Anyone who has filed a car accident claim can confirm that the process can be challenging. Sometimes, lawsuits and settlements are necessary when seeking the highest financial compensation for your injuries. You may wonder, “How long do car accident settlements take?”
Every settlement is different, but a New York City auto accident lawyer can help you understand what to expect. Here are some things to think about while you build your case.
Considering the Factors of Your Case
Every driver in the State of New York must have the minimum personal injury protection coverage. $50,000 is the lowest coverage for bodily harm after a single accident. Before seeking litigation, you must file a claim with your auto insurance company.
In some cases, these companies may provide adequate compensation for your losses. However, it may be appropriate to file a personal injury lawsuit for damages exceeding $50,000. An accident attorney can help weigh your options to decide which path is right for you.
The Value of Your Losses
Calculating the value of your losses can be challenging without help. You should consider several factors, including:
- The cost of your short-term medical expenses
- If you experienced delayed injuries that require further medical care
- Lost wages from time off work
- Additional property damage to your car, electronics, or other personal items
- Non-economic damages such as pain and suffering
How long do car accident settlements take for high-value losses? Sometimes, receiving the total reimbursement you seek for these damages can take longer.
Remember that the at-fault driver may not be able to afford your desired compensation. In such cases, pursuing a satisfactory judgment can be more challenging.
A lawyer can help you record each accident-related damage. This way, you have an accurate number to demand during negotiations.
New York City reported nearly 1,800 auto collision injuries to motorists in 2019. Many of these car accident victims sustained:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Paralysis or mobility problems
- Organ failure
- And more
Remember that the symptoms of some injuries can be long-lasting. Your settlement should cover the price of future medical expenses. A doctor can help you determine the right treatment options and how long you should expect symptoms to last.
Initiating a Demand
Once your insurance company offers to compensate you (or denies your accident claims), you can pursue litigation. Determine the balance of your costs before you approach liable parties.
For example, suppose your insurance company only paid you $16,000 for damages that cost you $30,000. You can seek a settlement for the remaining $14,000 by issuing a demand letter to the at-fault driver. An attorney can help you write a formal document to initiate legal proceedings.
Expect liable parties to resist demands using their own lawyers. At this point, all attorneys can present evidence or ultimatums until they can reach a mutual agreement.
Evidence shows that in 2021, plaintiffs in New York received $133.7 million in motor vehicle-related settlements.
Can a Car Accident Attorney in NYC Speed Up My Case?
How long do car accident settlements take with a lawyer?
Hiring a car accident attorney in NYC can often help speed up a settlement. They can organize evidence, including medical reports, cell phone records, and crash photos relevant to your case. Additionally, they can discourage insurance companies from dragging their feet when submitting information or sending you a check.
An attorney who collects sufficient evidence can help you streamline negotiations with liable parties. Solid details make it hard for the defense to blame your injuries on pre-existing conditions.
Some settlement negotiations could take months to conclude. With the right lawyer, you can significantly reduce the length of this process.
What Do New York Car Accident Lawyers Recommend?
New York car accident lawyers recommend several ways to shorten the time it takes to finalize a settlement. First, avoid admitting fault to any insurance company or doctor. New York operates on a comparative negligence law that holds each party liable for their share of the accident.
While this statute does not block you from pursuing compensation, your share in the accident could minimize the final judgment. Suppose a driver clipped your car and caused you to spin out. However, you were texting and driving during the accident, which reduced your awareness.
In this case, the defendant may argue that you were partly responsible for avoidable damages.
Additionally, you should never exaggerate or downplay your injuries. This behavior can bog down the settlement process, causing attorneys to spend more time verifying information.
Remember that your insurance company can view doctors’ reports. If you told a medical professional that your legs don’t hurt that bad but then tried to pursue money for immobility, you might miss out on a sizable judgment.
What to Expect After Signing a Settlement
How long do car accident settlements take after you reach an agreement? Once you sign the final papers, you should expect a check within the month. Depending on the details of your negotiation, your money may come in lump-sum or regular installments.
About 95% of court cases end with pre-trial settlements. These agreements are contract-bound and ensure that the injured person receives compensation.
However, negotiations can break down at any point and require a jury trial. This process can significantly delay the time it takes to receive compensation.
Enlist an Auto Accident Attorney in NYC
Do you need an attorney who will fight for you under the law? At Ross & Hill, we represent hundreds of clients in New York seeking justice for their personal injuries. We have over four decades of experience managing these cases and provide professional counseling when you need it.
We can match you with an auto accident attorney in NYC with an extensive understanding of state and federal law. This way, you can feel confident about partnering with us.
Speak with us to learn how accidents caused by distracted driving can impact your insurance claim.