How long it takes to settle a car accident claim depends on many factors and varies from case to case. Straightforward cases may be settled in just a few weeks, whereas more complex cases may take months or more to settle.
You can settle a claim on your own, but you may prefer to work with a personal injury lawyer who has experience handling car accident claims.
Many Factors Influence the Settlement Process
In general, more complex cases take longer to settle. Many factors affect how long it takes to settle a car accident case, including:
To obtain a settlement from the other driver’s insurance company, you must demonstrate that the other driver caused your accident. This task can be complicated, as the other driver may claim you were at fault and deserve no compensation. In that case, your lawyer can dispute these claims and advocate for you.
The insurance company may rely on its own investigation and police reports to determine liability. On the other hand, your lawyer will independently investigate the accident with your rights in mind. He can collect valuable evidence from the scene, interview eyewitnesses, collect police reports, and more.
Documenting Your Damages
You must show that your injuries and other related damages were caused by the accident. In addition, it is your responsibility to prove their values.
Your lawyer can help you document your damages by:
- Recommending a healthcare provider, if necessary, to document your injuries
- Collecting your medical records and past wage statements
- Taking pictures of your injuries and damaged vehicle
- Gathering vehicle repair or replacement bills
- Interviewing you, your family, and your friends to show your pain and suffering
Reaching a Settlement Agreement
Your claim will not be settled until you and the insurance provider agree on a settlement. This step can be drawn out if the insurance provider will not offer a reasonable settlement.
Your lawyer will evaluate any settlement offers and negotiate for you to be compensated fairly. If necessary, he will litigate your case in court.
Filing a Lawsuit By the Deadline
Sometimes, negotiations with the insurance company fail. When that happens, we can file a lawsuit on your behalf and represent you in court. We will never stop fighting for your rights.
Georgia limits how much time you have to file a lawsuit after a car accident. O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33 sets the statute of limitations for personal injury at two years, meaning you have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. Once the deadline has passed, you might lose your right to sue.
For a free legal consultation, call (404) 888-8888
Recovering Damages After a Car Accident
You may be entitled to financial compensation known as damages after a car accident, including:
You can recover compensation for your past and anticipated medical expenses, such as:
- Ambulance bills
- Emergency room treatment
- X-rays or other imaging services
- Doctor’s appointments
- Prescription medications
- Rehabilitative therapies
- Medical equipment
You may be able to recover damages for tow truck bills and the repair or replacement of your vehicle.
You may be able to recover past lost wages if you are out of work during your recovery or future lost wages if you cannot return to your previous occupation because of your injuries.
Pain and Suffering
O.C.G.A. § 9-10-184 allows you to recover damages for pain and suffering caused by the accident. You may be able to recover damages for pain and suffering if the accident:
- Left you disfigured or permanently disabled
- Caused you to develop chronic pain
- Caused you to become depressed or anxious
- Required a long recovery period
- Required multiple surgeries
- Otherwise reduced your quality of life
Contributory Negligence in a Georgia Car Accident Case
Some car accidents are clearly caused by one driver. In others, more than one driver may share the responsibility for the accident. For example, if another driver ran a red light and hit you, but you were speeding at the time, you could both be held partially liable for the accident.
In Georgia, you can recover damages even if you partly caused the accident. O.C.G.A. § 51-12-33 allows drivers to recover a portion of their damages if they were less than 50% responsible for the accident. Your damages will be reduced in proportion to your contribution, so if you were 10% at fault, you can recover 90% of your damages.
Bader Scott Injury Lawyers Will Fight for You
Bader Scott Injury Lawyers will advocate for your best interests throughout the settlement process. We will work hard to settle your case quickly but fairly, making sure you receive adequate compensation.
Call our office today at (404) 888-8888 for a free case evaluation. Remember, we work on contingency, so you pay us nothing unless we win your case.