How Long Will It Take to Settle My Car Accident Case?
One common question people have after being involved in a traffic accident is how long it will take for their case to be resolved. The answer is that it can vary greatly, but in general if you are to maximize your recovery expect it to range anywhere from a couple months to a couple years, depending on the particular circumstances of your case and how it’s handled.
If you’ve been in a car, truck, motorcycle, or other motor vehicle accident and are wondering how long your case will go on for, here are some factors that will affect the timeline.
Settlement or Litigation
The majority of motor vehicle accident cases are settled out of court after all parties (or their insurance companies and attorneys) have reached an agreement. Settling is almost always quicker than litigation. A car accident case that goes all the way to trial typically takes at least a year – and often longer – from start to finish, while a settlement is resolved in a matter of months.
In some traffic accidents, it’s clear who the driver at fault is and therefore who is liable for damages, which makes reaching a settlement quicker. Disagreement over who is at fault will likely lengthen the time as insurance companies, claims adjustors, and attorneys must determine what’s fair. Plus, South Carolina is a comparative negligence state, which takes into account varying degrees of fault to determine available damages.
Some damages are easy to calculate, such as minor repair work needed on a bumper. Other damages are much more difficult to assign a dollar value to, especially for things like chronic pain, brain injury, long rehabilitation, and so on. If the accident affects the claimant’s quality of life, then the insurance company should offer appropriate compensation for pain and suffering and other noneconomic damages. Depending on the damages sought, there can be a long back-and-forth as the claimant’s attorney negotiates with the insurance company.
Other relevant factors include whether the accident was well documented at the time or not, how many parties were involved (as in a multi-vehicle accident), the insurance company itself, and your attorney’s willingness to go to trial if the settlement offered isn’t favorable. Also, the statute of limitations in South Carolina is three years, so theoretically you could choose to wait before filing a claim (and there are good reasons not to settle right away), which would lengthen the timeline.
Speak to the Car Accident Attorneys at The Carolina Law Group
If you’ve been in a motor vehicle accident and your case hasn’t yet been resolved, call us today to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation at The Carolina Law Group. Our personal injury attorneys will fight for your rights while you focus on recovery, and we’re ready to go to trial to get you the compensation you deserve. Call us today at one of our four locations.
The Carolina Law Group has four offices in upstate South Carolina for your convenience: Greenville (principal office; call 864.312.4444), West Greenville (864.312.4444), Greer (principal office; call 864.757.5555), and Spartanburg (principal office; call 864.757.5555). Call today.