Every pedestrian accident is different, and how long a settlement takes depends on various factors. As a result, pedestrian accident settlements can take anywhere from a few months to years to resolve.
The severity and permanency of the injuries you suffered in the accident, the success of negotiations with the insurance company, and whether your case must be filed in court all affect how long your pedestrian accident case will take to settle.
How the severity of your injuries affects the settlement process
If you suffer only minor injuries in a pedestrian accident, you may recover in a few weeks or months. You may be able to return to work after taking a reasonable amount of time to recover from your injuries. You also may not experience any permanent impairments as a result of your accident.
These factors typically result in a settlement that is quicker than most, simply because your expenses resulting from the accident are straightforward and relatively easy to calculate, at least in comparison with more severe accidents.
Severe injuries can extend the time it takes to prepare a case
Pedestrian accidents, however, do not always result in a quick recovery. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) reports that about 137,000 pedestrians were injured and almost 6,000 pedestrians were killed in these accidents in 2017. The injury and fatality rates tend to be high in pedestrian accidents because pedestrians lack protection from the impact of much larger, heavier, and faster motor vehicles.
It may take you months or even a few years to reach your maximum level of medical improvement. Your prognosis may be unclear, and you will want your settlement amount to account for all your losses and expenses. Reaching the point at which you can gather the necessary documentation and fully calculate your losses can take time, which may lead to delays in the settlement process.
In some cases, victims may need to enlist medical experts to testify about their future costs of accident-related treatment.
Negotiations with the insurance company
Another major factor in how long your pedestrian accident case may take to settle is the nature of the negotiations process with the liable party’s insurance company. Insurance companies want to protect the party whom they insure, and they may want to settle insurance claims for as little money as possible.
One way that insurance companies may try to get you to accept a low and unfair settlement is to deny that their policyholder is at fault for causing the accident. While fault in some accidents may be straightforward, this is not the case in other accidents. An insurance company may use its denial of fault to support its denial of a settlement amount.
Likewise, an insurance company may suggest that even if its insured is somewhat at fault, the injury victim is also partially at fault. The company may use this tactic to offer an inadequate settlement amount. These maneuvers by the insurance company to avoid responsibility can add significant time to the settlement process in your pedestrian accident case.
When your case must go to trial
Most pedestrian accident cases, like most personal injury cases, settle before the parties ever see a courtroom. However, in some cases, the insurance company is unwilling to come to a fair settlement, which necessitates court action. This can extend the duration of your case.
Note that, per CC Art. 3492, there is a general one-year deadline on filing a personal injury lawsuit in Louisiana. You must file your lawsuit before this deadline or you may lose your right to sue.
A pedestrian accident lawyer from our firm can help you prepare your lawsuit and file it on time. The sooner you contact our firm, the sooner we can get started on your case.
Learn more about settling your pedestrian accident case
Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers represents pedestrian accident victims. We can handle all the legal work in your case while you focus on recovering from your injuries. During your initial consultation, a member of our team can discuss how long your pedestrian accident case may take to settle. We can keep you updated as we begin pursuing a settlement on your behalf as soon as you retain our services.
Call Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers at (337) 777-7777 today for your free consultation. We are dedicated to representing the interests of injury victims against large insurance companies and liable parties. Our firm has successfully recovered over $200 million in personal injury settlements and court awards for our clients.
We take pedestrian accident cases on contingency, meaning that you will never pay us anything up front for our services. In fact, you will pay nothing in legal fees unless you receive a settlement or court award in your case. We will go over this payment structure in more detail when you call.