How long a car accident claim takes to settle depends on several factors, including:
- The time it takes to prove the at-fault driver’s negligence
- How long it takes to receive all expense-related documents
- The information uncovered in interviews and depositions
- The complexities of the settlement negotiations process
Finally, the time it takes to settle a car accident case may depend on you because you, not your lawyer, will make the final decision to either accept or reject each proposed offer.
Understanding How Settlement Negotiations Work After a Car Accident
When car accidents result in injuries and property damage, victims file an injury lawsuit. When a loved one dies in a car accident, the person’s surviving family members might file a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault driver. If either of these is your situation, you can work with a lawyer from our firm who can help you seek financial compensation to cover your damages, such as your medical bills, lost wages, and other losses.
Your attorney can also seek payment for these damages from the opposing driver’s insurer via an insurance claim or a lawsuit in civil court. Many injury lawsuits are resolved with a financial settlement agreement than with a trial. The process of reaching an out-of-court settlement includes:
- Assigning a financial value to your lawsuit
- Evaluating the evidence in your accident
- Negotiating the settlement amount
- Accepting a proposed settlement
Your lawyer may walk you through each of these steps with the end goal of ensuring you receive a fair and favorable settlement. Your lawyer can also help you evaluate your settlement so that it adequately meets your needs.
Assigning a Financial Value to Your Lawsuit
To determine the financial value of your car accident lawsuit, a personal injury lawyer from our firm can help you calculate the value of these recoverable damages:
- Medical bills
- Income loss
- Physical pain
- Emotional pain
- Property repair
- Property replacement
Before entering settlement negotiations, your lawyer may assign a monetary value to your lawsuit. This may take time because your lawyer may wait for all accident and injury-related expenses to become available. Assigning a value too early or accepting a speedy settlement offer could lead to your lawsuit being undervalued.
Evaluating the Available Evidence
Insurance Information Institute (III) guidelines suggest actions you should take after a car accident. Many of these actions can help capture and preserve information that points to the opposing motorist’s fault and liability.
If you have not done so already, you may want to:
- Note your injuries and be prepared to track your medical expenses.
- Note your vehicle’s damage and keep all estimates related to its repair or replacement.
- Collect all relevant information from the at-fault driver.
- Call the police to the scene and generate a crash report.
You may also consider calling our firm as soon as possible to ensure that we have adequate time to:
- Review your evidence
- Interview accident witnesses
- Comply with your state’s deadlines for filing a civil lawsuit
- Assign a value to the damages in your lawsuit
Negotiating Your Car Accident Settlement Amount
Your lawyer can help you carefully consider each settlement offer you receive. They may compare each monetary amount to your known and anticipated expenses and advise you on the feasibility of accepting or declining each offer.
How long your car accident lawsuit takes to settle may depend, in part, on how many offers you receive before accepting one. It may also depend on the amount of time it takes to weigh each offer’s pros and cons. When you agree to a settlement, there may still be more steps to take before receiving the actual payout.
Accepting a Proposed Settlement
When you agree with your lawyer on the most feasible settlement offer and accept it, you may also be asked to sign a waiver that prohibits you from seeking further payment from the at-fault driver. Due to the finality of an accepted settlement offer, your lawyer will work diligently to ensure your lawsuit is thoroughly and accurately valued.
Once you agree to a monetary offer, your lawyer can work with the insurance company to secure your payment.
Call Now to Get Help from Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers on Your Car Accident Case
If you are weighing whether to resolve your car accident lawsuit with an out-of-court settlement, Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers can help you weigh your options. Our goal is to ensure you receive the best possible settlement offer—even if it is not the fastest one. Contact our car accident team by calling (337) 777-7777 today.