Time is of the essence for car accident victims. Each day brings new bills, which threaten to sink victims into debt. When working alone, the process of securing much-needed car accident settlements can take longer than desired. However, victims have more options than they might think.
The good news? With a little understanding and the help of a trusted legal representative, it’s possible to plan ahead for potential expenses incurred after a car accident. Below, we delve into the many factors that influence your auto accident settlement outcome and timeline – as well as the many ways in which a skilled attorney could expedite the process.
Top Factors That Influence Car Accident Settlement Timing
Under the mounting burden of medical bills and other expenses, it’s only understandable that some victims are eager to receive car accident settlements as soon as possible. Legal red tape may slow this process, but a variety of other elements – including the assistance of an attorney – can play a role.
Top factors influencing timing for car accident cases include:
- The types of injuries suffered during the accident -â€¯This affects the time it takes for patients to achieve maximum medical improvement. A neck injury or whiplash, for example, will prompt a far slower recovery than a minor laceration. Depending on the patient and the extent of his or her injuries, maximum medical improvement may be achieved in several days or after far longer.
- The volume of medical records and bills related to accident-prompted treatments –â€¯These records are sometimes difficult to collect, even when healthcare providers are quick to cooperate. However, this process can potentially be sped up if a law office sends in a request.
- The response from insurance companies –â€¯While a few insurance providers prove surprisingly prompt, some may take several weeks to respond. In general, however, insurance companies must at least let it be known that they’ve received demands within 30 days. That being said, they aren’t required to share decisions regarding acceptance or rejection at this point.
Proactive legal representation can make a huge difference for Connecticut car accident cases, especially when dealing with otherwise unresponsive insurance companies. Providers who tend to take their time when dealing with ordinary individuals may exhibit far more haste as soon as a skilled car accident attorney enters the fray.
When Does the Settlement Letter Arrive? What About the Settlement Check?
Many car accident victims eagerly await news of legal success, only to learn that the actual money will not be available for weeks or even months. There are no guarantees, but attorney-based advocacy can often speed up the process.
Following the collection of all necessary records, bills, and evidence, a demand letter is sent. As mentioned previously, insurance companies should share that demands have been received within thirty days, even if said demands are not yet accepted or rejected within that time.
Timing for initial settlement offers can vary from one case to the next, with some waits exceeding several weeks. While insurers push aggressively for such proposals to be accepted with haste, it’s often best for the victim to seek a more forceful approach alongside a trusted attorney. This may involve filing a lawsuit.
If there’s a silver lining to your wait for compensation after a car accident, it’s that damages tend to increase the longer each case lasts. Hence, the eagerness of most insurers to settle car accident cases before they go to trial. A brief wait could end up paying significant dividends.
Ultimately, it’s your attorney’s job to straddle the divide between securing the full compensation to which you are entitled – while doing so quickly enough to prevent you from suffering extensive debt and any associated financial distress. Your attorney should understand the urgency of your case but resist compromising it for the promise of a quick (but potentially low) payout.
Once a final resolution has been achieved, some time may pass before compensation actually arrives. Funds are eventually disbursed to the attorney, who handles liens related to medical bills, as well as additional costs associated with the claim. Any remaining funds may be received in the form of a check sent directly from the attorney’s office.
What Is the Average Amount for a Car Accident Settlement?
Timing may be a chief consideration when seeking compensation, but the final value also matters. As with timing, however, car accident compensation can vary significantly based on the specifics of the case.
Factors worth considering as you estimate your expected damages include:
- The extent to which you and any passengers in your vehicle suffered injuries – and the financial duress you’ve dealt with in your effort to cover rapidly rising medical bills.
- Whether the negligence of another driver is to blame for your accident. For example, in drunk driving accidents or those involving texting and driving, victims can often secure significant compensation that takes not only vehicular and medical damages into account, but also emotional suffering and lost wages.
- Whether the other driver was underinsured or uninsured entirely at the time of the accident.
- The negotiation tactics used by the insurance companies in question. Insurers tend to favor settlements over a trial – but they also push for the lowest compensation possible.
A notable survey from Martindale-Nolo examined a broad spectrum of personal injury cases to gain insight into trends in compensation. Answers from a variety of respondents revealed settlements and court awards ranging from just $3,000 to $75,000 in most cases, although many personal injury victims received far more.
Many of Martindale-Nolo’s respondents opted for settlements, but some ultimately took their cases to trial. The survey revealed average car accident settlement amounts of roughly $53,000. Respondents aided by attorneys, however, received an average of over $77,000 in damages, compared to only $17,600 for those who proceeded alone.
Clearly, high-quality legal representation dramatically impacts personal injury compensation for several types of cases, including car accidents. An aggressive attorney can prove valuable when dealing with medical providers and insurance companies. Car accident lawyers should advocate assertively on behalf of their valued clients. Such efforts could lead to far greater compensation than clients could hope to obtain on their own.
Injured in a Car Accident? You Need a Trusted Personal Injury Attorney in Your Corner
If you were recently involved in a car accident, you owe it to yourself to seek support from a trusted legal team. The attorneys at McCoy & McCoy will act as loyal advocates through every step of your legal ordeal. Strong representation begins from day one – and we are fully prepared to go to trial, if necessary. As a leading car accident lawyer serving all of CT, we handle a variety of cases, including auto accidents, truck accidents, and motorcycle accidents. Call (860) 200-2627 today or contact us online to learn more about your legal options – and to get started with a case consultation.