Car accident victims have a common question: what is the average time to settle a car accident case?
The reason victims ask this question is obvious. They want to put the car crash – which may have been very traumatic - behind them. And, understandably, they want the money compensation, to which they are fully entitled, sooner rather that later.
Before getting an initial offer which is obviously the key first step to getting a settlement check, three things must happen:Treatment Is Finished or at Maximum Medical Improvement
First, the client has to either (1) fully recover and need no further treatment, or (2) reach maximum medical improvement, which means that while the client may need additional treatment, this is as good as the client is likely to get.
Alternatively, if future surgery or other medical procedures have not yet been performed, an accident lawyer can ask a doctor to give an estimate of what the costs of the future surgery/procedure will cost. This is often the biggest reason there is a delay in settling a serious injury claim. The solution? The key is knowing the doctors -- at this point, we know so many of them -- or knowing how to reach the doctor to get a report that will allow you to claim your future expenses that are reasonably anticipated.All of the Clients Medical Bills and Records Have Been Obtained
What makes cases settle as quickly they possibly can? Lawyers and paralegals working hard.
If a case is going to be settled without a lawsuit for top value, a car accident lawyer will need to obtain all of the medical records and bills for the client. At our law firm and many personal injury firms, it is the lawyer’s job to collect the medical bills and records.
This is essential. Settlement before a lawsuit in an accident claim is going to be based almost exclusively on the nuances of the victim's medical records. How these records reflect the injuries is – at this stage of the game – the most important variable the insurance companies use to determine value.
Are the records enough? It depends. In most cases, the doctor's critical opinions are contained in the four corners of the medical records. In others, we need the doctors to, as we discussed above, offer opinions on future medical care or to clarify ambiguity in the medical records.The Demand Package: Waiting for a Response
After a settlement demand is sent with all of the relevant medical bills and records and other information necessary to resolve the claim, it takes the insurance company time to evaluate the claim. It should not take more than three weeks for most claims, but it often does, and your accident lawyer needs to be following up with the insurance company to keep your case at the front of the line.
If pre-suit settlement negotiations fail, your accident lawyer needs to push the ball forward as quickly as possible to get your money to you as soon as possible. Some insurance companies drag their feet after a settlement has been effectuated. It is important that accident lawyers stay on top of the insurance company to expedite you getting your settlement check as soon as possible.
Getting the Right Lawyer
Experienced counsel can help you to get the money you deserve for your injuries. We believe our attorneys are the best accident lawyers in Maryland. Miller & Zois' lawyers work to get you a quick settlement while still making sure the details are all in place to get you the best settlement possible.
Our lawyers have the experience to shorten the time to settlement by putting cases on the right track from the beginning. We stand up to the insurance companies to fight for fair compensation for the victims of car accidents, truck accident, and motorcycle accidents.
If you have been injured in an auto accident get a free on-line consultation or call 1-800-553-8082.More Resources
- Example of a Demand Letter: example of a demand letter in a personal injury case
- The Value of Your Case: information on how personal injury cases are evaluated for settlement
- 8 Mistakes You Make on Your Own: what the insurance companies do to take advantage of you
- An example of how insurance companies do this
- Settlement Formula: is there a settlement formula in car and truck accident cases
- Injury Victims: one-stop shop for detailed information on auto accident claims
- Settle or Go to the Jury: for those of your struggling to decide whether to take your case to a jury or get the best settlement that you can, here are some thoughts and some statistics on settlement offers and verdicts that may or may not help