If someone sustains major injuries in a car accident, they are probably initially looking for the best way to cover their incurred medical expenses. While payment of medical expenses is an important consideration, that is only part of what should be considered in settling a claim. In the interest of avoiding potentially drawn-out litigation, an individual may want to accept the first settlement that is offered to them. However, this is usually unwise. With the assistance of one of our quality car accident attorneys, an injured person could get advice about the settlement timelines for car accident cases in Atlanta and use this knowledge to make informed decisions about when it is appropriate to consider settlement and what a reasonable resolution is.
Do Not Rush to Accept a Settlement
People tend to believe that they must settle their cases quickly. As a result, insurance companies often prey upon such beliefs to motivate injured people to settle a case prematurely. Instead, those who have suffered injuries in car accidents should take their time and allow their recovery to run its course. It might take time to fully understand the extent of a claimant’s injuries and to obtain the necessary medical bills and records to appropriately value the case. Once an individual has seen a doctor, they should hire a lawyer to investigate and determine the full value of their case. In general, a person should wait until they feel comfortable that they understand the nature and severity of their injuries before considering settlement.
How Long Does it Take to Receive a Settlement in Atlanta?
The length of time that it takes to receive a settlement is largely dependent on the nature of the case and the available insurance coverage. A case involving catastrophic injuries or wrongful death with minimum limits of coverage would likely settle quickly but for an amount that is simply inadequate.
Alternatively, if there is substantial insurance coverage or assets available to pay, the case may take longer. In this situation, the full value will likely require litigating and potentially trying the case. To help ensure that an injured individual receives their settlement in a timely manner, they should regularly communicate with their lawyer. A knowledgeable local attorney can help keep potential claimants informed of the overall plans for their cases while allowing their claims to keep moving through the system towards a resolution that is fair.
Overall, there is no set timeframe for when you should expect to receive a settlement. Each case is different. However, a claimant can expedite the process by involving an experienced lawyer who can immediately put all insurance carriers on notice and advocate for a full and fair resolution.
Issues Encountered in Negotiating Settlements
When negotiating a settlement without a lawyer, the insurance company might try to mislead an injured individual as to the value of their case. Insurance companies often focus on just the medical bills to give an injured person the impression that they can only recover certain parts of those bills, or that the value of their case is directly related to their medical expenses. This is not true. One of our experienced attorneys can help potential claimants understand the value of their case and why it likely exceeds what an insurance representative would have them believe.
The insurance company will often expect the injured person to sign a release in exchange for payment. Signing this document, however, releases any and all claims that the injured person has, including potentially valuable claims to underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage. Instead, a claimant should sign a limited liability release in these situations, which preserves the injured party’s ability to pursue recovery from other insurance while simultaneously releasing the insurance company under which the initial settlement is done.
Delays in Receiving Settlement in a Motor Vehicle Accident Case
While it may seem appealing to quickly settle a car accident claim for damages, this course of action may not be beneficial in the long run. For instance, if someone’s injuries are significant, they may suffer consequences for the rest of their life. Insurance companies will gladly pay a fraction of the full value of the case, leaving people with a lifetime to figure out how to financially manage their injuries.
Conversely, getting full value or above full value for a case often requires pushing a case forward over time. Therefore, those who have been seriously injured in accidents should not focus on how long their case takes, but on resolving their case in such a way that they receive its full value.
Speak with an Atlanta Attorney to Learn More About Settlement Timelines for Car Accident Cases
There is no single timeframe in which every case gets resolved. A quick resolution does not necessarily mean you came out ahead as insurance companies may try to end the process as soon as possible to achieve a sizeable discount. One of our experienced local attorneys can advise you as to a potential settlement timeline for your car accident case in Atlanta. For more on how we could help you get your life back on track, call today.