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Ask an Accident Injury Lawyer: How Long Do Claims Take to Settle?

by | Jan 23, 2022 | Car Accidents, Personal Injury |

Being involved in a motor vehicle accident can be incredibly stressful. When an accident claim is involved, many claimants are left wondering just how long their settlement will take. Our team of accident injury lawyers can answer all of your claims-related questions. Read on to uncover a typical timeline for car accident injury settlements in Houston, TX.

Ask Accident Injury Lawyers: How Long Do Claims Take to Settle?

A Guide to Car Accident Injury Settlements in Houston, TX

If you’ve recently been involved in a motor vehicle accident, you may be wondering, “how long does it take to receive a settlement offer in a motor vehicle accident claim?” While this is a common question that clients ask their accident injury lawyers, there is no single answer as the length of the settlement will vary depending on the complexity of each case.

Resolving a motor vehicle accident claim is also not simply a matter of when your claim will be settled, as the process also involves determining the amount of money you’ll receive in your settlement. Many car accident cases could be settled quite quickly if the claimant were willing to accept a very low amount of money. A good accident injury attorney will want to ensure you get the maximum amount you deserve in your settlement and that can take some time.

A Typical Timeline

Resolving a motor vehicle accident claim can take a substantial amount of time depending on the complexity of your case. Some of the factors that will impact the length of your settlement include the following:

  • The type of injuries sustained
  • When maximum medical improvement (MMI) is reached
  • The value of your claim
  • Whether the state’s cap on pain and suffering applies
  • The time it takes to obtain your medical charts and reports from specialists

Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI)

The type and severity of injuries sustained in the accident will be the largest contributing factor to your car accident settlement timeline. If your injuries are minor and you reach full recovery, the process will be relatively quick. Under these circumstances, settlements can be reached as early as 6 to 9 months after your claim is made.

Sometimes, full recovery from an injury is not possible. In these cases, a settlement will take place once you’ve reached maximum medical improvement (MMI), meaning that your injuries will not improve any further. At this point, your lawyer will order your treatment charts, medical diagnostic scans, and special reports from any medical professionals involved in your recovery. Receiving this data can take from 3 to 4 months and settlement will be reached even later.

Why Is My Settlement Taking So Long?

If you’ve sustained only minor injuries and have fully recovered, finalizing your settlement will generally take only about half a year. If your condition only reaches MMI, the process will likely take longer. This is largely due to the time it takes to attend treatments, evaluate the progress of your injuries, and order and receive your medical charts. These critical factors will all be reflected in the calculation of your final settlement.

Without sufficient documentation, insurance companies can struggle to negotiate a settlement above a minimal amount. This is why it is critical for accident injury lawyers to take the time to collect all the necessary medical charts, scans, and other reports to back up your claims.

Other Reasons for Delays

Ensuring you receive the amount of money you deserve can take time. Beyond the impact of MMI, there are some other common reasons why it can take longer to process your settlement. For example, in the event that you are self-employed, especially if you work as a freelancer or any occupation in which your income fluctuates, it can be more challenging to prove income loss in comparison to claimants who have good tax and employment records.

Another factor that can slow down the settlement in a motor vehicle accident claim is liability. If liability is contested by the defendant, insurer, or institutional defendant, the case may need to go through litigation in order to reach a settlement. This can also occur if insufficient documentation is supplied, as insurance companies can question the legitimacy of your treatment and injuries. If liability is contested, this can add years to the length of your settlement.

How an Accident Injury Lawyer Can Help

Motor vehicle accident claims can be especially complicated, especially in the event that your injuries are quite severe. Having an accident injury lawyer take on your case will not only help you to understand your legal rights, but they can also illuminate the different types of benefits available to you in Houston, TX. Without consulting with an accident injury lawyer, you may settle for less than you deserve or fail to protect your legal interests properly.

Accident injury lawyers are here to help protect your legal interests. There are certain timeframes that need to be upheld in order to keep your claim moving forward; an experienced lawyer won’t allow your case to fall behind. A licensed accident injury lawyer will also be able to represent you in the event your claim goes into litigation. This includes representing you in the courtroom in the unlikely event that a dispute around liability causes your claim to go to trial.

What Factors are Involved in Determining a Settlement?

If you’ve sustained injuries from a motor vehicle accident, you may be able to receive damages for several factors. Typically, a claimant in a motor vehicle accident case may be eligible to receive compensation for the following:

  • Pain and suffering (also called “general” or “non-economic” damages)
  • Costs of medical care
  • Costs of future or ongoing medical treatments
  • Wage loss (past and future)
  • Costs associated with a loss of housekeeping capacity
  • Loss of consortium (for spouses or family members)
  • Other out-of-pocket expenses

It’s important that claimants in a motor vehicle accident case receive fair compensation for the injuries they’ve sustained and all related expenses and damages Creating an estimation of the value of the damages incurred from your accident injury case can be complicated, which is why having an experienced accident injury lawyer is crucial to receiving an appropriate settlement.

The Average Payout for Motor Vehicle Accident Claims

Depending on the circumstances of your claim, you may be eligible to receive a settlement in the low six figures. In the event of more serious injuries, you may be entitled to a larger settlement, especially if the cost of care in the future will be quite high. Larger, seven-figure settlements can often be negotiated in cases involving spinal cord or brain injury. For a better idea as to how much you may be entitled to receive, speak with an accident injury lawyer regarding your case.

If you’ve sustained an injury in a motor vehicle accident, it’s important to align yourself with an experienced accident injury lawyer to ensure you receive the maximum settlement possible for your specific case. At Gamez Law Firm in Houston, TX, we pride ourselves on offering top-quality legal assistance to those whose lives have been tragically impacted by a motor vehicle accident. Call the experts at Gamez Law Firm to receive your free legal consultation today.