How Long Does It Take to Settle a Florida Car Accident Case?
As a car accident victim, you might be dealing with major out-of-pocket costs, often coupled with income loss. Naturally, one of your first questions might be, “How soon will my case settle?”
While it’s impossible to predict the exact timeline of every car accident case, working with an experienced Florida car accident lawyer is likely to improve your chances of settling your case quickly and successfully. Here are some of the factors determining how long a vehicle accident case takes.
How Soon Could Your Injury Car Accident Case Settle?
Here’s the quick answer: It depends. A Florida car accident claim may take a few weeks to several years.
Generally, complex cases with a lot of money on the table will take longer to settle. A catastrophic injury case may require detailed evidence and involve insurance company disputes or litigation. On average, such a case will take longer than claims dealing with moderate short-term injuries and minor property damage. That being said, every case is different.
Factors That Influence Auto Accident Case Timelines
Let’s list some key elements that could decide how long your vehicle accident claim takes from filing to settling.
1. The Available Coverage
If you are seriously injured, and there is a limited insurance policy, your case may settle more quickly than anticipated.
2. The Seriousness of Your Injury
If your accident caused severe injuries, your case may meet what’s known as the “serious injury threshold” in Florida. Per the Florida statute, a serious bodily injury leads to significant, permanent loss of bodily functions or major disfigurement. Cases involving serious bodily injury take longer to settle.
Proving severe injuries requires evidence, like multiple medical reports and other records. You may need a second or third medical opinion and expert witness testimonies to establish your recovery prospects or the accident’s effect on your mental health.
3. Available Evidence
You might need witness testimonies, police records, and other evidence to build your case. Available evidence, like dash cam footage that clearly documents the accident, could make your claim easier to establish.
4. Insurance Company Procedures
The insurance company responsible for compensating you will scrutinize and possibly challenge your claim. Your Florida car accident lawyer will need to communicate with the insurer to reach an adequate settlement offer, which could take months of back-and-forth negotiations. If more than one insurance company is involved in your case, negotiations could take longer.
- Legal Procedures
Cases that end in litigation will usually take longer than cases that settle out of court. Your auto accident lawyer may deal with court backlogs that cause frustrating delays.
Additionally, your case will take longer if you also pursue a civil claim against the at-fault driver or take action against other potentially liable parties, like an auto manufacturer.
Should You Always Settle Your Case as Soon as Possible?
As a rule, you should contact a car accident lawyer and start forwarding your claim as soon as possible after your accident. However, if you suffered a severe injury, your attorney may recommend waiting to file a claim until you have a clear picture of your condition and recovery prospects. Otherwise, your settlement may not reflect the full extent of your prospective medical costs and other expenses.
In any case, you must take legal action within Florida’s statute of limitations, which is four years from the date of the injury.
Florida Keys Injury Lawyers: Your Trusted Auto Accident Law Firm
Did you suffer a car accident in the Florida Keys? Contact Florida Keys Injury lawyers and start working on your case today. Our experienced personal injury lawyers will defend your rights, deal with insurance companies, and work hard to negotiate a fair settlement offer on your behalf.
Call 786-730-7198 or contact us online for a free consultation with a Florida car accident lawyer.