehicle or pedestrian, or fail to use their turn signal before executing a turn or switching lanes on a multilane road.

Traffic accidents may also occur when people drive in a distracted manner. Given the many electronic devices in vehicles today, it is easy for drivers to become distracted when they are behind the wheel.

Some of the most common types of distracted driving behaviors involve programming a GPS navigation system while driving, sending or responding to a text message on a phone or tablet while behind the wheel, roughhousing with vehicle passengers, listening to loud music in a vehicle, programming a stereo system or adjusting the volume.

All these activities may cause a driver to become distracted and cause them to take their eyes off the road for some time. Consequently, the driver may lose focus or fail to see an approaching vehicle, pedestrian, or cyclist. As a result, they might negligently cause an accident, which leads to severe injuries.

Traffic accidents may also happen when people drive aggressively. This type of driving can also escalate to road rage, and it occurs when a driver reacts inappropriately to a real or perceived circumstance that arises while they are on the road.

Road rage may involve any of the following activities: switching travel lanes without using a turn signal, tailgating other vehicles, excessive speeding, weaving in and out of heavy traffic, and aggressive horn honking. When drivers exhibit these reckless behaviors, they may inadvertently bring about a traffic accident that injures numerous drivers and passengers.

Finally, many traffic accidents happen when drivers are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Intoxicated driving is extremely dangerous because alcohol may cause a driver to lose focus on the road and drive in an unsafe and erratic manner.

Alcohol may also slow the driver's brain functioning, impair their vision, and delay their reaction time. Consequently, an intoxicated driver might not see an approaching vehicle or pedestrian, or they may be unable to react in time to avoid a collision. Consequently, severe injuries and sometimes fatalities may result from an intoxicated driving accident.

If you suffered injuries in one of these types of accidents resulting from driver negligence, you must seek the legal help you need immediately. A car accident attorney in your area can probably investigate the circumstances of your accident and determine your legal options. Your lawyer can file a timely claim or lawsuit that seeks the monetary recovery you deserve for your injuries.

Injuries in Accidents Involving Motor Vehicles

Serious traffic accidents may lead to debilitating injuries that affect every aspect of an accident victim's life and well-being. The injuries an accident victim may suffer usually depend on the accident's severity, the number of collisions involved, the force of those collisions, and the accident victim's bodily movements during the crash.

Some of the most common injuries that car accident victims may suffer include mouth and teeth injuries, bruises, open lacerations, cuts and abrasions, soft tissue injuries, rib fractures, broken bones, internal bleeding, internal organ damage, spinal cord injuries, paralysis injuries, and death.

One of the best ways to streamline your personal injury claim or lawsuit is to complete all your medical treatment. By taking this step, you increase your chances of fully recovering from your injuries.

You also demonstrate to the insurance company that you deserve to recover favorable compensation for those injuries. If you discharge yourself early from treatment or miss medical appointments, this may delay your case. In these instances, insurance companies are often skeptical of an accident victim's injuries. Therefore, it may take longer to negotiate a favorable settlement offer from them.

While you focus on getting better, your attorney can gather important documents and assemble those documents into a demand package to present to the insurance company once your medical treatment is complete. Your attorney can then begin efficiently negotiating settlement compensation from the insurance company on your behalf.

Delays in Motor Vehicle Accident Cases

Both avoidable and unavoidable delays sometimes occur in car accident cases. As a result, it may take longer than usual for the injured accident victim to receive their settlement funds or litigation proceeds, such as jury awards or binding arbitration verdicts.

Some of the most common delays that happen in motor vehicle accident cases result from:

  • Serious injuries that take an extraordinarily long amount of time to seek treatment for and recover from
  • Stingy insurance companies and their adjusters who try to delay the process for as long as possible or refuse to offer favorable settlement compensation to resolve the case
  • Whether the car accident case must proceed to litigation and, if so, the venue where the car accident case is pending
  • Whether the accident victim needs to go to a civil jury trial or binding arbitration hearing for resolution, as opposed to settling the case out of court
  • The amount of time it takes to obtain essential documents in the case, including police reports, medical records, medical bills, and expert reports

Your car accident attorney will do everything they can to expedite and streamline the process so that you are not waiting an inordinate amount of time to recover the compensation you deserve through settlement or litigation.

Specifically, your lawyer can gather essential documents immediately, keep on insurance company adjusters, and pursue litigation quickly -- especially if it becomes clear that the insurance company will not offer you fair compensation voluntarily.

Filing a Timely Claim or Lawsuit

Your personal injury attorney can gather the necessary documents to file a claim with the at-fault driver's insurance company. To file this claim, your lawyer must obtain certain documents to prove your case. These documents may include police reports, medical bills, medical records, witness statements, expert reports, and lost-wage documentation from your employer.

Once your lawyer has all those documents, they can promptly submit a settlement demand package and a demand letter for settlement to the handling insurance company adjuster. If the insurance company accepts fault for your accident, your lawyer can begin negotiating a settlement offer from the adjuster.

Settlement negotiations can take a few weeks or months, depending on the circumstances, the insurance company, and the adjuster you are dealing with. Your lawyer will aggressively point out the strengths of your case while downplaying any weaknesses.

Additionally, if it becomes clear that the insurance company will not make you a reasonable settlement offer. In that case, your lawyer can file a lawsuit in court on your behalf and pursue the favorable monetary compensation you deserve.

If your case must proceed through litigation, it will be subject to various dates and deadlines that the court establishes. The court is usually responsible for setting settlement conference dates, discovery deadlines, and trial dates.

Therefore, the pending court cases may affect the time it takes to settle your claim. However, your attorney can take over every step of the litigation process, ensuring it proceeds as swiftly as possible.

Your attorney can also represent you at all litigation proceedings, including your discovery deposition, settlement conference, and civil jury trial.

Motor Vehicle Accident Damages

Victims of motor vehicle crashes may be eligible to recover several types and amounts of monetary damages. The accident victim can recover these damages through a favorable settlement offer from the insurance company or a favorable litigation result in the court system, such as a jury verdict or binding arbitration award.

Your attorney will do everything possible to maximize your total monetary damages, but the damage award you receive will usually depend on several factors, including the severity of your injuries, the extent of your medical treatment, and the total cost associated with your treatment.

Some of the most common damages a car crash victim may recover include compensation for past and anticipated medical expenses, lost earnings, loss of earning capacity, mental distress, pain and suffering, loss of spousal consortium, loss of the ability to use a body part, lost quality of life, lifetime care costs, and permanent disability or disfigurement.

Your attorney can negotiate aggressively on your behalf with insurance company adjusters and seek the highest amount of monetary damages available in the shortest amount of time possible.

Contact a Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyer in Your Area Today

In a motor vehicle accident claim, time is of the essence. This is because, under the statute of limitations, accident victims have only two years, beginning on their accident date, to file a personal injury lawsuit for monetary recovery.

Failing to file a lawsuit by the deadline almost guarantees that the accident victim can no longer receive any monetary damages for their losses. Therefore, act swiftly to retain a skilled personal injury attorney in your case.

Your lawyer can streamline the process by efficiently gathering the necessary documents to prove your case, negotiating with insurance company adjusters on your behalf, and litigating your case to an efficient resolution in the court system. Your attorney can also guide you to make intelligent decisions throughout the process, increasing your likelihood of receiving favorable monetary damages for your injuries.

Gary Annes Author Image

Gary Annes

Partner

Personal Injury Lawyer With Over Twenty Years Of Experience

Gary Annes, a partner at Abels & Annes, P.C., has dedicated over two decades to practicing personal injury law, specializing in auto accidents, premises liability, wrongful death, medical malpractice, and sexual abuse. Since earning his law degree in 1995, Gary has led numerous jury trials, and adeptly resolved cases through arbitration and mediation, securing millions in compensation for his clients.

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