If you have been injured in a car accident, it could be tempting to take that initial offer from the insurance company. It's quick and easy, and you'll be finished with the whole ordeal. All too often, South Carolina auto accident victims end up with initial settlement offers that do not cover all of their medical expenses - and won't even touch their lost wages, pain or suffering.
That's why it's so important to talk with an attorney before you accept a settlement from the insurance company. One of the most common questions people ask is, "How long will a lawsuit take?"
If you have medical bills and debt after missing work and paychecks, waiting can be the hardest part.
So, how long?
Unfortunately, there is no precise answer to this question. Every auto accident case is different and getting a fair settlement from the at-fault driver's insurance company could happen quickly, or take months, or even years in some extreme cases.
An experienced car accident lawyer can talk to you about what to expect in your specific case and let you know about the possible timelines for recovering damages. Some cases can be resolved quickly.
Steps toward a settlement...
There is a progression that most auto accident cases follow, and the amount of time each step takes contributes to the length of time your entire case will take to resolve.
- Medical. You should get all of the medical attention and healthcare you need before your attorney even starts negotiating with the insurance company. You will not know how much money you need to manage your injuries for the rest of your life until you have progressed in your treatment to a point where you and your doctors can predict what your future healthcare needs will be.
- Negotiations. Once your doctor feels you have healed enough to estimate future medical needs, your lawyer can start negotiating with the insurance company for a settlement. This typically takes a couple of months or more and could lead to the conclusion of your case.
- Litigation. If the insurance company doesn't agree to your terms and you don't accept its low offer, your attorney can file a lawsuit on your behalf. Your case could go to trial or could still be resolved without entering a courtroom at this point.
There's no way to know for sure how long the case will take to resolve. But if you don't feel you're being offered a fair settlement, it could be worth the wait to pursue a legal case that could help you recover the money you will need to manage your injuries for the rest of your life.
If you have been hurt in a car accident, call the skilled South Carolina legal team at George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers for a free case evaluation to help you understand your rights and the legal process.