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Car Accidents Laws

How Long Does a Car Accident Settlement Take?

If you’re injured in a car accident, chances are you want to settle the case and move on as quickly as possible. But how long does it take for a car accident settlement, and can you accelerate the settlement process? Our car accident attorneys explain what you need to know.

How Long Does a Settlement Take for a Car Accident?

How long does a car accident injury settlement take? On average, we can expect simple car accident claims to take up to 10 months to resolve. The general steps involved are as follows:

  • Your attorney gathers evidence to support your claim. We will ensure you have a clear diagnosis so we understand the full extent of your injuries before recommending any offers.
  • We negotiate with the insurance company to arrive at a fair settlement.
  • If there’s no offer forthcoming, we may need to file an accident lawsuit.

What Can I Do to Speed Up My Claim?

Car crash head on collision between black and gray cars on road

This is one of the most frequently asked questions about personal injury claims. The issue, though, is that there’s not much you can do to change your claim’s timeline.

To help your case move forward efficiently, gather as much evidence as possible in support of your claim. This can help narrow down the issues in dispute which, in turn, can speed up settlement.

Should I Just Take an Insurance Company’s Offer?

This is not recommended.

While an insurance company may seem sympathetic to your case, they’ll want to resolve the claim quickly. Why? Because this reduces the time you have to fully investigate matters. It puts pressure on you to settle for an amount which is less than you deserve.

What Determines How Long a Car Accident Settlement Usually Takes?

Every case is unique, but there are a few factors which will always influence how long a case takes to settle:

  • The extent of your injuries
  • Who is to blame for the accident
  • How many parties are involved in the accident
  • The types of damages in issue
  • Whether there’s a criminal element to the claim
  • How willing the insurance company is to negotiate matters

Let’s consider each factor in turn.

Extent of Your Injuries

This one is straightforward: the more complex your injuries, the longer the average time for settlement. This is because your medical bills, and medical care needs are more complicated.

For example, say you have a severe spinal cord injury. You may require back surgery and it could take months to return to work. You may be unable to even return to your old job, depending on your injuries.

In the worst-case scenario, you may be paralyzed and have long-term care needs. These factors all play a part in how complicated your case is – and how long it takes to settle.

Suing Multiple Parties

In some cases, it may be necessary to sue more than just the driver. For example, if the defendant was driving a commercial vehicle, we may need to sue their employer. And in some cases, it’s appropriate to sue third parties such as manufacturers. Complex cases with multiple defendants take longer to settle.

Determining Fault for the Accident

In Texas, the amount of damages you can claim depends on:

  • Whether you were to blame for the accident; and
  • How much you were to blame for the accident.

If you were less than 50% to blame for the accident, your damages are reduced depending on your degree of fault. Apportioning “blame” can mean a case takes longer to resolve.

If you were more than 50% responsible, then you will be unable to claim damages.

Types of Damages

If you’re dealing with more complex injuries, we may need to sue for more damages, such as rehabilitation and long-term care costs. We may also sue for “punitive” damages which are designed to “punish” the defendant. The higher the damages you’re claiming, the longer it could take to reach settlement.

Criminal Element to a Civil Claim

If the defendant was driving under the influence (DUI), or they’re facing criminal charges for driving offenses, your case may take a little longer to settle. This is because the initial investigations are more complicated.

Insurance Company Negotiations

If the insurance company refuses to make an offer, or the offer is too low to be recommended, your case will take longer to settle.

Are There Time Limits for Making a Car Accident Claim?

Yes. Under the statutes of limitations, there’s a time limit for making civil claims.

According to Section 16.003 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, you have two years from the accident date to make a claim. So, whether you’re claiming for property damage or personal injury, you must file a lawsuit within two years of the accident date. If you file after the deadline, your case could be dismissed.

How Much Is My Case Worth?

Until our car accident attorneys evaluate your claim, it is impossible to determine how much your case is worth. However, a claim’s value is typically based on:

  • The extent of the injuries
  • The strength of the evidence available
  • The types of damages payable

Our experienced attorneys will not recommend any settlement offer unless it is fair and reasonable based on the circumstances of your case.

Free Consultation With Car Accident Lawyers in Houston, Texas

If you’ve been in a car accident, the AK Law Firm is here for you. From gathering evidence to handling negotiations, we will manage the entire claim for you, so you can focus on recovering and moving forward. As experienced auto accident attorneys, the team at AK Law Firm want to help you get the justice you deserve. Our car accident attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you don’t pay anything unless we win your case. You have nothing to lose – contact us to schedule a free case evaluation.

Car Accidents Personal Injury

How Long After a Car Accident Can You Claim an Injury?

If you’re injured in a car accident, you only have so long to bring a claim against the party responsible. This is known as the “statute of limitations” and it’s crucial you know which deadline applies. Below, our attorneys consider how long you can claim for injuries after a car crash.

How Long After a Car Accident Can You Claim Injury?

According to Section 16.003 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, you have two years from the date of the accident to make a personal injury claim.

If someone dies as a result of their injuries, certain loved ones can make a claim on their behalf within two years of the date of death.

While two years seems like a long time, it’s important to remember that time passes quickly. It’s easy for life to get in the way and distract you from making a claim. Call an attorney as soon as you can after a car accident to discuss your options.

How Many Days After a Car Accident Can You Claim Injury?

There’s no set amount of time you’re obliged to wait before contacting an attorney about your accident claim. In fact, it’s best to call a car accident lawyer in Houston as soon as possible following the accident to ensure your case is managed effectively.

Is the Time Limit the Same for All Car Accident Claims?

No, the time limit can vary. A lawyer can advise which time limit applies in your case, but here are some examples of when there’s a deviation in the limitation date.

  • Defendant abscondment: Should the defendant leave the state, the clock “pauses” until they return.
  • Minor involved in accident: If a victim injured in the accident is under 18, the clock doesn’t start running until their 18th birthday.
  • Victim mentally incapacitated: If the victim has a pre-existing mental disability, the clock is suspended, meaning they have as long as they need to make a claim. If the accident caused the disability, the two year deadline applies.

Car Accident Claims Against Government Entities in Texas

According to Section 101.101 of the Texas Code, you must file personal injury claims against government entities within six months of the accident date. This is a much shorter deadline than typically applies – call us immediately if your case is against a government entity of any kind.

Is There a Deadline for Settling My Claim?

While there is no formal deadline, an attorney can often predict how long the claims process will take.

Simple car accident claims don’t normally take more than a year to settle, whereas more complex cases might take longer. Cases which go to trial will take the longest to resolve – however, your lawyer will do everything possible to move matters along efficiently.

What Are the Benefits of Making a Car Accident Claim Quickly?

Whichever time limit applies to your claim, there are a few reasons why you should claim sooner rather than later.

  • Filing quickly allows you to focus on recovering, rather than worrying about how or when to make a compensation claim.
  • The sooner you make a claim, the quicker an attorney can determine how much your case is worth and the damages you might pursue.
  • If you make a claim quickly, the incident is still fresh in your mind. Making your claim quickly helps to avoid evidence being lost, forgotten, or destroyed.

It’s in your best interests to contact an attorney promptly after an accident. If you’re unsure how long you have to claim or if you suspect you’re running out of time, call AK Law Firm immediately.

What Happens if I Don’t Claim in Time?

Young woman sitting on ground after being injured in a car accident

If you miss the limitation date, your claim will be time-barred. In other words, you lose the legal right to claim for any injuries you sustained in this accident. In other words, you won’t be entitled to any damages.

The easiest way to avoid missing your limitation date is to file early. Don’t worry if your diagnosis is still uncertain or you’re still gathering evidence. The sooner you contact an auto accident attorney, the quicker you can move on with your life.

Do I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer to File an Accident Claim?

While you can claim compensation on your own, it’s not advisable to do so.

  • Personal injury claims can be complex. Experienced auto accident attorneys can evaluate the evidence and determine the best way forward
  • A car crash attorney will ensure that you don’t miss your claims deadline. They will also make sure that any court deadlines are met, should your case go to trial.

How Can a Car Accident Attorney Help With My Claim?

There are many reasons why you should hire a car accident attorney to manage your claim for you. Here are some of the key ways in which our team can help you pursue your case.

  • Our lawyers can evaluate the evidence, determine your claim’s strengths and weaknesses, and plan an effective course of action.
  • With our experience, we know what makes a fair settlement offer. We can help you decide whether to accept an offer or pursue a fairer deal.
  • Sometimes, the best way to get the compensation you deserve is to go to trial. Our team has the experience and commitment to run your case in court if required.

Call Car Accident Attorneys in Houston, TX

How long after a car accident can you claim injury? Although you typically have two years from the accident date, it makes sense to file as soon as possible.

We work on a no win, no fee basis, so you don’t pay anything unless we win your case – and all initial consultations are free. As experienced auto accident attorneys, the team at AK Law Firm want to help you get the justice you deserve. Complete our online form or call on (346) 258-7013 to schedule your free consultation.