You may have heard that every car accident claim is different. This sounds cliché, sort of like when a professional athlete tells a reporter he or she is trying to take it one game at a time.
However, every claim is different. That means there is no “one-size-fits-all” answer to the question of how long a claim may take to resolve.
Below, learn more about the factors that impact how long it may for a case to resolve. There are no guarantees for the outcome of any personal injury lawsuit. However, having a lawyer at your side may help to keep your claim progressing and allow you to recover more compensation than if you go through the process alone.
Give us a call today to schedule a free initial consultation and learn more about how our Richmond auto accident lawyers may be able to help you. We have obtained millions in compensation on behalf of our clients.
Severity of Your Injuries
Crash victims may not realize that settlement negotiations do not usually begin until they have reached maximum medical improvement. This is the point where your injury has either fully healed, or it has healed as much as will likely be possible. You may need more treatment in the future, but your level of impairment is unlikely to change.
How long does it take to reach maximum medical improvement?
The answer depends on the severity of your injuries and how you respond to your recommended plan of care. Some people respond well to treatment, and their recovery moves forward at a steady pace. However, with more serious injuries, it can take quite a while for victims to reach maximum medical improvement. Some victims may need physical therapy, in addition to other medical care, to try to rebuild strength, flexibility and regain some amount of function.
Cooperation of the Insurance Company
When a crash victim suffers a severe injury, he or she is probably going to need long-term treatment. The costs associated with any ongoing medical care can add up very quickly. Unfortunately, insurance companies often look for ways to deny or devalue claims involving complex injuries. Their focus is to save the insurance company money.
If the insurance company denies your claim or makes lowball settlement offers, the negotiation process could take quite a while. Keep in mind, negotiations probably will not begin in earnest until you reach maximum medical improvement.
Insurance companies also know the statute of limitations for personal injury claims – two years from the date of the accident. Part of the reason they make lowball offers and drag their feet is to try to run out the clock.
It is important to note insurance companies are not always difficult to work with. Having an experienced attorney at your side often causes insurance companies to move more quickly on a claim.
Disputes Over Fault for the Crash
Virginia is different from most other states when it comes to fault for personal injuries. If the victim bears any amount of fault for what happened, he or she cannot recover any compensation. That means there is extra incentive for insurance companies to claim victims are partially to blame for a crash.
If the insurance company claims you are partially at fault, you will need to present evidence to dispute this. That is why working with an attorney can be helpful. At Geoff McDonald and Associates, we know how to counter insurance claims that our clients are at fault. Our firm has the resources to thoroughly investigate your accident to build a strong case, and we are prepared to bring in expert witnesses if necessary.
Whether Your Case Goes to Trial
You have two years from the date of the crash to file a lawsuit, but the it could take weeks or months after that to get to trial.
Most claims do not end up in court. Attorneys and insurance companies are usually able to reach a settlement, even if the lawyer needs to file a lawsuit. Filing a lawsuit may often push the insurance company to make a better compensation offer.
However, sometimes the only way to obtain maximum compensation is to take a case to trial. If you hire an attorney from our firm, we will be committed to your best interests throughout the process. We will let you know if we think going to trial may be the best option in your situation.
Have Questions About Your Claim? Call Today
The attorneys at Geoff McDonald and Associates are here to help you recover compensation for your car accident damages. First, we need to validate your claim in a free consultation.
If we find you have a valid claim, and you hire our firm, there are no upfront fees or obligations. We only get paid if we recover compensation for our clients.
We know crash victims often have many questions about their claim, including how long it may take. We are ready to discuss this and any other questions you have in a free consultation. Our goal is to recover the compensation you need as quickly as possible, because we know how it can help to provide financial relief during this difficult time.