Injured victims of car accidents often face financial hardship due to exorbitant medical bills, lost time from work, and other expenses. Receiving a settlement or award helps take some of the weight off their shoulders, but victims often wonder how long it will take to resolve a car accident lawsuit. The auto accident lawyers at Thomas, Conrad & Conrad Law Offices in eastern Pennsylvania know how stressful this can be, and work hard to help clients recover compensation as quickly as possible.
Factors That Affect the Time Frame of Motor Vehicle Accident Claims
Each personal injury claim is unique. There is no set period for how long a car accident lawsuit may take. Although your car accident attorney can give you an estimate of how long your case may be, several factors have an impact on when a victim receives a settlement or award.
The Complexity of the Case
Many car accident claims are fairly straightforward and can be settled with the insurance company in a matter of weeks or a few months. However, if the circumstances surrounding your accident and injuries are complex, an extensive investigation may be required, and proving liability may take some time. Resolving a case that involves a lawsuit may take much longer, especially if it ends up going to trial.
It’s important to avoid accepting the first settlement offer an insurer presents, as they usually offer the lowest amount possible. In many cases, the amount won’t cover the total costs of damages such as future medical bills, wage loss, and pain and suffering. Your car accident lawyer will advise you as to whether it’s in your best interest to accept a settlement, continue to negotiate the amount, or file a car accident lawsuit.
The Nature of Your Injuries
The severity and scope of your injuries can have a significant impact on how long your car accident lawsuit takes. The effects of a catastrophic injury such as a traumatic brain injury may not even appear for weeks or months. If you’ve suffered an injury that requires multiple surgeries and extensive physical therapy, there’s no way to know exactly what your total medical costs will be throughout treatment and in the future.
Your auto accident lawyer and physician may need to ensure that you reach maximum medical improvement before agreeing to a settlement. Proving the severity of your injuries and the impact they’ve had on your life can drag out settlement negotiations and lawsuits. Personal injury lawyers often work closely with your healthcare providers and may also hire medical experts to evaluate and give their opinions about your condition.
It’s common for insurance carriers to claim that their insured is not liable for an accident. There are several legal elements required to prove liability. Your car accident lawyer will have to gather all relevant evidence, investigate the accident, and put it all together to show that an individual or entity is liable and negligent.
The Dollar Amount of Damages
If you or a loved one suffered extensive injuries, the amount of compensation you request may be quite large. Insurers often prolong car accident claims with potentially high payouts. They know that an injured victim may be in a precarious financial situation, so they hold out on paying compensation, hoping the victim will give up and accept a lower settlement instead of filing a car accident lawsuit. However, if a reasonable settlement agreement is reached, it may take only weeks to receive compensation.
Recovering maximum compensation can be particularly challenging in cases involving truck accident claims. Commercial truck operators and companies usually have high policy limits that reach into the millions of dollars. Their insurers use all kinds of delay tactics, attempt to minimize victims’ injuries, or deny claims. In this type of case, you may have no choice but to file a car accident lawsuit and take your case to court.
Going to Trial
Litigation is time-consuming and costly, but sometimes it is absolutely necessary. Filing a car accident lawsuit can help injured victims get the compensation they need and hold negligent parties accountable. The process can move along more quickly when both sides promptly share evidence in the discovery phase of a trial. However, if one side drags its feet, discovery can take months. Your car accident lawyer will need to prepare for trial to come up with the best argument to support your claims.
The speediness of a trial also can depend on whether a judge or jury will render a verdict in the case. Jury selection can take weeks in complex cases. Each side may call witnesses to testify, which can also prolong proceedings if the list is long. Unfortunately, even if a judge or jury decides that a victim should receive an award, that verdict can be appealed, and the case could end up in litigation for years.
Why You Should Hire a PA Car Accident Lawyer
The vast majority of personal injury claims are settled out of court. Resolving a car accident claim can take much less time if you have a seasoned, tenacious personal injury attorney on your side. A knowledgeable car accident lawyer will know how to approach your claim to help you recover maximum compensation. Generally, the statute of limitations for filing a car accident lawsuit in Pennsylvania is two years, so it’s crucial to seek the counsel of a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
Contact Our Auto Accident Attorneys in Eastern Pennsylvania
The experienced car accident lawyers at Thomas, Conrad & Conrad Law Offices have a track record of success in recovering maximum compensation in personal injury claims. Contact us online or call 610-867-2900 to schedule a free consultation. Our personal injury attorneys serve clients throughout eastern Pennsylvania.