If you sustained injuries in a car accident that a negligent driver caused, you may recover various types of settlement compensation for your injuries. The time it takes to settle a car accident claim or lawsuit depends on the insurance company you are dealing with.
One of the most important steps you can take to reach an efficient and favorable settlement resolution in your case is to retain the services of a qualified car accident lawyer to represent you as quickly as possible.
First, your attorney can begin investigating your accident circumstances and help you file a claim against the at-fault driver in your case. Your lawyer can also file a lawsuit and litigate your case in the state court system if the insurance company refuses to compensate you fairly for your injuries.
Finally, your lawyer can represent you in court during litigation, such as a civil jury trial. Your lawyer will do everything possible to maximize your settlement compensation as soon as possible.
Why Does a Car Accident Usually Happen?
Local car crashes are usually a direct result of another driver's careless, reckless, or negligent behavior. In some situations, these accidents happen when people drive their vehicles while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. These substances often alter a driver's mindset and physical behavior.
For example, an intoxicated driver may experience confusion, limited concentration, or delayed reflexes. As a result, they might not stop their vehicle in time to avoid a motor vehicle or pedestrian crash.
An intoxicated driver may experience physical symptoms like dizziness or blurred vision at other times. As a result, the driver may fail to maneuver their vehicle in a straight line or see an approaching vehicle or pedestrian, causing a severe accident.
Motor vehicle operators with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or higher are legally intoxicated. The same is true if they have a certain amount of drugs in their system while behind the wheel. Drivers may also become intoxicated on either prescription or nonprescription drugs.
In addition to drug and alcohol intoxication, a driver may cause a severe accident when they violate one or more traffic laws or traffic laws. For example, a driver may speed, fail to use a turn signal, fail to use their mirrors, or fail to yield the right-of-way to another vehicle at the proper time.
All these driving violations may significantly increase a driver's chances of causing a severe accident.
Next, some traffic accidents happen when people drive in a distracted, reckless, or careless manner. Distracted driving can take many forms, but it always involves the driver failing to observe the road. When a driver fails to observe the road, they may not see an oncoming pedestrian or motor vehicle and consequently cause a serious accident.
Serious traffic accidents can also happen when drivers fail to use the safety mechanisms in their vehicles, including backup cameras and lane change warnings. For example, when a driver fails to use their mirrors or backup camera when pulling out of a parking space, they may fail to see a motor vehicle or pedestrian proceeding behind them.
Finally, some motor vehicle crashes result from reckless driving or road rage. Like distracted driving, road rage can take many forms, but it always involves a driver's inappropriate or overactive response to a particular roadway situation.
In some cases, these circumstances occur unexpectedly, prompting anger from the driver. For example, an enraged driver may aggressively honk their horn, cut off other vehicles in traffic, weave in and out of heavy traffic, or tailgate other cars. As a result of these reckless driving maneuvers, the angry driver may inadvertently cause a severe traffic accident or a series of collisions.
If you sustained injuries in a car accident that resulted from one of these types of driver negligence, retain a skilled attorney who can represent you throughout your case.
Your lawyer can gather the pertinent documents and medical records on your behalf, assemble them into a convincing settlement demand package, and forward them to the insurance company adjuster handling your case.
Your lawyer can then efficiently negotiate with insurance company representatives on your behalf and work to secure a favorable settlement offer from the insurance company.
Debilitating Injuries in a Car Accident
It is no secret that car accident victims are prone to suffering severe and debilitating injuries. Many of these injuries require the accident victim to attend ongoing medical appointments. At other times, accident victims suffer permanent injuries that may affect them for the rest of their lives.
The types of physical injuries that car crash victims suffer depend upon the force of the collision, the number of separate collisions that occur, the way their body moves in the vehicle, and whether a part of their body strikes a component of the car in the accident.
For example, if a driver or passenger hits their knee on the dash or console in an accident, they may suffer a broken bone or soft tissue injury to their knee or leg.
Accident victims may also suffer a soft tissue whiplash injury if they experience an abrupt forward and backward movement at the time of their crash.
Other common injuries that car crash victims may suffer include rib fractures, internal bleeding, internal organ damage, open lacerations, bruises from airbag deployment, traumatic head and brain injuries, complete and incomplete paralysis, and spinal cord injuries.
You should complete your medical treatment regimen if you sustained any of these injuries in your accident. By completing all necessary medical treatment, you show the insurance company that your injuries are severe and that you deserve appropriate compensation.
After you complete most of your medical treatment, your lawyer can submit a settlement demand package to the insurance company and begin efficiently negotiating favorable settlement compensation on your behalf.
Involving the Insurance Company in Your Claim
When it comes time to negotiate settlement compensation in your case, your car accident attorney can assist you with every step of the process, ensuring that it proceeds efficiently.
First, your lawyer can assemble essential documents into a settlement demand package. Those documents may include police reports, photographs of injuries, property damage photographs, witness statements, medical records, medical bills, and lost income documents.
Once your lawyer submits these documents to the insurance company, the adjuster handling your case will review them and determine whether the insurance company will accept fault for the accident.
If the insurance company accepts fault, settlement negotiations may proceed. During those negotiations, your attorney typically demands an initial settlement, and the insurance company will return with a much lower offer.
To help bridge the gap, your lawyer can highlight the strength of your case, including pertinent medical records and evaluations. If the insurance company still refuses to increase its offer appropriately, your lawyer can file a lawsuit and begin the litigation process in court.
Even after filing a lawsuit in your case, the matter can still settle at some point out of court. In fact, most car accident claims and lawsuits do settle at some point since litigating a case all the way to a civil jury trial can be a time-consuming and expensive process.
Your car accident attorney can help you decide whether a particular settlement offer from the insurance company is a good offer, given the facts and circumstances of your case. Your attorney can also help you decide whether to accept that settlement offer, continue negotiating, or litigate your case in a civil jury trial or binding arbitration proceeding.
Factors That Affect Settlement Times in a Case
Understandably, many car accident victims want to know how long it will take to successfully settle their cases. In short, the answer is it depends.
The time it takes to resolve a car accident claim through settlement is very specific and frequently depends on:
- The nature and complexity of the car accident itself
- Whether the insurance company is disputing fault for the accident
- The nature and extent of the injuries the accident victim sustained
- The amount of time it takes for a car accident victim to complete their medical treatment
- The willingness of the insurance company and their adjuster to settle the claim without litigation
- The amount of time it takes to obtain medical records and medical bills
- The amount of time it takes to receive lost income documentation (in the event they are making a lost income claim)
- Whether litigation (or filing a lawsuit) becomes necessary in the case
- The venue (or court) where the car accident claim is pending.
A car accident attorney in your area will do everything possible to help you streamline your case and pursue the settlement compensation you deserve as efficiently as possible.
If litigation becomes necessary, your lawyer can probably file a lawsuit in the court system on your behalf and well within the statute of limitations deadline. Your attorney can help you litigate your case to a favorable resolution.
Possible Car Accident Monetary Damages
As part of a financial settlement or litigation result in a car accident case, you may be eligible to recover various types of monetary damages.
Again, the types and amounts of monetary damages that a car accident victim may recover are very case specific and will depend on the nature and extent of the car accident victim's injuries, whether the accident victim suffered permanent injury, the cost of the accident victim's medical treatment, and the total amount of their lost earnings.
In general, accident victims may be eligible to receive monetary compensation for all of the following: accident-related medical expenses, anticipated medical costs, loss of earnings, loss of earning capacity, lifetime care costs, permanent disability or disfigurement, mental anguish, inconvenience, pain and suffering, loss of use of a body part, loss of spousal companionship, lost quality of life.
Your attorney can help you determine the ballpark settlement value of your case and help you achieve the highest possible monetary award available.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer Right Away About Your Case
If you suffered injuries in a recent car accident, you should act immediately to pursue the monetary compensation you deserve. Your first step should be to retain experienced and qualified personal injury attorney to represent you at every stage of your case.
Your attorney can aggressively assist you with every step of the process, including investigating your accident circumstances, filing a claim, and negotiating with insurance company representatives.
Your attorney can also help you decide whether litigation is the right move for your case and, if so, file a lawsuit for you. Your attorney will work quickly and efficiently to recover the full compensation you deserve for your car accident losses.