How Long Does a Car Accident Injury Settlement Take?
If you have sustained injuries in a car crash and your medical and other bills are spiraling out of control, you naturally want to know how long it will take your lawyer to settle your case with the other driver’s insurance company. Unfortunately, however, your car accident lawyer may not be able to give you a straightforward answer. In fact, he or she likely won’t be able to do so.
This does not mean that he or she is incompetent to handle your case. Just the opposite. Assuming you have hired an experience local car accident lawyer, he or she knows that settlement negotiations can lengthen substantially due to a variety of factors, including the following:
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In general, you can expect settlement negotiations to last at least 2-3 months for a minor accident wherein you sustained “simple” injuries from which you quickly recover fully. On the other hand, if you sustained multiple and/or serious injuries from which recovery is prolonged or even impossible, it may well be a year or longer before your lawyer can convince the other driver’s insurance company to offer you a reasonable settlement.
Keep in mind that your lawyer is ethically bound to advise you of all settlement offers. A good lawyer, however, will also advise you of his or her belief that you can do better if you wait a little longer or even, as a matter of last resort, allow him or her to take your case to a jury trial. In other words, the decision to accept or reject a settlement offer is always yours to make. Your lawyer’s responsibility is to make sure you have all the facts necessary to make an informed decision.
As stated, if the other driver’s insurance company proves to be unreasonable, recalcitrant or otherwise unwilling to offer you a reasonable settlement, your ultimate option may be a jury trial. Broadly speaking, as the lawyers at Cohen & Cohen explain, juries tend to empathize with an injured plaintiff more than with an insurance company whose only purpose is to pay the injured plaintiff as little as possible.
Dennis P. Sawan
Licensed in Ohio and Georgia
Christopher A. Sawan
Licensed in Ohio and Michigan
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