When Will Your Car Accident Case Settle?
Most likely, your car accident case will settle out of court quickly. However, some cases can drag on for weeks, months, and even years! If you want to know how long your car accident case will take to settle, hire a good personal injury lawyer in Santa Clara who will help you build a tight case. The information discussed here is invaluable.
Factors that affect a car accident settlement
The following factors will dramatically affect how long your case will take to settle:
Did you hire a personal injury lawyer or do you do all of the work yourself?
If you try to handle everything yourself, expect to be offered a paltry initial settlement from the defendant’s insurance company. This amount will be small because the insurance company wants to see you go away. If you accept the first settlement, your case will likely settle within a few weeks. If you hire a lawyer, he or she will help you get the best settlement possible. Just keep in mind that it may take a while for you to receive a settlement check in in the mail.
● What are the facts that are involved in the car accident case? Your personal injury lawyer will tell you that the case will settle quickly if it’s obvious that the defendant is completely at fault. However, the settlement process tends to take longer if comparative negligence is involved.
● How badly were you injured, and what are their types? If you suffered from a sprained wrist, you will receive a much smaller settlement amount than if you broke your back. Similarly, if your injuries are minor, your case will likely settle quickly. However, this is not necessarily the case if your injuries were extensive and severe.
● Can the courts schedule a trial and hearing date? If they can, your case will settle quickly. Your case will take longer if this is not the case.
How is a settlement reached?
Settlements begin with a demand letter to the defendant from you. They end with the drafting of a settlement check and the signing of settlement papers. The negotiations and agreement process happens in between these two major events.
You present your side of the case to defendant’s insurance company. You’ll ask for a certain amount of money from him or her. Your demand will be backed up with evidence in the form of the facts and details of the accident. You want your demand amount to be very high because the defendant and his or her legal team will try to negotiate (and probably be successful in this) a much lower settlement amount.
Negotiations and mediation
Personal injury lawyers in Vallejo know that your first demand letter will receive a very low offer from the defendant’s insurance company. Always decline this offer and send in another letter which justifies your initial demand by discussing the strengths of your case in detail. You and the defendant will be in this stage until a final settlement can be agreed upon.
Acceptance and Settlement papers
Your personal injury lawyer will tell you that you must get the acceptance of the settlement that is acceptable to you in writing. Make sure that the amount is high enough to cover any present and future expenses that result from your car accident. The defendant’s insurance company will have you sign a release. This essentially prohibits you from taking further legal action against the defendant.
Hire a personal injury lawyer if you want to win. Now that you understand the settlement process in more detail, you should always hire a personal injury lawyer if you want to be guaranteed to win.