Car accidents can be painful and traumatic experiences. It can take months or even years to fully recover from the physical and emotional toll following an accident. Unfortunately, filing a car accident claim with your insurance company or taking legal action against the responsible party can also be incredibly tedious and time-consuming. But how long does a car accident case usually take? Here are some of the steps you need to take and factors that will affect the timeline of your claim:
Hire an Attorney
The first step in any motor vehicle accident case is to hire an attorney who specializes in personal injury law. An experienced Phoenix car accident attorney can provide valuable advice on how best to navigate the legal system and maximize your chances of getting the compensation you deserve. It is important to research potential attorneys before committing to one, as each lawyer will have their own unique qualifications and experience with dealing with these types of cases.
File a Claim
Once an attorney has been hired, they will assist with filing a claim with the appropriate agency or insurance company. This should outline all the details of your claim and serves as an official notice that compensation is being sought. Your attorney will provide guidance on how best to craft this document so that it accurately reflects your demands for damages or other financial compensation.
Negotiate a Settlement
During this stage of the process, both sides will attempt to negotiate a settlement that is mutually beneficial. Your attorney will be instrumental during this phase as they are experienced at negotiating with insurance companies to ensure you receive the most compensation possible. If successful, this step can result in an out-of-court settlement which saves time, money, and stress for everyone involved.
File a Lawsuit (If Necessary)
If negotiations fail and no satisfactory agreement can be reached, legal action may be necessary to resolve the dispute. During this phase, both sides will present their respective arguments before a judge or jury who will ultimately decide who should receive damages or other forms of compensation.
It could take months or even a year or two for your case to be resolved if it ends up going to trial.
Factors That Affect How Long a Claim Can Take
The following include some of the most common factors that affect the timeline of a motor vehicle accident case:
The Severity of Your Injuries
If you have suffered serious injuries as a result of your car accident, you may require extensive medical treatments or even long periods of rehabilitation, both of which could significantly prolong the process.
Additionally, if your injuries are severe enough to render you unable to work for an extended period, this could also delay your claim because you’ll need to demonstrate lost wages to receive compensation.
The Parties Involved
The more parties involved in an accident, the longer it will typically take for your case to resolve itself. If there is disagreement among any of the parties regarding who was at fault or how much compensation should be provided, this could further extend the process as negotiations continue until all sides reach an agreement.
The Complexity of Your Claim
If your case proves complex due to conflicting witness accounts or other evidence disputes, then this too could lengthen the amount of time it takes for your case to be resolved. The more information that needs to be collected and reviewed, the longer it can take for all parties involved to come to an agreement about exactly what happened during and after the accident.
In this case, you could end up going to trial, which is a lengthy process.
A motor vehicle accident case can be complicated and overwhelming but understanding the timeline of such cases can help make things easier for everyone involved. If you need help, contact our car and truck accident attorney in Phoenix to schedule a free consultation.