Why Is My Car Accident Settlement Taking So Long?
Process and time for accidents settlements in the state of Massachusetts vary depending on your unique case. There are plenty of factors that impact how long car accident settlements take including:
- Injuries sustained by any party involved in the car accident (drivers, passengers)
- Drugs or alcohol resulted in the car accident
- Reckless driving resulted in the car accident
- The case goes to trial
- How long it takes to retrieve medical records, bills, police/narrative reports
It is important to consult with your attorney or lawyer as soon as possible after a car accident in order to move the car accident lawsuit and settlement process along in a timely fashion. If the case goes to trial, the amount of time it could take to receive a settlement from a car accident can be significantly longer than if it settles out of court.
What Is the Process After a Car Accident?
Immediately following a car accident, there will be an investigation of the accident conducted by the insurance companies and police. It is important to ensure that there is an official police report for the accident. Even if injuries are minor, you should seek medical attention immediately. Some injuries from a car accident may not show up right away following a car accident, including head and neck trauma.
Most car accident claims settle without a lawsuit. Your attorney can help you determine whether the negligent driver’s insurance provides sufficient coverage for damages sustained. Massachusetts is a “no-fault” state for car accidents, meaning everyone is require to have personal injury protection (PIP) covering accident expenses. If insurance provides enough coverage, your attorney may suggest accepting the offer without pursuing a lawsuit.
Massachusetts law gives you three years to file a personal injury claim. This typically starts at the day of the accident. Not all car accident lawsuits go to trial. If your car accident lawsuit settles out of court, you may see the settlement claim sooner than if it goes to trial.
What to Do After a Car Accident That’s Not Your Fault
If the car accident is not your fault, you should still consult with an attorney to determine the best course of action. If your vehicle sustained damage or if you sustained injuries from the accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Immediately following a car accident, make sure you obtain an official police report and seek medical attention for even the most minor injuries. Also, make sure you can obtain any witness statements that could help support your claim.
What Is a Good Settlement Offer for a Car Accident?
Settlement offers for car accidents vary drastically depending on each unique case. The amount in a settlement is determined by many factors including:
- Medical bills
- Damage to your vehicle
- Loss of wages from inability to work due to sustained injuries
- Emotional trauma from accident
Many car accidents settle out of court if the victim and their attorney determine that the insurance settlement is worth the damage incurred from the accident. This route leads to faster settled claims than lawsuits, especially lawsuits that go to trial.
Stages of a Car Accident Lawsuit
In a car accident lawsuit, there are several stages in a case that determine the length of time it takes to settle. These stages are:
- Filing the lawsuit
- Discovery stage
The negotiations stage is an attempt for both parties to come to an agreement before proceeding to a lengthy trial. There are plenty of reasons why both parties might want to settle out of court. The lawsuit will only go to trial if one or more parties are dissatisfied with the settlement.
Most Common Reasons for a Delayed Car Accident Settlement
The most common reasons for a delay in a car accident settlement are:
- Insufficient evidence
- Determining who is at fault
- Planning a defense strategy
- Delays from the insurance provider
Delays from the insurance provider include attempts to avoid compensating for the car accident. When this happens, they may try to put the fault on someone that could help them avoid paying the claim. For this reason, it is important to obtain evidence, such as medical bills and an official police report, after your accident. It is also important to have an attorney guide you through the legal process from start to finish. They can help ensure that you have everything you need to support your claim in court, to the other party, and to the insurance providers.
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