Deciding to file a claim for a car accident can be no big deal, or it can require an enormous amount of time and effort. This depends on the size of your claim, if you are trying to prove that the other driver was negligent and/or if there are any complications along the way. Straightforward claims can take just a few months from start to finish, but more complex ones require more back and forth with insurance companies. Here are the factors that affect how long it takes to reach your settlement.
The things that contribute to the length of your settlement vary from person to person. They can include the severity of your injuries (or waiting to see if new injuries emerge), the time it takes to assess damages, the time it takes the insurance company to reply to your claim and any difficulties you encounter trying to prove your case. Hiring an experienced lawyer to deal with your claim can help speed up the process, but that is no guarantee that you’ll receive your settlement quickly.
Proving Negligence and Damages
One of the biggest obstacles you face in receiving a settlement is proving that your damages and injuries were caused by the accident, and that the other driver was acting negligently. Oftentimes, you must provide some evidence that shows the other driver acted recklessly, wasn’t paying attention or was under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The other driver’s insurance company will try to undermine your statement by looking for weak points that may place some of the blame for the accident on you, in which case they wouldn’t have to pay as much.
There is no one definite timeline you can count on for your settlement. An insurance company may refuse to pay, and you must be prepared to wait longer to get compensation as you work with them. The most general average is anywhere between two to 12 months, but it can also take up to several years.
You can ask a car accident lawyer in Indianapolis, IN, like from Ward & Ward Law Firm, for an assessment of your claim to see how long they think it will take to reach a settlement. Even with all their experience, they may still not be able to give you an accurate time, but you can work with them to get a better understanding of the process. Before you dive into a claim, sit down with them to discuss every aspect of your case so that you are prepared for a potentially long road ahead.