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

The amount of time it takes to settle a car accident claim depends on the factors within the case, but it is typically anywhere between a few months to one or more years. The minimum amount of time you can expect is a month or two without any delays, but this is usually only when there is clear, black-and-white liability, only property damage involved, and this damage is easy to value. On the other hand, claims that involve personal injury and medical damages can take several months or more to settle. If a trial becomes necessary, it can take years.


Factors That Affect the Length of Your Car Accident Claim

There are many factors that may slow down the progression of your car accident claim. These include:

  • Uncertainty of the true extent of injuries – In the time immediately following an accident, a physician cannot truly give an exact time frame or cost which will be needed to ensure the full recovery from your injuries. Your lawyer needs this information in order to build a sufficient settlement demand that will cover all of your damages.
  • Insurance company’s level of cooperation -You can only control your side of the claim, meanwhile, you are at the mercy of the at-fault driver’s insurance. Insurance companies are known for taking their time to investigate every detail, especially if you have a lot of damages or if you are claiming a generalized injury. For example, these companies tend to treat injuries like whiplash, chronic generalized pain, and soft-tissue injuries as fraudulent which means they carefully scrutinize them to try to downplay the injury even when the pain you’re feeling is legitimate. Furthermore, they may purposely drag their feet on many aspects of the claim in the hopes that you will grow impatient and settle for the lowest amount quickly. This is a common tactic in which you need to remain patient and diligent. By law, they must adhere to certain time limits in which your lawyer will help enforce.
  • Length of negotiations – Like any negotiation, there is going to be a lot of back and forth. Insurance companies have teams of lawyers who do nothing else but fight to negotiate the lowest amount possible. You need a car accident lawyer who will fight just as hard for what you are rightfully owed.
  • Necessity of a trial – Court cases take a lot of time to come to a verdict, especially if you are fighting for a big amount of money and there is one or more additional parties involved There is a discovery period in which you need to gather and present evidence on the severity of the accident, the amount and level of injuries sustained, and why the financial amount has been requested. There are many phases to go through such as pleading, discovery, pre-trial, trial, and post-trial. Presenting ALL the facts of your on both sides can extend a case for much longer than one would expect.

How Long Does it Take to Get the Settlement Check After a Car Accident?

So you’ve gone through the negotiations and your settlement amount has been reached. Now where’s the check?

The process to receive your check typically takes around four to six weeks, but there are many issues that could affect this timing as well, which can be very frustrating for clients and lawyers alike.

The insurance company will have you sign a release form first that officially settles the claim and states that you are giving up any right to continue the lawsuit. Once you send the release and the insurance company receives it, they will authorize a check for the amount of money you agreed upon.

No attorney can guarantee a specific amount of time in which you will receive this settlement check, but they may be able to help expedite the process. Get in touch with a car accident attorney at The Hayden Law Firm to see how we can help!


Contact a Car Accident Lawyer in St. Louis | The Hayden Law Firm

If you have been seriously injured in an auto accident and need help with your personal injury claim, call a St. Louis car accident lawyer at The Hayden Law Firm at (314) 480-3100 for a free, no-risk consultation.


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