When a car accident results in economic and noneconomic losses, the not-at-fault party maintains the right to file a claim against the at-fault party for damages. While filing a claim can result in monetary compensation for medical expenses, property damage costs, and more, the waiting process can be frustrating, and many claimants wonder, “How long does the car accident settlement process take?”
Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer; each claim settlement timeline varies depending on a number of factors.
The Settlement Process
There are several steps to the settlement process, but a cursory glance includes:
Investigation — First, an investigation will be conducted by both sides in order to make a determination about fault and the degree of damages suffered. This process can vary in length depending on whether the fault is disputed.
MMI — Before a claim can proceed, a claimant will need to reach Maximum Medical Improvement, or MMI, which is the maximum extent to which doctors expect they will heal. Depending on the severity of injuries, this could be weeks or months, or longer.
Demand letter — The next step in the process is simple: issuing a demand letter. This is where a claimant sends a letter to the responsible party or their insurance company, detailing the value of their claim and indicating how much they are requesting in payment.
Settlement negotiations — After a demand letter has been issued, settlement negotiations will commence — a back-and-forth process between the insurance company and the claimant where parties try to reach an agreement about how much the claimant should be paid. Depending on the value of the claim, this process can be relatively quick or can drag on for months. The more money involved, typically, the more resistance and pushback from an insurance company.
Settlement or litigation — A claim will either be settled during the negotiations process or, if reaching a settlement proves impossible, the claimant will have the right to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party and pursue litigation. Litigation rarely concludes in less than a year’s time.
Get Help with the Car Accident Settlement Process
As made evident by the description of the car accident settlement process provided above, the process could conclude within a few short months or could drag on for a year or longer depending on factors such as degree of injuries, amount of evidence, disputes about fault, etc. One way that you can improve your chances of recovering your full settlement amount and resolving your case as quickly as possible is to hire a qualified car accident attorney in Vermont.
An attorney will ensure that the insurance company doesn’t unreasonably delay processing your claim, that your rights are protected throughout the entirety of the process, and that you don’t accept a settlement that’s been low-balled. At the office of Larson & Gallivan Law, we prioritize getting you a settlement as quickly as possible without ever sacrificing the quality of our services or your best interests.
To learn more about the car accident settlement process and how our lawyers can help, please call our law office directly or send us a message telling us more about your case today. We work on a contingency fee basis and always offer free consultations.
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