How Long Does it Take to Get a Settlement From a Car Accident?
Settling your car accident case can be a great relief. You are finally finished negotiating with insurance claims adjusters and fighting for fair compensation. The next phase, however, is waiting to receive your settlement check. The waiting can be just as difficult as the first stages of your car insurance claim. You may be fielding calls from creditors and hospitals asking for money. If you want an estimate of when to expect your settlement check, discuss the particular circumstances of your case with a lawyer.
Average Car Accident Settlement Timeline
It is difficult to answer the common question of how long it will take to obtain a car accident settlement check. Each case is unique, with different factors that can affect the timeline. If you have serious injuries, for example, your case may take longer to resolve, as it will take longer for you to reach the point of maximum medical improvement. In general, it can take about three months to settle a car insurance claim, then an additional one to six weeks to receive your check. You may be waiting three to six months after the date of your car crash for your money, therefore.
Your wait time may also depend on whether you choose a structured settlement or lump sum. A lump sum, in which you receive 100% of your settlement in a single check, is more common. An insurance company should pay you a lump sum settlement within two weeks of settling your claim, in most cases. If you choose a structured settlement, however, you will only receive a portion of your award at a time. The wait for your full payout will depend on the terms of the structured settlement agreement.
Once your car accident case settles, you will most likely not be the first person to receive money from the insurance company. First, your lawyer will help you pay for any outstanding medical expenses. If you have not paid the hospital for your medical care and it placed a hospital lien on your settlement, your lawyer can help you negotiate the lien down. Then, your lawyer will pay for your vehicle repairs. Next, the lawyer will deduct his or her service fee from your settlement based on a pre-agreed-upon fee arrangement. Finally, the remainder of the funds will be yours to take home.
Can You Speed Up Your Settlement?
Some of the longer settlement timelines come about because claimants make mistakes during their claims, such as forgetting to fill out certain forms or provide sufficient evidence of their losses. Common mistakes could delay your claim and make you wait longer for a settlement check. Hiring a lawyer, on the other hand, could expedite your claim. One of the best ways to resolve your case and obtain a fast settlement is with help from a car accident attorney in Kansas City.
A lawyer will understand the car insurance claims process and how to deal with claims adjusters. If an adjuster is delaying writing you a check in bad faith, for example, your lawyer can file a bad faith claim against the company on top of your car accident case. This could result in even greater compensation for your losses as a punishment against the insurer for mishandling your claim. Delayed payouts are a common type of insurance bad faith.
If you wish to achieve a fair settlement and get your check as soon as possible after an auto accident in Kansas City, contact a lawyer for assistance. Your lawyer can take steps to make the claims process more efficient, such as submitting documents electronically and taking over negotiations on your behalf. You may be able to reduce the time it takes to get a settlement from a car accident by enlisting the help of an attorney.