If you or somebody you care about has been injured in a car accident caused by the careless or negligent actions of another driver, you should be entitled to compensation for your injuries and other monetary losses.
However, while most vehicle accident claims are resolved through settlements with insurance carriers, many people wonder how long it will take to actually get a check in their bank account. This is important information to know, particularly when you have incoming medical bills, property damage expenses, and various other out-of-pocket costs related to the accident. Here, we will discuss some of the factors that go into the length of time it takes for a car accident claim to settle and a check to be sent.
The time frame for getting a car accident settlement check
When clients ask us how long it will take for them to get their car accident settlement check, we can see the disappointment in their eyes when we sometimes have to answer with, “It depends.”
It really does depend on the various factors involved with each particular case. The vast majority of car accident cases are resolved between settlements with insurance carriers within a few weeks to a month after the incident occurs. This includes coverage of medical bills, property damage expenses, and other out-of-pocket costs.
However, a quick payout from an insurance carrier will only occur for cases that are cut and dry, where the fault is not disputed at all.
If fault for the accident is disputed
If there is a dispute over who caused the crash, a settlement from insurance carriers in these cases could take months to occur. In general, the insurance carrier will want to fully investigate the incident. We do need to point out that the insurance carrier of any other party involved in the case does not work for you, and they are going to do anything in their power to limit the amount of money they pay you in a settlement. This includes finding reasons to delay or deny the claim altogether.
If a settlement offer is inadequate
Insurance carriers for at-fault parties sometimes offer settlements very quickly, and these settlements will typically come in far below what you should actually receive for the incident. Insurance carriers make these early and low settlement offers in hopes that you will want to take the money and have the situation be over with.
Taking in early settlement, particularly one that does not cover all of your medical bills or other expenses, is a mistake. If you receive an offer that you think is inadequate, you need to stop and take the time to call an Orange County, California car accident attorney. An attorney will be able to assess the entire situation and send back a counteroffer in the form of a demand letter asking for full compensation for your losses.
However, back and forth negotiations can take months, and it still may not result in a fair offer. In these cases, it may be necessary for the injury victim to file a lawsuit against the alleged negligent driver. When a case enters the civil court system, it may not be resolved for a year or more.
A reminder to never settle until you reach maximum medical improvement
Under no circumstances should a car accident injury victim ever accept a settlement from an insurance carrier until they have reached what their doctor considers a maximum medical improvement, you can talk to a Pomona car accident attorney today for a free consultation. If you decide to settle a claim early and then later realized that you need more medical care, you will not be able to recover any additional compensation.