After surviving a car accident, the next step is to treat your injuries. Once you fully recover, it would be best to start out seeking compensation for all the expenses the accident caused you. Maryland has fault-based car accident settlement recovery laws. Therefore, if you’re in a car accident, you must prove the other driver’s fault for you to recover any damages.
Interestingly, most personal injury claims in Maryland, including car accidents, are settled out of court. Very few requests get to trial. Therefore, it’s vital to know how long you have to wait before receiving your car crash settlement. If you hire a Maryland car accident lawyer, they can hasten this process for you.
Factors That Affect Your Settlement Timeline
We would love to give you a definite timeframe within which you must have received your settlement check. However, there isn’t one. The reality is that the settlement process is affected by multiple factors which can make your case last long or settle quickly. Some of these factors include:
1. The Nature and Severity of Your Injuries
Your injury type and its extent can either get you a fast settlement or ensure prolonged negotiations. If your injuries are minor and you’re asking for little money, the insurance adjuster may be enthusiastic to close the case. However, where you have extensive injuries running into high medical bills, an insurer may stall the process.
2. The Extent of Vehicular and Personal Property Damage
Almost all car accidents spoil the cars involved and any personal property in them. If you sustain significant property and car damage, you may get a late settlement. For instance, if the accident totaled your brand new 2020 model vehicle, no insurance company will quickly pay you its price. However, if your damage is minor, they can quickly close the case and move on.
3. The Available Evidence
Your evidence plays a vital role in how soon you get your settlement. If you have direct evidence on how the accident happened, the at-fault party won’t want to risk a trial. Therefore, the erring driver wants to settle with you quickly. However, where you have insufficient evidence, your case is weak, and they can delay you.
4. Fault Determination
In many car accident cases, the at-fault party doesn’t contest their liability. However, in some other instances, the fault is heavily debated. Where guilt isn’t apparent, it’ll take longer to receive your settlement check. This delay is because you’ll have to establish the other party’s responsibility before collecting any money.
Other issues affect your settlement timeline. For instance:
- If the at-fault party was a government vehicle, bureaucracy might extend the settlement process.
- The presence of a third-party influence in the accident
- Your injury attorney doesn’t want to settle
- The peculiar facts and other circumstances of the case
- The at-fault party and their insurer’s cooperation
Based on these factors, some claims can settle as quickly as in a few months. This is especially so where there is direct medical evidence establishing losses. In some instances, though, claims can last years before they are settled. Finally, there are those cases that never get resolved.
Why Should You Consider Litigation?
While waiting for your car accident closure, it would be best to remember Maryland’s Statute of Limitations. In Maryland, you have only three years to file your injury and personal property damage lawsuit.
The time starts counting from the date of your accident. If you’re waiting to get your settlement and three years pass, you may not get a remedy in court. Therefore, it would be best to conclude all settlement negotiations before three years elapses.
Finally, if you get to court, there’s no definite timeline within which the case must be decided. Instead, the common factors that determine the length of a trial will apply to your case. Usually, lawyers threaten lawsuits to get the insurance companies to conclude the settlement, although they have no plans of going to trial. It is noteworthy that you can still settle the case in court.
Pinder Plotkin Can Hasten Your Car Accident Settlement Recovery Process
Insurance companies and at-fault parties usually don’t relish paying settlement claims. They would prefer that settlement negotiations drag out for as long as possible and find ways to escape liability. However, an excellent Maryland car accident attorney can help you get paid quickly.
Pinder Plotkin lawyers understand that you need your compensation money to move on with your life quickly. Therefore, we work tirelessly to prevent delay tactics from the other party. Indeed, we can get you a quick settlement. So, call us today for a FREE consultation.