When a person hires a car accident lawyer to help them pursue a claim, one of the first questions they often have pertains to how long the case will take. Unfortunately, the length of the claims process can be highly varied. If the insurance adjuster sees the wisdom in settling the case, the whole thing might be over in weeks. On the other hand, putting together a suit and following up on it can take months or even years.
This may leave you wondering why that might be the case. Let's take a look at what factors may influence how long it takes to conclude a claim.
Lack of Information
As difficult as it is to watch past-due bills and medical expenses pile up in the aftermath of an incident, a car accident attorney will frequently caution a client to proceed slowly. The biggest fear you should have is that you might accept a settlement only to find there is a previously undiscovered medical issue from the accident. When you settle, there is almost no way for you to get more money after the fact unless there was fraud involved. That's a highly unlikely scenario since an insurance company's goal in settling a claim is to end its legal and financial exposure on the case.
You do not want to settle a case until you're 100% sure that all potential medical concerns have been checked. Even if you feel completely healthy after an accident and just want to get the cost of your car back, it's wise to give it a little time just to be on the safe side.
Folks who've encountered medical issues after accidents will need to undergo examinations and tests to determine what's going on. This means dealing with doctors and collecting medical reports from them to include in a claim. Doing all that can take months or even years, but the statute of limitations in most states for filing a claim is usually two to three years from the time of the accident.
Both sides in an accident case have a number they're looking for. Depending on how far off the two are, it may take several counteroffers or even a lawsuit to arrive at the point where you'll be paid compensation for your injuries. Notably, your car accident attorney is legally and ethically obligated to present every offer the insurance carrier makes and to say if they think it's fair.
For more information, contact a car accident attorney.