Car accident victims have many questions. One question our Baltimore personal injury lawyers are asked all the time is, “how long will my case take to settle?” Unfortunately, it is impossible to give a good faith estimate without knowing the circumstances and facts surrounding your particular case.
However, there are some generalizations to consider. First, many accident cases settle without the need for a lengthy trial. Second, most accident victims do not suffer catastrophic injuries. Finally, car accident claims typically settle faster than other types of personal injury cases. If your injuries are not serious and there are no questions concerning liability, your case might settle in a month or two. Even more complicated cases might still settle in twelve to sixteen months.
If you think your case is simple or complicated, you should have an experienced attorney working closely with you. the important thing should not be how fast your case settles. Rather, you want to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. To discuss the settlement process in more detail, call the Maryland car accident lawyers at Rice, Murtha & Psoras today at (410) 694-7291.
How Long Might it Take to Settle My Maryland Car Accident Claim?
There is no set timeframe for how long car accident lawsuit settlements take. Generally, the length of a settlement will depend on the specific aspects of a case and how quickly a victim requires compensation for their injuries. The settlement process might be expedited if you choose to simply file a claim with a negligent driver’s liability insurance.
There’s a difference between settling a car accident lawsuit and settling a claim with a negligent driver’s liability insurance. In Maryland, insurance carriers typically settle claims within several weeks. In extreme circumstances, it may take longer to settle a claim with a negligent driver’s liability insurance after a car accident. It’s a different story for car accident lawsuits.
Suppose a negligent driver’s liability insurance is insufficient to cover the cost of your injuries. In that case, our Maryland car accident lawyers can help you pursue litigation against a negligent driver. Often, defendants in car accident lawsuits want to settle out of court to avoid paying substantial compensatory damages to victims. In this circumstance, settlement negotiations may take some time, especially if a negligent driver is being stubborn and is unwilling to settle at an appropriate amount. Our Maryland car accident lawyers can help you navigate settlement negotiations with a negligent driver in an attempt to resolve litigation.
Depending on the case, settlements for car accident lawsuits in Maryland may take weeks, months, or even years. Our attorneys can assess your case to estimate how long settlement negotiations might take so that you can decide whether to pursue discussions or move forward with a lawsuit against a negligent driver in Maryland.
Factors that Influence Settling a Maryland Car Accident Case
Because every car accident case is unique, presenting its own set of challenges, hurdles, and difficulties, it is almost impossible to answer how quickly a case might settle without knowing all the pertinent facts.
Fortunately, many car crash cases are relatively simple – fault is clear, liability is easily established, and the insurance policy limits are sufficient to cover all damages. Additionally, claims are easily resolved if no one suffered a severe injury. These types of cases often settle fairly quickly, perhaps within a couple of months. However, not every case is “ideal.”
Our Maryland car accident lawyers have been handling complex cases for decades. We understand that after an accident occurs, the settlement process usually begins with an investigation of your case, an evaluation of your damages, and a demand letter. Many complications might slow this process down, making it difficult to reach a settlement agreement.
The Severity of Your Injuries
The extent and seriousness of your injuries might significantly impact how long it will take to settle your case. For instance, if you suffered a broken arm in an accident, the time it takes to heal and the medical costs are relatively straightforward to calculate. However, if you suffered more severe injuries that required multiple surgeries and lengthy physical therapy, it might take a considerably longer amount of time to estimate the value of your long-term medical treatment. This time frame increases dramatically if you suffered a brain injury or other debilitating injury. Our team of Towson personal injury attorneys will work to ensure all your damages are included.
Additionally, it is not always the right move to quickly agree to a settlement offer if you believe your injuries are not serious. Some symptoms take time to develop – sometimes taking weeks or months to manifest. It is often advisable to wait to ensure you do not suffer further and unexpected complications. While a quick settlement might put money in your pocket, it also prohibits you from filing an additional claim.
The Insurance Company’s Conduct
An insurance company’s decisions following an accident will often be influenced by the severity of your injuries and possible damages. Remember, insurance companies are for-profit corporations working to limit their financial liability. Most insurance adjusters will not quickly offer a settlement amount that covers all your damages. The insurer will also likely conduct its own investigation into the crash. Even if you decide not to file a lawsuit, the negotiation process might be lengthy.
Questions Regarding Fault
In automobile accident cases where fault is unclear, the settlement process often grinds to a halt. If an insurance company believes its driver was not to blame or that your conduct contributed to the crash, it might be unwilling to settle. Maryland is a pure contributory negligence state for car accidents. This means that if a victim contributes to their injuries at all, they may be barred from recovery. Insurance companies and negligent drivers might attempt to claim that you are partially at fault for your injuries, lengthening or stalling settlement negotiations altogether. Our Maryland car accident lawyers can quickly resolve any questions regarding fault in an effort to speed up settlement negotiations.
How Much Compensation Can You Recover by Quickly Settling a Maryland Car Accident Case?
Often, car accident victims in Maryland require immediate compensation for their injuries. Because of that, victims might think it necessary to quickly settle with a negligent driver’s liability insurance carrier. Even if a victim files a car accident lawsuit, they might want to settle as soon as possible to avoid a trial. While that’s understandable, it’s important to consult our Maryland car accident lawyers. In some cases, settling a car accident claim can lead to insufficient compensation for victims in Maryland.
When you settle an insurance claim after a car accident in Maryland, your compensation may be partially determined by the limits of a negligent driver’s liability insurance. If a negligent driver has the minimum liability insurance in Maryland, you might only recover up to $30,000 for bodily injury and $15,000 for property damage. If your injuries are severe, requiring expensive medical treatment and preventing you from working, this compensation may be insignificant. Not to mention, settling a car accident claim with a negligent driver’s insurance provider will likely not result in non-economic damages in Maryland.
The same can be said for victims who choose to settle a lawsuit against a negligent driver. Typically, negligent drivers are hesitant to offer car accident victims the compensation they deserve. Victims who accept a settlement offer too quickly may lose out on additional compensation. Accepting a settlement offer because you need fast access to compensation without consulting our Maryland car accident lawyers might prevent you from recovering the damages you deserve.
Should You Settle Your Car Accident Case in Maryland?
After a car accident in Maryland, you might think that settling a car insurance claim is the best route to take. Sometimes, doing so results in insufficient compensation for a victim. Furthermore, if you accept a settlement offer from a negligent driver’s insurance company, you may be unable to sue a negligent driver for further compensation in Maryland. So, should you settle or not?
Generally, victims can claim greater compensation by suing a negligent driver for damages in Maryland. If you act too quickly and accept a settlement offer from a negligent driver’s liability insurance, you may be unable to recover greater compensation in a lawsuit. This can leave victims without the necessary funds to pay medical bills or compensate for lost wages and other out-of-pocket expenses due to an accident.
Suing a negligent driver and taking a case to court may result in greater compensation for victims. In doing so, victims stand to recover non-economic damages in addition to economic damages. Typically, non-economic damages are unavailable in both insurance settlements and lawsuit settlements with negligent drivers. Our Maryland car accident attorneys can help you recover additional compensation against a negligent driver by filing a lawsuit and taking your case before a judge or jury.
Filing a Maryland Car Accident Lawsuit Takes Time, But Might be Necessary
Most auto crash cases in Maryland settle without going to trial. However, if you were hurt in a traffic accident and an insurance company refuses to offer a just settlement, litigation might be a necessity. Keep in mind that just because you file a lawsuit does not mean you are prohibited from settling a case out of court.
Litigation places a clock on the insurance company. Now, instead of stretching the negotiation process out, they are required to incur the expense of preparing and participating in the legal process. Through the discovery process, our Ocean City personal injury lawyers might gain access to valuable evidence that compels an insurer or a negligent driver to offer a fair settlement.
As long as you comply with Maryland’s statute of limitations, which is three years for car accident cases, you can file a lawsuit at any time. You might decide to sue weeks after an accident or after months of negotiations. However, the longer you wait, the longer it will take for the case to come to a close.
Furthermore, because you filed a lawsuit does not mean your case will go to trial. As stated above, most car crash cases settle without going before a judge or jury. This does not mean that a lawsuit was not filed. Your case might settle from when the complaint is served to the point a jury renders a verdict.
Maryland Car Accident Injury Lawyers Working to Maximize Our Clients’ Compensation
When medical costs are piling up and you are losing money because you are not working, a quick settlement might appear to be a fortunate windfall. However, it is difficult to predict how fast your car accident case will settle. Additionally, if you are offered a quick settlement, it is probably significantly less than you deserve. Our Columbia car accident lawyers work tirelessly to maximize the compensation our clients receive. For a free case evaluation with our attorneys, call Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 and start the settlement process today.