Were you involved in a car accident and you want to know how long does it take to settle a car accident claim? Check out this short video to learn more.
Hey everyone, my name is Barry Zlotowicz and I’m a Chicago personal injury lawyer. Thanks for checking out this video on an important topic that clients ask about all the time.
The reason I wanted to do a video on how long it takes to settle a car accident case is that almost all clients want to know how long there case is going to take to settle – people were hurt and they want their compensation and I get it.
There is no single answer for how long it’s going to take for your case to settle. How long your case is going to take is dependent on a lot of different factors and I’m going to talk about some of those factors in this video
The first thing we deal with that normally does get taken care of pretty quickly is your property damage. This goes quick. You may not get as much as you think your vehicle is worth and that might delay things but otherwise this will get resolved.
Then you’re getting medical treatment – this is the primary reason why it take so long to settle an accident case. Generally speaking, you won’t settle a case while you’re still getting medical treatment. Not always but generally. I had a client involved in a motorcycle accident and he was still undergoing treatment more than 2 years after the accident. In that a lawsuit had to be filed while he was still treating.
Then when you’re done treating need to order your medical records from a lot of different providers. They have tons of requests and it takes a long time to get those medical records and bills sometimes months. And there are more parties to order from than you might think like a radiologist, or the er physician as well as the ER itself. This is just another step and another reason it takes so long to get a settlement in a personal injury case
Then we need to review all the records and bills and put them into a demand package for the insurance company. Who has to review it and then the negotiation process starts. And that can take a long time. This is when clients are usually antsy because there’s a demand out and they want to know how much they’re going to recover.
So let’s say you settle, well, the case is not over. Then we have to negotiate your medical bills down to maximize your recovery. Then and only then can we figure out what you’re going to get out of the settlement and sign releases and get the check cash it let it clear and get you your money. So it’s a long process.
There are a few other times when things my go faster or slower depending on a few factors.
FIRST: your case might go slow or might go super fast depending on how long the statute of limitations is to file a lawsuit in your case? What I mean by that is for example in Illinois we have 2 years from the date of the accident to file the lawsuit or you lose your right to recover for your injuries. That could slow things down if your lawyers doesn’t want to file suit in order to settle your case.
However, in at least one state Tennessee, you only have a year to file a lawsuit after the date of the accident. So to protect the statute of limitations your attorney will have to file a lawsuit and that could speed up the process of things in your case.
You may want your attorney to file a lawsuit and not try to settle your case without it. This does not relate to timing but just FYI, you may want to file suit. Why? Some attorneys feel that filing the lawsuit will maximize the recovery.
Also – generally speaking, an insurance company is not obligated by law to respond to your settlement demand = but they are obligated to respond to a lawsuit.
Another factor in how long your case might take is – how severe are your injuries compared to the size of the insurance policy? Let’s take a hypothetical – you’ve got a million-dollar case but the guy who hit you has a $25,000 insurance policy. Well – that case might settle pretty quick right because the insurance company is just going to offer you the $25k because they know they’re on the hook for it.
Another factor is what insurance company are you dealing with? If it’s a lousy local insurance company who only offers minimum limits insurance policies, generally speaking they are going to be very difficult to deal with. I hate dealing with those companies. It’s hard to get through to their claims adjusters, it takes forever for them to respond and when they do they’ll low ball you and make you file a lawsuit against them.
Finally, before you get too frustrated with the insurance adjuster, just remember this that your case is 1 of a thousand that your insurance adjuster is dealing with. Your case is probably not special or unique to them. So while it’s the most important thing in your life, to them it’s just another file.
Thanks for checking out this video, if you need help please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org