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How long does a car accident settlement take? (car accident lawsuit process)

How long does a car accident settlement take? and what are the all steps in a car accident lawsuit process? This article covers other topics like; how long does it take to get a settlement from a car accident? the average time for car accident settlement, how long does a car accident settlement take with a lawyer? how long does it take to get a settlement after an accident?

Other topics I will try to cover include: how long does it take to settle a car accident claim? why is my car accident settlement taking so long? how long does a lawsuit take for a car accident? how long does it take for a car accident lawsuit to settle?, car accident settlement time frame, and Car accident lawsuit settlement average.

If you have been involved in a car accident in which the negligence of another party caused the accident in which you were injured, then definitely you are entitled to monetary compensation for the personal injuries suffered and any possible property damages. 

If you are the guy whose negligence caused the accident that injured other people or drivers, then sorry for you. Depending on where you live, you are liable for the injuries and all property damages. You will be asked to pay damages to the injured party. You are basically referred to as the at-fault party to the car accident. 

If you declared the at-fault party, ways you could compensate the injured person is either paying from your savings or selling property, or through your liability insurance coverage if you were smart enough and purchase one. The people injured will have to engage in negotiations with you, or your insurance company in a bid to settle the case.

There is no one size fits all answer to how long it takes a car accident to settle. The time it takes to settle a car accident case varies from state to state, and other states put no time limit. Better consult your insurance company or an attorney in your area of jurisdiction. 

For instance, your car accident case should have been settled from 0 days up to 3 years in texas. In New York expect your check within 30 days after full settlement negotiations, and California requires a settlement within less than 85 days from the day of filing. 

In Florida, car accident cases should be settled within 4-6 weeks unless there are complications like severe injuries that require long hospitalizations. So as you can see guys, the answer depends on where you live, and I guess it is also different for people living outside the USA. 

This article is lengthy because I needed to expand on the answers above and also explain bits of detail about the car accident lawsuit process. You do not want to go away before understanding this whole thing of settlement negotiations, and how to file lawsuits in case your insurance company denies you a settlement for your damages. Feel free to go through the contents of this article below.


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Page Contents

Car accident court process

The days following a car accident are not always the best especially if you are injured and suffered extensive property damages. You will find yourself juggling legal issues as well as seeking medical treatment for your injuries. Hiring a personal injury lawyer saves you the hassle and lets you concentrate on recovering from bodily injuries. 

Here is what entails car accident court processes.

1. Concentrate on getting treatment for your injuries and keep all the documentation very well. Keep good records of all medications you receive, progress on medications, pains you have, etc. You don’t want the defendant’s lawyer to doubt if your injuries were due to the car accident or previous medical problems.

2. Next you want to hire a personal injury attorney. A car accident lawyer will help you in gathering evidence and handle the legal aspect of your case. The lawyer assists by preparing all the documents necessary for filing a lawsuit and at the same time continues negotiating with all the insurance companies that have anything to do with your case. 

3. Filing a car accident lawsuit. Should the insurance companies involved offer what is considered an unfair settlement, it is at this time that you and your lawyer should think about filing a lawsuit. Some of the damages you may be entitled to if you are injured include:

  • All car accident-related medical bills
  • Lost wages (past, present, and future)
  • Pain and suffering and any
  • Property damages.

4. Case trial in the courtroom. Your lawyer with collect any evidence to pin the defendant. He will look for witnesses, get your medical bills and receipts, car accident photos and videos, police car accident reports, and many others in a bid to prove the other driver’s negligences.

Then thereafter, the car accident court will proceed as follows.

1. Selecting Jury– Each district court chooses jurors from registered voters and people with valid driving licenses. 

2. Opening statements. Both the defendant and plaintiff’s attorneys give their opening remarks telling the jury about the facts of the case. They highlight all the evidence that they will present to the jury. Trial opening remarks give a summary of what the jury will hear as the trial goes all the way.

3. Presentation of evidence. As the trial goes all the way, evidence will be presented by the claimant’s attorney. Witness statements and direct questioning plus cross-examination follow.

4. As the trial winds up, each attorney gets a chance to convince the jury for the last time why they should win the car accident case. They showcase how the evidence presented supports their theory of personal injury cases. 

5. Jury deliberation. After the judge has read out Jury instructions, the jurors go to the jury room and discuss the car accident case deliberations. Their discussions hint at the testimonies and evidence presented before them. 

6. Verdict and award. Finally, the Jury makes a verdict on the trial and decides on the car accident settlement to award to the plaintiff/claimant.

Though I simplified the whole process, the whole proceeding from the start to the end takes a long time and is emotionally tiring. Since The jury is just ordinary citizens with no legal training, the outcomes of the personal injury case could be surprising and very unpredictable.

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How does a car accident settlement work?

Various ways of conflict resolution in car accident cases include settlement, mediation, arbitration, and litigation. I already have many articles on this site explaining how each of those conflict resolutions is applied to solve any disputes including personal injuries. 

Settlement refers to an agreement between the complainant and the defendant. The 2 parties agree with each other on a settlement amount, and terms and conditions of claim payouts. The settlement means that the 2 conflicting parties agree to end their car accident case without going to trial or other expensive litigations.

During settlement, the claimant or his representative attorney engages with the defendant or his/her insurance company and decides on a fair settlement amount taking into consideration all the damages the accident victim suffered. 

Settlement is the first step in which the 2 parties in a dispute attempt to end the car accident case, or personal injury dispute outside the courts of law. If one of the 2 parties feels not satisfied with the terms and conditions offered or suggested by another party, usually another method of resolution will be employed for instance filing lawsuits or trying mediation.

How long does it take to get a settlement from a car accident?

How long it takes to get a settlement depends on factors like:

1. The seriousness of the injuries sustained. Severe car accidents with serious injuries take a long to settle. 

2. Liability issues. If both drivers share a certain degree of negligence in the car accident, expect long periods of negotiations. Determining who pays who could delay settlement.

3. Settlement occurs when the claimant wishes to lower his/her demands whereas the defendant also is willing to raise his/her settlement offers. Short of that, expect settlement negotiations to drag on for some time. 

4. If the amount of money demanded in the dispute is huge, most likely settlement negotiations could last longer. Do not expect any insurance company to cough a million dollars in 1-2 weeks.

5. Injuries sustained. Settlement usually occurs when the plaintiff/claimant is declared medically fit or has attained the minimum medical improvement. You do not want to accept an early settlement only to discover you need huge future medical bills for instance in rehabilitation or surgery costs.


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Average time for car accident settlement

How long it takes for a car accident to settle varies from country to country, and also from state to state for the people living in the united states of America. Average car accident settlement time is from 0 days to several years depending on the circumstances I already hinted about. 

For instance, car accidents in California are required to settle within less than 85 days of filing your claim. Auto insurance customer care affects how fast your personal injury will settle. The average time for car accident settlement varies from one jurisdiction to another. Asking your car accident lawyer or your insurance company could offer you the most accurate answer.


How long does it take for a car accident lawsuit to settle?

One of the ways of dispute resolution of course is litigation. Once settlement has failed, some parties could end up trying other means of resolution like filing lawsuits. 

Car accident cases that go to trial take a long to settle because the plaintiff needs to prove beyond doubt that the defendant is the cause of his/her personal injuries. More car accident lawsuit processes are complicated and costly. 

According to the simple survey I posted on the personal injury facebook group, more than 70% of uncomplicated car accident injury cases settle within 9-18 months.

How long does it take to settle a car accident claim?

There is required time to investigate both parties to a car accident, to ascertain who really is at fault especially if liability issues are not clear. How long it takes to settle your car accident claim depends on many factors already explained. 

But, According to the same survey, it takes from several weeks up to several months (sometimes years) to settle a car accident case.


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How long does a car accident settlement take with a lawyer?

No guarantee hiring a personal injury lawyer speeds up a car accident case settlement. At the same time, it is not a must that lawyers delay case settlement. 

I have seen cases that settled in a couple of weeks after a lawyer was hired and also I heard of cases that dragged on yet an attorney was involved. What matters is knowing when to hire a car accident attorney and not. Statistics have shown that hiring a lawyer increases your settlement by 3-5x times higher. 

I also once interacted with a lady on Reddit whose settlement was 10% less after she was advised to ditch the insurance offer and hired an attorney to file a lawsuit. You better act smart because things could take any direction.


How long does a car accident settlement take after a deposition?

A deposition is any statement given out of court under oath by any person involved in the case. Deposition can be done as preparation for the forthcoming trial or during the trial period.

A deposition is basically an opportunity for the 2 opposing lawyers to obtain testimonies from witnesses before trial. During deposition, the conflicting parties gather information and facts which helps them prepare their claims and defenses during a car accident trial. 

We all know that car accident settlement could occur out of court, during the trial, and through trial to the jury verdict. How long a car settlement takes after deposition depends on the role of deposition in the first place. In my own opinion, deposition has nothing to do with either speeding up or slowing down the car accident settlement process.

The only slight effect is when the deposition is done as a preparation for trial. We know most car insurance companies do not love going to trial because chances are they may lose the case. These companies also do not want to be charged for acts of bad faith so may want to settle once they see your attorney is a serious one.


How long does car accident settlement negotiations take?

I actually posted this question on one of the Reddit forums and here is what I was able to conclude. I had more than 100 respondents post on the car accident forum their past experiences. 

From the answers posted on Reddit, more than 80% of respondents said their settlement negotiations took somewhere between 1 to 4 months. I would be happy to hear if yours took a different amount of time. 


How long does it take to get settlement money from a car accident?

This also depends on what was agreed upon during the settlement. How long it takes to get settlement money from a car accident depends on the terms and conditions stated in your settlement agreement. 

From the same comments posted on the Reddit thread, the majority of the respondents said their car accident settlement paycheck came after 2 weeks to 9 months. Very few respondents reported 1-2 years after settlement.


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Average settlement for car accident back and neck injury

Car accident damage differs from one accident to another. Since they are many factors that can affect settlements, you won’t get surprised if almost similar car accidents fetch totally different settlement amounts. 

According to Forbes, the average car accident settlement where there are few or no injuries is somewhere between $16,700 and $29,700. In car accidents where there are back and neck injuries, the national average settlement in the USA is around $834,686, with a median settlement of around $285,000.

Why do insurance companies take so long to pay out?

In the USA, it is required by law that insurance companies pay out car accident claims within less than 30 to 45 days after settlement. Claims with no liability issues and no minor injuries usually are the quickest to settle and paid out. 

Some insurance companies take so long to pay out because:

  • They want to first make profits on your money.
  • They will take a long to settle because they need to first carry out extensive investigations to find out who was at fault in the accident.
  • Insurance companies know that the injured person is desperate to settle because he/she has no financial support at all. They are playing hardball in a bid to make you accept their lowest offer possible.


Should I take first offer of a car accident settlement?

This is the most stupid decision you will ever make! Actually, do not accept the second offer either. This is because the insurance company wants to take advantage of your situation and cheat you!

You will be surprised by the car insurance company’s willingness to settle immediately after the accident, or when you are still receiving treatment for your injuries. There is less probability that the insurance company’s first offer makes 60% or more of what you are actually entitled to. 

So, simply do not accept the first settlement offer! Always give yourself a chance to negotiate and you will never regret it!


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Car accident lawsuit settlement average

There is a likelihood that the settlement where a lawyer is involved is different from when no attorney is hired. More so, there will be a difference in the settlement amount if your personal injury went to trial than when it is settled with the insurance company. I already explained if you followed along with this article. 

What you should know is that your personal injury lawyer takes a 30-40% cut from your final verdict. At the same time, your lawyer will deduct case handling costs from the same verdict. This means that you could go home with little if the jury awarded you little settlement. 

How much to expect from car accident settlement california?

California is one of the 38 states that does not subscribe to a no-fault system. This means that the at-fault will be asked to compensate another party injured in the accident.

In California, the claimant is required by law to file car accident and other personal lawsuits within 1-3 years unless the likely outcome of the case is life imprisonment or punishable by death. The average settlement for car accident cases in California is somewhere between $14,421 and $28,515.

Car accident lawsuit filed against me

A car accident lawsuit is filed against you implying that your negligence caused the accident that injured the plaintiff. Unless you really know that the other driver is partly to blame and depending on your state, you will have to foot all the expenses and compensate the injured person.

Your liability car insurance coverage will pay on your behalf up to the limit of your policy or you will pay from your pockets. If you really think you are falsely accused, I would recommend you hire a defense attorney.

In summary. There is no designated period in which every car accident settles. This is because laws vary from state to state, and the severity of car accidents varies too. The car accident lawsuit process usually follows 4 steps ie gathering required documents, filing lawsuits, trial, and verdict.