How Long Does It Take To Handle A Car Accident Case?

How long does it take to handle a car accident case?

Unless someone has been involved before with a car accident claim, they probably don’t know how long the case will take to conclude. New clients that call us frequently ask us “How long will it take to settle my case?”  This is a good question.  While each case is different, here are some general guidelines that can help answer this question.

Generally, with few exceptions, no case can settle until all medical treatment has concluded.  Thus, if you injured your neck or back in the accident and you are actively treating with a chiropractor, your case will not be in a position to settle until you are done with your medical treatment.  In a case where the available insurance policy limit is minimal, and the injuries are serious such as a fractured bone, or a surgical procedure was needed, your case can settle before you have finished your medical treatment.

Assuming the medical treatment is in fact over, then a demand package is sent to the insurance company for settlement.  The demand package will contain all your medical records, medical bills, proof of lost wages, photos of the damage to the vehicles, police report, and any other supporting documents for your claim.

Once the demand package is received, it will be reviewed by an insurance adjuster, and likely a claims manager, too.  A few weeks later the adjuster will call you (or your car accident lawyer if you have one) and an offer will be made.

Sometimes, negotiations are swift and the case settles without much difficulty.  Usually however, there are extensive negotiations between the parties.  The longer the negotiations take the longer it will take to settle the case.  If after negotiation the case does not settle then a lawsuit needs to be filed.

The litigation process is what takes the claim away from the claims and into the courthouse.  It is during this process that it is highly advisable to hire a lawyer for your car accident claim.  The court process is quite procedurally complicated and if you don’t know what you are doing, the case can potentially be dismissed.

Therefore, it really depends on the facts of a case as to how long it will take to handle a car accident case.  Some cases take longer than others to settle.  Generally, the more straightforward the claim (liability and injuries are cut and dry), the quicker it will settle.

Be sure to contact the motor vehicle accident attorneys at the Law Office of Christopher Earley for answers to your questions if you’ve been involved in a car accident claim.