When you are involved in a car accident, you want to resolve your insurance claim as quickly as you can. You do not want to deal with the insurance companies any longer than necessary, and you want to avoid falling behind on your bills.
So, how soon after your accident can you expect to receive fair compensation?
While it would be nice if this question had an easy answer, sadly it does not. The time it takes to recover compensation after a car accident depends on numerous factors, and it simply is not possible to predict how your claim will progress.
However, there are steps you can take to improve your chances of securing just compensation, and there are some very general timeframes that you can keep in mind:
Steps You Can Take to Improve Your Chances of a Favorable Car Insurance Settlement
One of the most important things you can do to improve the likelihood of a fair settlement in your case is to hire an attorney. A car accident lawyer in Danbury, CT can protect your rights and interests and ensure the insurance company does not take advantage of you.
Additional steps you should take after the accident include:
1. See a Doctor
If you were injured in the accident, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. Doctors will evaluate you for any serious injuries and recommend treatment.
As you receive treatment, keep track of your medical records and medical bills. Follow all of your doctors’ instructions as well.
Your injury-related costs will make up the greatest portion of your insurance claim. With this in mind, you will need to have a comprehensive picture of these costs before you can start thinking about what constitutes a fair settlement.
2. File Your Car Insurance Claim Promptly
After you receive medical care for your injuries, your next priority is to report the accident to your insurance company. Check your insurance policy to see how long you have to make a claim.
Filing on time will not only get your claim “in the queue,” but it will also protect you from the insurance company attempting to deny payment because you delayed reporting the accident.
3. Be Responsive, But Also Be Careful What You Say
Even if it takes days (or weeks) to hear from your adjuster, you should still respond to all calls, emails, and letters promptly if you have not yet hired a lawyer. However, when communicating with an adjuster, you also need to be careful about what you say; the insurance company will take advantage of any opportunity to use your own words against you.
Therefore, you should avoid having extensive conversations with the insurance company before you have spoken with an attorney. Once you have hired an attorney, you should direct any inquiries from the insurance company to them.
4. Get an Estimate
Unless your car has been totaled, you should take it to a local repair shop or dealership for an estimate as soon as possible. Provide the estimate to your insurance company and follow up as necessary.
5. Consult with a Car Accident Lawyer
When seeking just compensation after a car accident, it is important to have an experienced attorney on your side. Not only will your attorney be able to deal with the insurance companies on your behalf, but he or she will also be able to accurately calculate your losses and help you decide when (and if) it makes sense to settle your claim.
How Long Will It Take for You to Receive a Settlement Offer?
As we said above, there is no way to know how long it will take to settle your car accident claim. Every claim is different, and there are simply too many factors that are beyond your (or your attorney’s) control.
With that said, here are some very general potential timeframes:
- If you were not injured in the accident – If you were not injured, then your claim should go fairly quickly. Assuming everything goes as it should, your claim could be over somewhere in the range of two to six weeks.
- If you were injured in the accident and the insurance company negotiates in good faith – If you were injured in the accident and the insurance company is willing to negotiate a good-faith settlement, you will likely be able to receive compensation within 3-6 months of your medical treatment concluding. However, the timeframe is still heavily dependent upon how quickly the settlement negotiations progress. It is important not to rush settlement when your attorney believes that the offer given does not adequately address your injuries.
- If you were injured in the accident and you need to take your claim to court – If the insurance company is unwilling to make an acceptable settlement offer, then your attorney will need to take your claim to court. In these cases, the timeline can vary widely, but you may be looking at two to three years or longer. Even more so now with COVID interruptions.
As your case progresses, it is important to communicate with your lawyer and his or her team frequently. If a favorable settlement offer comes, you need to be ready to make an informed decision about how much you are willing to accept for your injuries.
Discuss Your Case with a Car Accident Lawyer in Danbury, CT
Many insurance companies advertise a claims process that looks quick, easy, and even friendly. In reality, however, you may face significant difficulties getting the compensation you need and deserve for your injuries.
For this reason, it is important to work with an experienced car accident lawyer. Ventura Law has been representing injured people in accident claims for over 60 years. We help you navigate your rights and fight for the best result in your case.
Our car accident lawyers serve clients in Danbury and other areas of Connecticut, as well as New York. Please call Ventura Law at (203) 800-8000 today for a free case review.