Car accidents can be a traumatic and stressful experience, especially if you suffer injuries. You will likely present a claim to their insurance company if the other driver is at fault.
However, the last thing you want to worry about is how long it will take to settle your claim. You will find widely varying answers if you’re researching how long to get a car accident settlement.
That’s because every case is different, and the time it takes to resolve a claim can vary depending on several different factors.
How Long to Get a Car Accident Settlement Claim?
To better understand why the time to resolve a car accident claim can differ so greatly from case to case, here is a look at some factors that impact your potential claim.
Claims for accidents resulting in serious injuries or fatalities often take longer to settle because you’re likely undergoing treatment for a lot longer than someone with injuries that healed within several weeks or a month.
It might take six months before your doctors declare you’ve reached maximum medical improvement (MMI).
The insurance company will also need to thoroughly investigate the reasonableness of treatment and associated costs.
Any claim that could result in additional exposure for the insurance company will be more closely scrutinized.
In some instances, serious injury claims could resolve quicker if it’s clear your case value will far exceed the available insurance limits.
In this situation, you will likely settle your claim with the at-fault party’s insurer for the claim limit.
If you have uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance, you can then try to pursue a claim for additional compensation through your own insurer.
You should be wary of an adjuster who tries to settle a severe injury claim right away. The insurance company may know your claim is worth more and wants to limit its exposure.
Their insured might have high bodily injury limits, and by offering you a settlement now, the adjuster can reduce the potential payout down the line.
Before agreeing to settle a serious injury car accident claim, it’s always best to speak with an experienced North Carolina car accident lawyer.
Claims involving disputed or complex liability can also take longer to resolve. The adjuster needs time to gather evidence to determine liability.
For example, if multiple parties were involved in the accident or the cause is unclear, it can take longer to sort through the conflicting information and determine liability.
Disputed liability is quite common in car accident claims in North Carolina because of contributory negligence. The law says that you are completely barred from recovery if you’re even 1% at fault.
Because of the restrictive negligence laws, you can expect insurance adjusters to conduct thorough investigations in hopes of finding some fault against you.
That is why many disputed liability cases wind up in litigation. Insurance adjusters quickly deny liability, forcing victims to file a lawsuit.
If the adjuster is unwilling to concede liability in litigation, it may be necessary to take your case to trial. That can increase the potential timeline significantly.
Responsiveness of the Insurance Company
Suppose the insurance company is slow to respond to requests for information or is uncooperative.
In this situation, it will take longer to settle the claim as your attorney will need to follow up with the company to obtain the necessary documentation.
Insurance companies are for-profit entities, and some insurance adjusters might not be as responsive to requests for information. Some are also notorious for being difficult to work with for car accident claims.
Statute of Limitations for North Carolina Car Accidents
It’s essential to be mindful of the statute of limitations for a car accident in North Carolina. The statute of limitations is the legal deadline to file a lawsuit.
In most cases, you have three years from the accident date to file. Otherwise, the court might bar you from recovery.
Even if you’re negotiating a settlement with the insurance company, you must file within the deadline. The insurance adjuster will ask for proof that you filed a lawsuit before continuing to discuss a potential settlement.
Three years seems like a long time, but it’s not, especially in cases with significant injuries. That’s why we recommend contacting a North Carolina car accident lawyer early in the claims process.
We will ensure all legal deadlines are met, including the statute of limitations.
How to Expedite the Car Accident Settlement Process
One of the best ways to streamline the claims process is to hire an experienced North Carolina car accident lawyer.
At Mehta & McConnell, PLLC, we routinely represent injured victims for car accident injuries. We know what it takes to build a solid case and how to work with insurance adjusters for at-fault parties.
We will gather all evidence, speak with witnesses, and ensure the other driver’s insurance has everything necessary to evaluate your injuries.
In cases involving complicated legal issues, we have a network of experts we can contact to review the case.
For example, we work with skilled accident reconstructionists who can review an accident and form an educated opinion on who was at fault.
Your attorney will be there every step of the way, ensuring that everything runs smoothly and following up with the insurance adjuster when they engage in delay tactics.
We will handle all communication with the defendant’s insurance company—including settlement negotiations. We’re skilled negotiators and know how to keep the process moving.
Should the third-party insurance adjuster be unwilling to negotiate in good faith, we are prepared to file a lawsuit on your behalf.
Once your case is in litigation, we’ll do our best to help you reach a fair settlement. Our priority is to help you get the maximum compensation possible.
We won’t stand for the insurance company lowballing you or unfairly denying your claim.
Contact Our North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers
Please get in touch with our legal team if you have questions about how long to get a car accident settlement.
Our attorneys have decades of combined legal experience and are here to answer all your questions.
Schedule an initial, no-obligation consultation to learn more about how we can help you with a car accident settlement claim in North Carolina.