If you have suffered an injury from another driver’s negligence in a car accident, the settlement check obviously can’t come soon enough. The long wait that many claimants encounter can be especially disheartening. However, understanding the process of settling a car accident claim can provide you with the legal insight you need to wait for all of the compensation to which you are entitled and have a better estimate on how long your car accident settlement may take.
If you or someone you love has suffered an injury by a driver’s negligence, it’s time to reach out to Trey Harrell, your car accident lawyer in Charleston, South Carolina.
How Long Should Car Accident Settlements Take?
Every car accident claim is guided by the unique circumstances involved, which means that it can be very difficult to determine how long the settlement process will take.
There are, however, laws in place that guide good faith practices for insurance companies, and artificially complicating or prolonging the settlement process is not tolerated and can – in extreme circumstances – lead to punitive damages.
Some of the steps you can take to help ensure that your claim continues and leads to a timely settlement include the following:
- Consulting with a dedicated car accident attorney as soon after the accident as possible and working closely with them throughout.
- Following your doctor’s instructions and advice carefully, which is the right thing to do in terms of your recovery.
- Declining to communicate with the insurance company directly, as your car accident attorney will do the communicating on your behalf.
- Staying off social media while your claim is pending to protect yourself from the insurance company’s investigations
By helping your car accident attorney help you, you help to move the settlement process along.
What Makes Car Accident Claims Take More Time
The more complicated your car accident claim, the more likely it is to require more time to settle. Examples of complicating factors include the following:
- When it isn’t clear who is at fault
- When the extent of your injuries isn’t clear, as some injuries are ambiguous, and the course of treatment required into the future is similarly uncertain
- When there is considerable investigating that needs to be done before either side is ready to proceed
In the end, obtaining fair compensation that addresses your physical, financial, and emotional losses in their entirety is too important to rush the process.
Why Is My Car Accident Settlement Taking So Long?
If you’ve gotten to the point that it seems like your car accident claim is dragging on forever, it can help to have a better understanding of the steps involved in the process and where you are in that process.
The first step in the path forward is getting started, and this involves consulting with and hiring a trusted car accident attorney. Your attorney will get the ball rolling, and – as mentioned – the sooner, the better.
Understanding the basics of a claim
In order for your car accident claim to prevail with a settlement that covers your complete losses – or legal damages – certain elements must be met, and knowing what these are can help you help move things along.
The necessary elements include:
- The other driver owed you a duty of care. This is generally established because every motorist has a considerable responsibility in relation to the safety of everyone with whom they share the road.
- The other driver breached — or didn’t live up to — the duty of care owed to you. For example, if the motorist’s impairment or excess speed caused the accident.
- The other driver’s negligence was the direct cause of the accident that caused you to be injured.
- You suffered losses that are recognized by the law, such as medical bills, property damage to your vehicle, lost income, and pain and suffering.
Note that even if you do share some of the responsibility for the accident in question, you can seek compensation for the percentage of fault the other driver is responsible for – as long as that amount is at least 51 percent. This factor is, however, likely to complicate the claim and increase the amount of time necessary to reach a settlement.
Navigating what comes next
From here, you can expect all the following:
- Your car accident attorney will assess your complete damages and make a demand in relation to your settlement.
- You and your attorney and the insurance company handling your claim will investigate the available evidence and will use their findings to engage in negotiations.
- The insurance company can make a settlement offer at any time during this process, and your Charleston car accident attorney will help you carefully assess whether the offer is adequate to cover your losses.
Expedite the Process of a Car Accident Settlement With Our Attorney’s Help
Trey Harrell Auto Accident and Personal Injury Attorney in Charleston, South Carolina is a distinguished car accident lawyer who understands that when you receive your settlement matters. He will do everything he can to speed up the process while continuing to ensure that your rights are well-protected. To learn more, contact us online or call us at 843-701-8029 today.
Car Accident Case FAQs
Can’t I handle my car accident claim myself?
Without the skilled legal counsel of an accomplished car accident attorney in your corner, you’re much less likely to obtain the compensation you are entitled to in a timely manner.
How long do I have to bring my car accident claim?
In South Carolina, you have only three years from the date of the injury-causing accident to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver’s car insurance provider.