If you have been injured in a car accident, you may be wondering how long the settlement process will take. The truth is, there is no one answer to that question. Every case is unique, and the time it takes to settle will vary depending on the facts of your case and the parties involved.
Contact an attorney if you’ve been injured in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you understand your rights and options, guide you through the legal process, and represent you in negotiations or court proceedings. In addition, they will work to get you a fair settlement for your injuries and other losses.
At The Fran Haasch Law Group, we have years of experience helping victims of car accidents get the money they need to rebuild their lives. We know how to fight for our clients, and we will do everything possible to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free case review.
Factors to Consider When Determining How Long It May Take to Settle a Car Accident Claim in Florida
Some of the factors that may impact how long it will take to settle your case include:
The Severity of Your Injuries
The first factor to consider is the severity of your injuries. If you have suffered severe or life-threatening injuries, your case will likely take longer to settle than a case involving less severe injuries. More time is needed to thoroughly investigate the accident and determine the full extent of your damages.
The Insurance Company
Another factor to consider is the insurance companies involved. If you are dealing with a large insurance company, they may have more resources available to investigate your accident, and delays in the claims process are not uncommon. On the other hand, if you are dealing with a smaller insurance company, they may be more likely to offer a quick settlement to avoid litigation costs.
Medical Treatment Completion
If you are still receiving treatment for your injuries, it may be difficult to determine the full extent of your damages. It is often best to wait until treatment is complete before entering into settlement negotiations.
A medical professional will be able to take the necessary steps to determine when you meet maximum medical improvement (MMI). MMI means there are no unexpected medical complications or permanent disabilities.
Collecting Medical Records and Bills
Another factor that can affect the settlement process is the time it takes to collect all of the necessary medical records and bills. This can be a lengthy process, as you will need to request records from all of your treating providers. In some cases, you may also need to hire a medical bill review company to help obtain and organize your bills.
The Number of Damages
If you are seeking a large amount of money in damages, it is likely that the insurance company will want to investigate your claim thoroughly and may even bring in their experts to review your case, and this can lengthen the settlement process.
It is important to remember that you should not accept a lowball offer simply because you want to avoid going to court. If you have suffered serious injuries, you may be entitled to a much higher settlement than the insurance company initially offers.
No-Fault Insurance in Florida
Florida is a “no-fault” insurance state. Each driver’s own insurance company (Personal Injury Protection coverage) pays for their medical bills and lost wages, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. This system is intended to simplify the claims process and help get people back on the road after an accident.
However, it also means that you cannot file a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver unless your damages exceed a certain threshold.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Claims
PIP covers economic losses such as medical bills and property damage. However, it does not cover non-economic damages. For damages such as pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment, you will need to file a claim on your bodily injury liability policy, uninsured motorist coverage, or file a lawsuit against the negligent party.
Personal injury protection (PIP) coverage pays for:
- 80% of medical bills up to $10,000 include medical bills for the past and future.
- 60% of disability up to $10,000 consists of any lost wages or earning capacity from missed work plus any expenses necessary to hire someone for personal care.
The Settlement Process
Investigation of the Accident
After a car accident, the first step in the settlement process is typically an investigation by both insurance companies. The insurance adjusters will look at the facts of the case, including police reports, witness statements, and photos of the scene. This process can take some time, as the adjusters will want to ensure they have all the information they need before moving forward.
Once the investigation is complete, a settlement for your car accident case will be negotiated. The negotiation process can take some time, as the parties often go back and forth on various offers before reaching an agreement.
If the parties can reach a settlement agreement, they will then sign a release, a legal document stating that the injured party will not file a lawsuit in exchange for the agreed-upon settlement amount. Once the release is signed, the insurance company will send a check to your lawyer for the settlement amount.
If the insurance company fails to provide fair compensation, the case may go to court. This is a more lengthy and complicated process, as it will involve filing a car accident lawsuit, going through discovery, and possibly having a trial.
Lump Sums versus Structured Settlements
Most settlements for personal injury cases are paid out in a lump sum, which means that the injured party receives one payment for the full amount of their damages. However, sometimes settlements are paid out in a structured settlement, making the payments over time. There are benefits and drawbacks to both types of settlements. It is important to discuss your options with your lawyer before agreeing to anything.
Avoiding Common Mistakes in Florida Car Accident Cases
There are a few common mistakes people make when filing car accident claims in Florida.
- They fail to seek medical attention right away. This is a mistake because it can be difficult to prove that your injuries were caused by the accident if you do not have medical records documenting them.
- They do not contact an experienced car accident lawyer. This is a mistake because an experienced lawyer can help you navigate the complex legal process and ensure that you receive the full amount of compensation you are entitled to.
- They accept a low settlement offer from the insurance company without negotiating for more. This is a mistake because you are likely entitled to more than the insurance company initially offers.
If you have been involved in a car accident, avoid these mistakes and contact an experienced lawyer to help you with your claim.
What The Fran Haasch Law Group Can Do For You
At The Fran Haasch Law Group, we focus on helping you and your family recover. We pursue personal injury lawsuits, and wrongful death claims to obtain full compensation for damages such as pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost earnings, property damage, and more.
With over 21 years of experience, we draw on constant medical research to help clients recover after being injured in auto accidents in Tampa Bay and the surrounding areas. Founding personal injury attorney, Fran Haasch, is a lifetime member of the Multimillion Dollar Advocates Forum and a member of the American Association for Justice, the Florida Justice Association, and the Tampa Bay Trial Lawyers Association.
Our attorneys are skilled and experienced litigators. We are not afraid to take your lawsuit to trial if necessary. No matter how complicated your case, our firm is here to help you navigate the legal process from start to finish.
We Get You the Compensation You Deserve
At The Fran Haasch Law Group, we understand that no amount of financial recovery can undo what you have been through. However, a fair settlement or jury verdict can ease the financial burden of unexpected medical bills, lost income, and other economic and non-economic damages associated with your accident.
We have obtained multi-million-dollar jury verdicts and settlements in cases involving auto accidents, as well as claims concerning wrongful death and catastrophic injuries.
Here are a few of our car accident case results:
- $1.8 million for our client in Pinellas County who was injured in a car accident
- $1.8 million for a 33-year-old female client in Hillsborough County who was lawfully stopped for a left-turning vehicle ahead when she was rear-ended by the defendant vehicle, which was then rear-ended by the vehicle behind it, causing the client to feel two impacts. This resulted in multiple back surgeries and an infection which caused the client to be hospitalized several times.
- $1.6 million for a 25-year-old female passenger on a motorcycle when the defendant cut across the client’s path. The client was thrown over 200 feet from the motorcycle. The accident resulted in a fractured leg, broken finger, back surgery, and many other injuries.
- $1.55 million for a 46-year old male in Pasco County who was stopped at a red light on U.S. Highway 19 in Pasco County and was rear-ended by the defendant at a high rate of speed.
- $1.35 million for a client in Pasco County. The defendant turned left in front of our client, causing the client’s vehicle to flip and resulting in many injuries.
- $1.34 million for a 69-year-old male client in Orange County who was in the left turn lane when the defendant came across his pathway while attempting to turn and collided with the client. The accident resulted in multiple severe injuries, including a fractured pelvis, broken ribs, punctured lung, a broken arm that required surgery, and several lacerations.
- $1.3 million for a 33-year-old female client in Pinellas County who was rear-ended while stopped at a traffic light with her three children in the car with her. The accident resulted in multiple surgeries and complications.
- $1.025 for our client injured in a car accident in Hillsborough County.
- $1.0 million for a client in Hillsborough County rear-ended in stop-and-go traffic on the interstate.
Contact a Florida Car Accident Lawyer Today
At The Fran Haasch Law Group, we are committed to fighting for your fair recovery. We strive to help injured individuals and the loved ones of those wrongfully killed, secure the full, fair recovery they are owed. We offer dedicated legal representation for car accident victims and victims of bicycle, rideshare, and semi-truck accidents.
If you feel you have been the victim of a car accident through no fault of your own. Our attorneys are prepared to help you navigate the legal process and work toward securing the maximum compensation you are owed. Call (727) 637-0100 or contact us online to get started on receiving maximum compensation for your personal injury case.