Car accidents happen every day, causing injuries ranging from minor to severe. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, in 2019 one person was injured about every two minutes in the state of Texas alone. Many of these accidents result in significant medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. For some victims, pursuing a personal injury claim is the only way to receive the compensation they deserve.
Car accident settlements can be confusing, especially for those who don’t understand the process. This can be extremely frustrating for victims and their families who are already dealing with mountains of medical bills, time away from work, and a long road to recovery.
Many victims have questions about the process, including “How does a car accident settlement work?”, “What’s the timeline in a car accident settlement?” and “When will my car accident case Fbe settled?” The truth is that every car accident is different and, as a result, every settlement process is as well. Some settlements can be determined within weeks, while others may take months or even years to settle. What your case will look like depends on many unique circumstances.
Here, we’ll go over what to expect in a car accident settlement so victims and their families can better approach the process.
Circumstances That May Lead to a Car Accident Settlement
If you’ve never been the victim of a car accident before, you may be wondering why you’d have to go through the process of a car accident settlement at all. Wouldn’t the at-fault insurance company pay for the damages? The reality is that every car accident is different, and insurance companies often try to lowball victims or not pay them anything. That’s assuming the at-fault party even has insurance coverage to begin with.
Whether the amount of money you’re offered by insurance is not sufficient to cover your expenses and damages, you’re having to fight to prove fault, or the at-fault party involved in your case is not covered by insurance, pursuing a personal injury claim is sometimes the only way to get the car accident settlement you deserve.
Settlements vs. Verdicts
Does filing a personal injury claim and reaching a car accident settlement mean your case will go to court? Not necessarily. Settlements are defined as contractual agreements between opposing parties where the at-fault party or parties are determined, accept fault, and commit to a mutually agreed-upon damages amount to pay to the victim. Verdicts, on the other hand, occur when the involved parties cannot come to an agreement and the case goes to trial. A jury determines who is at-fault and their verdict is submitted.
The timeline for a car accident settlement differs from that of a jury trial, so how long it takes to get your compensation will vary depending on which direction your specific case goes.
Typically, jury trials take longer than settlements, and victims are not guaranteed a favorable verdict. Going to trial is a risk that may not pay off, leaving victims with no compensation for their medical bills, time off, and pain and suffering. When victims choose to partner with an experienced car accident attorney, they are typically advised to seek a settlement rather than a verdict. With years of knowledge regarding what to expect in a car accident settlement, an attorney can be a tremendous help in negotiating a settlement without going to trial. They know the patterns of big insurance companies and are adept at performing the research necessary to prove fault.
In the event that a trial is determined to be the best option for your case, you’ll need a strong attorney on your side to advocate for you and streamline the complex legal process. It’s not advised to pursue a trial verdict without legal representation.
Factors That Can Affect the Settlement Process
Reaching a car accident settlement is not a one-size-fits-all process. While there can be similarities between cases, every accident is unique. In order to reach a settlement, many factors associated with the accident, the victim, and the case must be considered. These factors ultimately affect the settlement process and how long it will take to reach a settlement. They include:
- The severity of the accident and injuries associated with it
- The impact any injuries have on victims and their quality of life
- How long medical treatment is needed for the victim(s)
- The amount of medical evidence (bills, doctor’s notes, expert testimony, etc.)
- Proof of fault and supporting evidence (witness testimony, videos, photos, victim statements, etc.)
The Lopez Law Group — Here for Victims and Their Families
The Lopez Law Group knows just how confusing and difficult navigating the aftermath of a car accident can be. Our auto accident lawyers have been helping clients understand the legal process associated with car accident settlements for decades. We aim to help clients understand the process of settlements and are with our clients from beginning to end. We’re so committed to helping victims understand their legal rights and potential for compensation that we offer free, no-obligation consultations.
Our car accident lawyers are proud to serve our community in both English and Spanish in Weslaco, Mission, McAllen, Laredo, Edinburg, Corpus Christi, Brownsville, Harlingen, Houston, Tyler, Spring, and other locations throughout the state and the US. Contact us online or call (956) 968-7800 to schedule your free case evaluation.