Factors That Affect an Auto Accident Settlement
In many cases automobile accident claims are settled without the need to resort to trial. However, accident victims may wonder how soon they may obtain a settlement in their case. A claim to resolve through a settlement often leaves accident victims in a precarious situation. Accident victims may have incurred medical expenses they are unable to afford, or may be out of work and unable to earn a living. There are many factors that affect the timing of an automobile accident settlement.
General Timeline of Settlements
If an automobile accident case has clear evidence of liability and the monetary damages are not in dispute, a settlement can be achieved in months or even weeks. However, when liability for an accident is contested or when damages (economic damages and bodily injury) are being contested or continuously incur, a resolution is not possible.
In Pennsylvania there is a two year Statute of Limitations so a suit has to be filed prior to the expiration of the two years. Litigation can take several years and most cases settle as litigation proceeds to a trial date.
Impact of the Severity of Injuries
More often than not, the dispute during settlement negotiations focuses on the issue of damages. When a victim’s claim is minor, insurance companies are more likely to accept an offer to quickly dispose of the case. In cases where the victim has suffered serious injuries and is facing years of treatment, the insurance companies frequently dispute the value of the claim.
It is the ability of the victim’s attorney to properly present injuries and the damage to the victim’s quality of life. This is important in obtaining a just settlement for the injured party. These cases are not likely to be resolved quickly.
Dealing with Insurance Companies
All insurance companies do not evaluate claims the same. Some insurance carriers have a conservative approach to claims and might persistently offer low settlement amounts. Other insurance carriers may factor in legal costs and may be more willing to reach a timely settlement to reduce those costs. The caseload of an insurance company or a particular adjuster can affect the evaluation of the case and an ultimate offer by the company. If the claim is substantial there may be several levels of approval that need to be obtained before the matter can be resolved.
Factors Specific to Your Accident
The timing of a settlement can be impacted by circumstances and factors specific to your case. For example, liability may be contested especially when the other driver claims a third party or outside factors caused them to act in such a manner that caused the accident. The other driver may argue that you were partially responsible for the accident and thus the value of your claim should be proportionally reduced. Finally, your case cannot be rushed through the process. A victim cannot settle his or her case until such time as economic and injury damages can be assessed. This involves obtaining medical records from numerous providers and often obtaining diagnostic and prognostic reports from treating physicians. This can be an expensive undertaking but one that must be pursued if a victim’s claim is to be adequately presented.
Contact a Colmar Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Car Accident Case in Pennsylvania
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a car accident in Pennsylvania? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C. represent clients injured because of auto accidents in Newtown, Doylestown, Lansdale, King of Prussia, and throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania. Call (215) 822-7575 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 2605 N. Broad St., Colmar, PA 18915, as well as an office in Newtown, PA.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.