The time it takes to settle a car accident case varies for each person, lasting anywhere from a few weeks to several years depending on the complexity and severity of the accident. Our personal injury attorneys work closely with you to evaluate how long your case will take.
Settling With Insurance
Car accident cases usually involve dealing with an insurance company. While each company handles cases differently, they all share one priority: saving their funds. This may affect your case, but a lawyer can push back and fight for the recovery you deserve. Your settlement amount will depend on the:
- Severity of injuries
- Permanence of injuries
- Parties involved
- Willingness to negotiate
What Are Your Injuries?
Many personal injury lawyers, like the ones at D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™, like to wait to settle until we understand your expenses. We want to make sure your financial recovery encompasses all your medical bills and losses. This is called reaching your maximum medical improvement (MMI).
For complex injuries, likely to affect you long-term, or require extensive recovery, reaching MMI can take longer, which in turn makes your case last longer. That can include:
- Crushing injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Loss of limb
- Internal injuries
- Permanent disabilities
- PTSD/mental health diagnoses
While it may be frustrating to wait, we don’t want you to settle for less. For instance, the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC) estimates that lifetime costs for a spinal cord injury could be up to $5 million. Likewise, TBIs tend to cost more and carry a greater chance of needing additional care. You deserve a settlement that considers these consequences.
Who Was Involved in the Accident?
Texas adheres to modified comparative negligence—if you are deemed less than 50 percent responsible for an automobile collision, you can pursue financial recovery. However, what you receive is reduced by the amount you contributed to the accident. For instance, if you were deemed 15 percent at fault, your damages will be cut by that amount.
An insurance company may try to argue you were more responsible for the accident and use that as a reason not to pay your expenses. In multi-car collisions, they may also try to paint a third party as more at fault and therefore responsible for more costs.
Identifying those at fault and determining their level of liability can affect how long your car accident case will take to settle in Texas. Our car collision lawyers can step in to clarify this aspect and stand up for you to receive the financial recovery you deserve.
How Willing Is Everyone to Negotiate?
Ultimately, settling a case requires just that—all parties being willing to settle. Insurance companies’ focus on saving funds instead of helping you receive treatment and financial aid could mean that they will:
- Pressure you to settle quickly
- Pressure you to make a statement
- Underestimate your injury costs
- Blame another party
- Blame you
- Intimidate or bully you
- Deny your claim in bad faith
- Use stalling tactics
All these tactics could lengthen or shorten your case. For instance, if you take an early settlement, not realizing it does not meet all your needs, your case could be finished quickly. By contrast, a company may drag out your case in the hope that you will eventually give up.
If you experience any of these scenarios, you can get help from our car accident lawyers in standing up to an insurance company.
Going to Trial
Sometimes, the parties involved cannot reach an agreement through negotiations alone, prompting us to file a lawsuit on your behalf to pursue your case in court. This can mean your case takes longer, as the steps involved are:
- Evidence gathering
- Lawsuit filing
- Investigation and discovery
- More negotiation
- Trial preparation
That being said, most cases settle out of court, even after filing a lawsuit. We take advantage of several opportunities to continue negotiating to reach a settlement before going before a jury.
How Long does It Take to File a Lawsuit?
While we may end up settling before reaching a trial, your case could still take a year or more. In addition to waiting for you to reach MMI, we also utilize the time provided by the statute of limitations to negotiate and investigate.
According to Texas law, we generally have two years to file a personal injury lawsuit. Some additional factors may cause that deadline to be longer or shorter. We can discuss all the variables affecting your lawsuit timeline when we get started on your case.
We Can Estimate the Timeline of Your Case In a Free Consultation
The personal injury lawyers at D. Miller & Associates, PLLC can examine the factors in your case that dictate how long it will take to settle your Texas car accident case. Receive personalized attention from a team member during your free case evaluation today.