How Long Will My Car Accident Case Take to Settle in Florida?
Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers | Car Accident
You understandably want to settle your car accident case quickly. Unfortunately, many accident victims experience financial hardship because they miss work while recovering from injuries. The loss of income added to the medical bills and other costs can be overwhelming.
The good news is that most car accident cases settle without filing a lawsuit. That means you get your money faster than if you had to wait for a trial.
However, each car accident case is unique. Several factors impact the time it takes to settle a car accident case in Florida.
Factors That Impact the Settlement of a Car Accident Claim
Many factors that impact the timeline for a car accident case are out of your control. However, understanding these factors can help you view the settlement process realistically.
Factors that impact how long it takes to settle a car accident case in Florida include:
Settling your injury claim before completing medical treatment can result in a much lower settlement amount. You need to complete medical treatment to know whether you sustained a permanent impairment.
Permanent impairments and disabilities increase the value of your injury claim. You could be entitled to compensation for ongoing medical expenses, long-term care, future lost wages, and decreased earning potential.
Until your doctor states that you have reached maximum medical improvement, you cannot understand the extent of your damages.
If you file a claim against the other driver because you sustained serious injuries, you must prove that the other driver caused the car crash. An accident investigation could take months to complete.
If the cause of the car wreck is disputed, some personal injury attorneys may need to hire experts to assist with the investigation, including accident reconstructionists. The factors of the crash and the parties involved in the crash could make the accident investigation more difficult.
Settlement negotiations begin when either party makes a settlement offer. Generally, your lawyer will send a settlement demand letter to the insurance company.
The demand letter explains your injuries and damages. It also discusses the laws and statutes that hold the other driver liable for your damages. Finally, the letter demands a specific amount to settle the car accident claim.
The parties discuss the settlement and may make several counteroffers until they agree to a settlement amount. If the insurance company refuses to negotiate a fair settlement, your attorney may suggest filing a lawsuit.
Filing a Car Accident Lawsuit
The Florida statute of limitations is four years from the accident date for most car accident cases. However, there are exceptions, so talking with a St. Petersburg car accident attorney as soon as possible is wise.
A car accident lawsuit can take more than a year to go to trial. Even if the case goes to a jury, it doesn’t mean that the jury will rule in the plaintiff’s favor. It also does not guarantee a large monetary verdict.
Your attorney should explain the pros and cons of accepting a settlement offer versus going to court. Depending on the facts of your case, you might choose to accept the insurance company’s settlement offer instead of risking going to court.
Insurance Company Delays When Processing Car Accident Claims
Insurance companies investigate and process accident claims. The insurance adjuster determines whether they will pay the claim and if the insurance policy covers the accident.
If the insurance company is liable, the claims adjuster determines how much your damages are worth. Unfortunately, the claims adjuster may not work as fast as possible to resolve the claim.
Insurance companies have a legal obligation to investigate and process claims promptly. However, the claims adjuster may have hundreds of claims they are handling. As a result, it could take time to settle your claim.
Beware of Quick Insurance Settlement Offers
Review the terms carefully if the insurance company makes a quick offer to settle your car accident claim.
Most initial offers are below what the accident claim is worth. Quick offers are designed to get you to waive your right to further legal action to avoid paying more for your claim. The insurance company might be willing to pay money now to save money later.
When you accept the settlement offer and sign a settlement agreement, you give up your right to pursue further legal action. In other words, you cannot demand more money or sue the at-fault party even if you discover you have additional damages or expenses. Therefore, before rushing to settle your car accident case, make sure you understand what your case is worth. If you have any doubts, do not sign any documents until you talk to a St. Petersburg car accident lawyer.
Contact the Pinellas County Car Accident Law Firm Of Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers for Help
For more information, please contact the Clearwater and St. Petersburg car accident law firm of Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers at the nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.
We serve in Pinellas County, and its surrounding areas:
Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers – Clearwater
1875 N Belcher Rd. STE 201,
Clearwater, FL 33765,
Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers – St. Petersburg
2560 1st Ave S,
St. Petersburg, FL 33712,