How Long Does It Take to Get a Settlement from a Car Accident?

September 13, 2023 | Car Accidents

After sustaining an injury or property damage in a car accident caused by the negligence of another driver, victims should be able to recover compensation for their losses. This compensation can come in the form of an insurance settlement or through a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party. However, it is important to understand how long it may take to recover settlement money after a car accident occurs.

Settlements Through the Insurance Carrier

If another person caused your accident, there is a good chance you will recover compensation from their insurance carrier. However, the route toward securing compensation from an at-fault driver’s insurance carrier can be fraught with challenges. This is particularly true if the carrier disputes liability or if they dispute how much compensation to pay out.

In a near-perfect scenario, crash victims could recover compensation within a few weeks or months after the incident occurs. However, if there are any disputes, this time frame could drag out for several months or even more than a year.

We strongly encourage individuals to work with a skilled Austin personal injury lawyer, particularly if they anticipate any challenges from the other parties or insurance carriers involved. An attorney can get involved quickly and handle all communication with the insurance carriers, including negotiations for a fair settlement.

What if There is a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

In the event the insurance carrier for the at-fault driver refuses to offer a fair settlement, it will likely be necessary to file a civil personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver and their carrier.

The civil lawsuit process is different than the insurance claims process. The first part of a lawsuit is the discovery phase, where attorneys for both parties will exchange evidence and information related to the claim. Both parties get to examine the totality of the evidence and make a decision about whether or not to move forward with the claim, settle, or drop the case altogether.

Often, negotiations continue during the discovery process as more information comes to light. There may be a mediation with a third-party mediator at some point in order to avoid taking the case all the way to trial.

If a claim is settled between the parties before a trial becomes necessary, then the case is over. However, if the effort party refuses to offer a fair settlement, the case will have to move forward to trial.

After a personal injury lawsuit is filed, predicting the timeline for a settlement can be challenging. A settlement could come at any time, so it could take months or well over a year after the lawsuit is filed for a settlement to occur. However, if the settlement does not occur in the case moves to trial, the trial may not actually happen for well over a year after the initial filing.

We encourage you to ask your Austin car accident attorney how long they expect the case to take. Your lawyer will be able to give you a ballpark estimate and at least explain to you the processes that will occur after the lawsuit is filed.