How Long Do Car Accident Settlement Negotiations Take?

Posted on behalf of Peter T. Nicholl in Car Accidents Published on December 23, 2019 and updated on March 6, 2022.

auto accident claim settlement negotitationOne of the biggest concerns after being involved in a car accident is when you can expect compensation. Medical bills may be piling up while you recover from your injuries, placing a financial burden on you and your family.

Below, learn about how long car accident settlement negotiations may take and some of the factors that can make the process take longer. A licensed Maryland car accident lawyer from our firm is ready to review your situation and discuss how we may help you obtain a fair settlement in a free consultation.

The Negotiation Timeline After a Car Accident

Most car accident claims are resolved during the settlement process. Claims may be settled within weeks or months, but some cases may take a year or longer. Each case is unique and may involve different factors that affect the timing of a settlement.

The typical steps involved in a car accident claim include:

  • You receive medical treatment for your injuries and reach maximum medical improvement
  • The insurance company investigates the accident
  • The insurance company determines who is at fault and to what degree
  • You receive a reservation of rights letter from the insurance company
  • Your lawyer obtains all medical records, bills and other supporting evidence
  • Your lawyer prepares a demand package and submits it to the insurance company
  • The insurance company responds to the demand

The insurance company will then typically offer a settlement. You will have a chance to review the offer and accept it, reject it or make a counteroffer. If you counteroffer, your lawyer needs to prepare a letter to the insurance company and describe why you believe you are eligible to more compensation. This process will proceed until you and the insurance company agree on an offer.

When to Expect a Settlement Check to Arrive

After you and the insurance company reach a settlement, it can usually take four to six weeks from the date the offer was accepted to receive the settlement check. You will need to sign a document that states that you are receiving the settlement in full satisfaction of your claim.

The check will usually be given to your lawyer who will pay off any unpaid medical bills or medical liens on your claim. He or she will also deduct the contingency fee and any out-of-pocket expenses from this amount before disbursing the rest of the settlement to you.

General Steps in the Settlement Negotiation Process

The settlement negotiation process is similar to purchasing a car. You may make a demand for a high amount of compensation and then the insurance company may respond with a very low offer. You may ultimately resolve your claim somewhere in the middle.

During the negotiation process, the insurance company will try to show weaknesses in your claim. Your lawyer may respond by providing evidence that supports your demand amount, such as your medical records.

This process continues until you and the insurance company agree on a final settlement amount. This process takes 15 to 90 days, on average.

Common Disputes in Car Accident Claims

Some disputes may arise during your car accident claim. These disputes may lead to a longer timeline to resolve your claim. Common disputes involved in car accident claims include:

  • Whether the insured was liable for the accident
  • Whether your own negligence contributed to the accident
  • Whether the insurance policy covered the accident
  • The extent of your injuries
  • Whether your injuries were due to pre-existing conditions
  • The necessity for certain medical treatment
  • How long you will need to continue receiving medical treatment

Your lawyer needs to respond to these disputes and provide additional information to support your claim in order to come to a resolution.

Talk to an Experienced Lawyer to Learn More

If you were injured in a car accident, we recommend that you seek legal representation as soon as possible. Our experienced lawyers at Peter T. Nicholl Law Offices are prepared to investigate your claim and handle all communications and negotiations with the insurance company on your behalf.

Schedule a free consultation to find out about your legal options. We work on a contingency fee basis, so you will owe us nothing for our services until we recover compensation for you.

Contact us today at 410-244-7005 to get started.