Car accidents result in serious injuries to victims that are extremely painful and costly to treat. During this time, many injured individuals cannot return to work and earn an income to cover those additional costs. Unfortunately, car accident claims take time, and it is natural to wonder just how long you have to wait before receiving the compensation you deserve. The timeline of your case will depend on several factors, which are outlined below.
Generally speaking, you should not file a claim until you understand the severity of your injuries. It is only then that you can include the full amount of medical expenses you will incur in your claim and receive the damages you deserve. The more severe your injuries are, the longer this process will take. After an accident, you should always see a doctor right away to not only protect your claim, but to avoid any unnecessary delays that could hurt it.
You will have to determine who was at fault for the accident and this typically requires an investigation. Throughout the investigation, a lawyer will collect medical records, speak to witnesses, and collect evidence. The investigation may only take a week, but it can sometimes take several weeks, as well.
A lawyer is also helpful when entering into negotiations with the insurance company. The insurer will not want to pay out on a fair settlement, but you cannot be so eager to claim any compensation that you accept a low offer that will not fully cover your damages. Settlement negotiations can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to years. A lawyer can also advise when an insurance company makes a fair offer, or when you may benefit from going to trial.
When a fair settlement is not reached, you may have to file a lawsuit to secure the fair amount of damages you deserve. The beginning phase of the lawsuit will involve the discovery process, and perhaps alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation. A settlement can still be reached during this process, which will make the process resolve more quickly.
Taking the case to trial will take the longest, but if negotiating and mediation have not worked, it is likely necessary. Most personal injury cases are settled before ever entering litigation, but sometimes it is the only way to recover all of your losses. A trial can take anywhere between a few months to a few years.
After an accident, no one can determine how long the claims process will take without reviewing your case. However, at Brassfield, Krueger & Ramlow, Ltd., our Rockford car accident lawyers can help you through the process as quickly as possible. We will conduct an investigation soon after your crash, and we know how to negotiate with the insurance companies effectively and efficiently. We will also never settle for less than your case is worth, so you recover the maximum damages you deserve. Call us today or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and to learn more about how we can help.
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