how long do a auto accident take to get settle

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how long do a auto accident take to get settle

Asked on March 16, 2012 under Accident Law, Alabama

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

There isn't a set amount of time, but it depends on what occurred in the accident.  If the accident was property damage only, the case is usually settled by having the car repaired and the at-fault party's insurance paying for the repairs.  This should be handled promptly. 

If you were not at fault in the accident, but were injured in the accident, the case can't be settled until you complete your medical treatment and are released by the doctor or are declared by the doctor to be permanent and stationary which means having reached a point in treatment where no further improvement is anticipated.  Then, obtain your medical bills, medical reports and documentation of any wage loss.  Your personal injury claim filed with the at-fault party's insurance carrier should include these items.  The length of your medical treatment and how long it takes to obtain these documents determines how soon you will get to this phase of attempting to settle the case.  If the case is settled with the at-fault party's insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.  If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the at-fault party's insurance carrier, reject the settlement offers and file your lawsuit for negligence against the at-fault party.  If the case is NOT settled with the at-fault party's insurance carrier, you will need to file your lawsuit prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.  If it goes into litigation, the case might take several months or possibly a couple of years before it is settled or goes to trial.

If no lawsuit is filed and the case is settled with the insurance company, that should be a matter of weeks after the insurance company has all your medical bills, medical reports and wage loss documentation for them to respond with a settlement offer.  Again, it would be premature to settle the case until you have completed your medical treatment and are released by the doctor or are declared by the doctor to be permanent and stationary because once you settle the case, you can't go back and ask for more money from the insurance company.  You need to have the total bills, total wage loss and final medical report before attempting to settle the case after completing your medical treatment.


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