How Long Does a Car Accident Settlement Take?


Car accident claims can vary in duration. While some settle in weeks, most require several months to over a year. A crucial determinant is the duration and scope of your medical treatment. The complete extent and cost of injuries, encompassing both current and anticipated future medical expenses, may take time to ascertain fully.

Understanding the Length of Personal Injury Claims

Waiting to receive the money you need for your medical bills and other costs can be frustrating and stressful. You want to put this traumatic experience behind you.

It’s helpful to understand the work of preparing an injury claim and negotiating an accident settlement. Your lawyer is working to identify all those who may be potentially liable for the accident and all the insurance policies available to provide compensation for your losses. Your lawyer is seeking evidence to support your version of how the accident occurred.

Determining the monetary value of your claim is crucial. That requires a detailed review of every aspect of the crash. Several circumstances can affect the process, including:

  • Difficulty estimating and proving medical expenses – Your medical expenses include both the expenses for your present treatment and the cost of future medical treatment related to your injuries. Your doctor can indicate whether future care is likely and offer a projected care plan with estimated costs to help you during negotiations.
  • Impact of lost income on your settlement – Calculating your lost wages also is essential to establish the money you have been unable to earn due to your injury. It’s not as simple as adding up your hourly or salary income based on the days you don’t work. You also must account for the paid leave you took and your future lost earnings. Since predicting the date you can return to your job is impossible, estimating how long you’ll be out of work and calculating a number that can compensate you for your future lost wages is important.
  • Evaluating non-economic damages in your case – Non-economic damages refer to the compensation for the physical and emotional effects of an injury, such as emotional distress, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life. Since these losses don’t always come with receipts, determining their monetary value can be challenging. There must be evidence of how the crash has affected your daily life, such as statements from close family and friends or records from a therapist treating your post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

How Insurance Companies Contribute to Delayed Settlements

Laws require insurance companies to meet contractual obligations while processing and paying claims. However, insurance adjusters often use tactics to delay the settlement process, such as:

  • Claiming your settlement demand is too high for your losses
  • Disputing liability and demanding additional evidence to prove fault and liability
  • Requesting that you sign releases to allow access to your medical records and other documentation
  • Asking for a recorded statement from you
  • Blaming you for the accident to justify denying the claim

The insurance company believes it can wear you down until you feel tempted to accept any offer. When the insurer knows you’re so frustrated and ready to do nearly anything to be finished, the adjuster may make a lowball, take-it-or-leave-it offer designed to limit the insurer’s liability. In this situation, you need an experienced personal injury attorney who will push back against the insurance company’s tactics.

Choosing Between Settlement or Court Verdict

When you take your case to court, it requires paying filing fees, court costs, and other expenses. You also face the risk of the unknown. There is no way of predicting whether the judge or jury will find in your favor.

However, it’s sometimes necessary to file a lawsuit if the insurance carrier refuses to settle for a fair amount or denies liability.  Having an experienced attorney can provide insight and guidance so you can make an informed decision about your case.

How Your Attorney Can Help Speed Up the Settlement Process

A San Antonio car accident lawyer with The Law Offices of Troy A. Brookover can investigate your claim and take the steps necessary to seek a fair settlement for you. We are familiar with insurance companies’ pressure tactics and know how to counter them.

We can communicate with the adjuster on your behalf so the insurer knows an experienced attorney is handling your claim. We can investigate the accident to establish liability and gather the available evidence to prove the compensation owed to you. We use experience at the negotiating table and in the courtroom to serve you.

Get Legal Help from Our Experienced San Antonio Car Accident Attorneys

 Every car accident claim is unique. The length of your claim will take to settle depends on the surrounding facts and circumstances.

 At The Law Offices of Troy A. Brookover, our impressive case results show how hard we work to achieve favorable outcomes for our clients. Our results are not predictive of future case outcomes. But they do show our extensive experience handling car accident cases and other personal injury matters. We will fight for justice for you. Contact us at (210) 226-2000 or fill out our online form today for a free consultation if you have sustained injuries in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence.

Troy Brookover was born and raised in San Antonio. He established the Law Offices of Troy A. Brookover so that he could make a difference in the community and help accident victims recover compensation to get back on their feet after being injured by someone else’s negligence. He brings more than 30 years of legal experience to the table, which he leverages in every case.