An auto crash can cause substantial economic distress. Besides parting with serious medical bills, most victims have injuries that prevent them from working, dramatically reducing their earning ability. Fortunately, a settlement from the responsible motorist can address your financial needs and ease your recovery.
If you’ve recently suffered a car crash, you’re probably concerned about how long the auto accident settlement will take. Well, there’s no standard duration for settlement fulfillment because several unique case circumstances determine the timeline. However, a reliable attorney from Pacific West Injury Law will guide you through the path, taking care of your rights and helping you achieve a fair settlement.
Should You Report the Incident to Relevant Authorities?
Your actions immediately after the accident are vital in determining the outcome and duration of your auto accident settlement. So be sure to get it right.
Whether the crash caused injuries or just property damage, you’re obliged by law to stop at the scene and provide reasonable assistance to any victim. Then, once you’ve confirmed that you and everyone else is safe, exchange personal details with the other motorists. It’s also wise to capture witnesses’ names and contact details, take photographs of the scene and vehicles, and document the road and weather conditions.
If there’s no police officer in the scene, report the incident to the nearest police station or Nevada Highway Patrol office. Also, if there was no police investigation and the incident involved injuries, fatalities, or property damage beyond $750, you’ll have up to ten days to file a report.
An Overview of Auto Accident Settlement Timeline
To understand how long your auto accident settlement might take, it’s essential to know the steps that comprise the entire timeline, right from the accident to the time you finally receive the compensation.
Here are the relevant steps that you’ll follow:
Gathering Facts at The Scene
After a road accident, you may be in shock. But try as much as possible to gather helpful details as highlighted in the previous section. Of course, you might have sustained injuries that prevent you from doing anything, so don’t harm yourself to gather facts.
If your injuries can’t allow gathering facts at the scene, then your attorney can help with this. Always prioritize your health and that of other victims.
Obtain Medical Treatment
Generally, early treatment will help you recover from your injuries faster. Any delays could aggravate your problems, so be sure to seek medical care as soon as you can. Throughout the treatment, be sure to hang on to copies of test results and medical records, medical bills, and any other receipt for assistive devices or prescription drugs.
It’s also essential to heed your physician’s advice. For example, if you’re advised to stay off your feet or participate in physical therapy and rehabilitation, then do just that without missing a single appointment. Your failure to follow your doctor’s recommendation can be a defense for the at-fault party for your delayed recovery and higher medical costs.
Seeking a Reliable Auto Accident Attorney
The key to a faster and streamlined settlement process is partnering with a reputable attorney. The expert will take care of any complex issues and let you recover in peace. At this stage, our attorneys will contact insurance agents, gather relevant injuries documentation, and conduct preliminary investigations.
Ideally, you should contact an attorney within one month of the auto accident. Notably, we offer free consultation and case evaluations, so you don’t have to worry about attorney fees.
Gathering Additional Facts
The at-fault driver’s insurer will be hesitant to compensate you unless they’re convinced that their client caused the crash. You also need sufficient information indicating the full extent of the financial and non-financial damages. Our attorneys will help you with the following:
- Collect copies of your medical records indicating the severity of your injuries
- Gather financial documents that show the financial loss you’ve experienced
- Interviewing witnesses for a clear understanding of the occurrence
- Contact your friends and family to ascertain the impact of the injuries on your personality and life
- Talk to accident reconstruction experts or expert witnesses for an in-depth analysis of the incident
- Pulling all facts and evidence coherently to present a strong case
This process may require several months or even a year, and our attorneys will bring the claim at the opportune moment when you’ve attained the optimal medical improvement.
These negotiations are handled through letters. Your lawyer first submits a compensation claim, which the insurance provider will probably reject. They’ll then counteroffer for a reduced settlement amount.
Some settlements are reached in a day, but others require months of intense back and forth. Our attorneys will work aggressively towards the maximum compensation to cover tangible and intangible losses. However, you’re the one who accepts or declines a settlement offer.
If you accept it, you’ll sign a settlement agreement containing a waiver of liability. After here, you can’t sue for the same accident, so you must get the right amount at this point.
File a Lawsuit
If you don’t succeed with settlement negotiations, you’ll proceed to file a lawsuit as the only way to protect your rights. But, of course, you may also do this earlier, according to your current circumstances.
For instance, the statute of limitations requires you to bring your lawsuit within two years after the accident. So if you’re bumping up against this limitation, it’s advisable to file before starting the settlement negotiation with the insurance provider.
If you reach a favorable settlement, your attorney will obtain the settlement check. They’ll deduct the agreed amount then send the rest of the amount to you. If you reach the trial stage, it’ll be the jury to decide the fair settlement amount for your case.
Ultimately, it’s your job to get the at-fault party to make the payment because the court doesn’t really enforce this. If they have a few assets, you may have to put liens on their property or garnish their wages.
Let an Experienced Attorney Help You
As you’ve realized, auto accident settlement timelines vary with the case circumstances. The only way to reach a favorable settlement is by working with an experienced attorney in Las Vegas.
You have numerous options, but only a few can match the reputation of Pacific West Injury Law. So don’t delay scheduling a free case review with us.