After overcoming the initial shock of a car accident and dealing with the injuries and inconvenience that go along with it, you are anxious to move forward with your settlement case so you can get paid and put the whole thing behind you. In a perfect world, the whole process would be smooth and expedient, and your case would be settled in a couple of weeks. But in the real world, your settlement can drag on for months, sometimes even years.
There are several factors that come into play in determining the time it takes to settle your auto injury lawsuit:
1. Evidence of Liability
In some cases, such as a DUI or red light violation, there can be little question of who is at fault. However, many times the evidence of liability is not so cut and dried, and the process of assessing liability may be drawn out. If there is any doubt, the defense attorney will make every effort to disprove the liability of their client.
2. Severity of Injuries
Your attorney wants to get the fairest settlement they can on your behalf, and they will not move to settle until the full scope of diagnosis, treatment and recovery has run its course. If you settle prematurely and then complications related to your injuries arise, you may incur additional expenses that exceed the amount of the settlement.
If your injuries are minor and quickly treated, settlement can take a matter of weeks. If you sustained major debilitating injuries that require surgery and ongoing treatment, the settlement time could be extended for years.
3. Insurance Company Litigation
If the insurance company decides to dig in its heels and deny liability, the time for settlement may be extended. They may make minuscule offers that are not in line with the degree of damages in an attempt to settle. In such cases, your attorney may be forced to bring a lawsuit against the insurance company, which can be lengthy process.
A lawsuit entails several steps:
- Discovery: Each party reviews the other’s case, including photos, witness statements, medical records and other relevant information.
- Depositions: You will answer questions about the accident and how it impacted your life.
- Securing a Court Date: This can be difficult as civil courts are overburdened with cases, and it may be some time before your case can be heard.
- Arbitration: The court may require you to make every effort to settle before going to trial.
- Trial: If no settlement can be reached, you will finally go to trial, which may take only a few weeks.
4. Getting Paid
After a settlement or judgement has been reached, it may take as long as a month or two to get your money. A check will be sent to your attorney, who will then distribute portions to lien holders such as medical care providers. After that, the attorneys will pay themselves, and the remainder will finally be paid to you.
As you can see, there may be a significant gap between the time of your accident and the date you receive compensation for damages. Meanwhile, you still have bills to pay and a family to care for. If your injuries are keeping you from working, you will be hard pressed to make ends meet.
Cronus Can Help!
Cronus is here to bridge the financial gap while you wait for your auto accident case to resolve. We can get you the cash you need to keep afloat, easing your burden while you get back on your feet. Contact our friendly staff today for a simple application and quick response.