New York Personal Injury Attorneys
How Long Does It Take To Get A Settlement From A Car Accident?
If you have been injured in a car accident, you might be wondering how long it will take to settle your claim for injuries and damages. Unfortunately, there is no definite answer to that question because every car accident case is different and unpredictable. There are some factors, however, that will make your case more or less likely to settle quickly.
Most car accident cases eventually settle, but it is important to understand that faster settlements are often not the best settlements. As discussed in more detail below, you should proceed with caution when an attorney promises to help you get a fast settlement, or when an insurance company makes an offer to settle right after an accident.
The two main areas of dispute between insurance companies and injury victims that often cause settlement delays are injuries and fault. If there is no dispute about the severity and extent of your injuries and medical expenses in a no-fault accident claim, you might end up with a quick insurance settlement. Cases are not typically this straightforward, however.
Someone Else Caused Your Accident
If someone else was at fault for the accident you were involved in, and they were uninsured, or your medical expenses exceeded the no-fault coverage, you may have a claim for uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. If your injuries are defined as serious under New York law, and someone else was at fault for the accident, you may have a bodily injury claim against the at-fault party and their insurance company.
Under either scenario, if your insurance company or the defendant’s insurance company disagrees with your fault and injury allegations, settlement negotiations and investigations will be ongoing. This will add to the length of time it takes to reach a settlement agreement.
Fast Settlement Risks And Consequences
If an attorney promises to reach a fast settlement on your behalf, you should be very cautious. Our attorneys do not promise quick settlements because our promise is to fight for maximum compensation for our clients. Generally speaking, a fast settlement is usually not going to result in maximum compensation. It can take time to gather evidence and build your case to demonstrate the strength and value of your claim to insurers.
You should also be cautious when an insurance company makes a quick settlement offer after an accident. Their first offer is almost never their best offer. They often lowball early settlement attempts hoping that injured parties who are financially strapped with medical bills and lost wages will be tempted to accept a low offer in exchange for a release of liability.
How An Attorney Can Help Facilitate A Settlement Agreement
If you have an experienced NY car accident attorney who wants to see that you are fully and fairly compensated, insurance companies will recognize that you are not going to agree to an amount that is significantly below the value of your claim. As a result, they will likely be more generous with their settlement offers, and this is especially true if they know that you are represented by an attorney who is not afraid to go to trial. Two things insurance companies try to avoid at all costs are litigation expenses and trial award risks.