How Long Does a Car Accident Settlement Take?
A friend was recently rear-ended in a multi-car collision in Wasatch Front. They are visibly shaken up, have no idea how they will get to and from work and are starting to experience neck and back pain from the crash. They considered calling a lawyer, but how long does a Utah car accident settlement take? If you’ve been in a car accident and need a lawyer, click the button below to get a free consultation with us.
Should You Report a Fender Bender to Insurance?
You should most definitely speak to a licensed attorney after a Utah car accident. Even if the other driver says they are okay and even if only a slight amount of damage occurred, you must report the accident to your car insurance company. Failing to report a collision can result in loss of your insurance coverage. In addition, let’s say that you and the other driver agree not to report the accident, and simply to exchange cash for damages. The other driver pays you cash (with no way to prove it) and then later that day calls their insurance company to report the accident, claiming you were at fault. Now the accident investigation could be drawn out due to a dispute of liability.
When Should You Get an Attorney for a Cache Valley Car Accident?
After you have reported the accident to police, and obtained emergency medical attention if necessary, you should call a Cache Valley personal injury attorney. Even if you believe your potential case is not worth the effort, calling an attorney can help you identify if you do have a claim for damages. An attorney can help walk you through the process of a typical personal injury claim and explain what types of damages to which you may be entitled.
Why the Insurance Company is Not Working in Your Best Interest
Most importantly, even if you are not at fault in the accident, the other driver’s insurance company wants to settle the claim for the least amount possible. It has nothing to do with what you may truly be entitled to, and what they offer may barely cover the cost of repairing or replacing your car. If it is totaled, you might only be approved for a car rental for a couple days, and in the meantime, you are left without a way to get to work or school.
The insurance company might claim that you have to see their collision expert for damages, only for the estimator to under-value the cost of replacement parts or repairs. What the insurance company will not tell you is that you can get an independent collision estimate from another car mechanic or collision expert. If you were injured in a Utah car accident through no fault of your own, you should be made whole. This means you should receive the full value of the car that was totaled or complete repairs.
How Long After a Car Accident Should You Seek Medical Treatment?
Often right after a car accident, the parties may be feeding off adrenaline because of the trauma. Many times a plaintiff does not realize how hurt they are until the next day or several days later. Inflammation from a soft tissue or joint injury can take several days to manifest. In addition, internal bruising and other more serious medical issues like a concussion may not be readily apparent at the accident scene. The best way to protect yourself is to seek emergency medical attention after the scene of an accident.
If you refuse transport via EMS at the scene, it is not too late to visit your primary care doctor or an urgent care physician to determine if you are showing signs of an injury. You may need to be referred to an orthopedist or physical therapist for evaluation and treatment. If showing signs of an internal injury, your doctor might order an ultrasound or MRI to rule out internal bleeding or trauma to internal organs.
How Long After a Logan Car Accident Can You Claim Injuries?
Even if your injuries were not readily apparent after a car accident, it is not too late to add a personal injury claim to your case. Plaintiffs in a Utah auto accident case have up to four years after the date of the accident to bring a claim against the defendant and/or the defendant’s insurance company, according to Utah Code § 78B-2-307. This is referred to as a statute of limitations. After the statute of limitations expires, the plaintiff is barred from recovery. If you were injured in a Logan car accident, you should not delay filing a claim so that you may be compensated for your injuries sooner. It is also best to seek a lawyer’s advice while the facts of the accident and what occurred are fresh in your mind.
How Long Does a Utah Car Accident Take to Settle?
The length of a personal injury claim is dependent on several factors. First, both sides need to report the claim to their insurance company. If one party is dragging its feet, this could elongate the process for several months. Perhaps there was a witness to the scene who provided their contact information, but now you cannot reach them. If an accident was exceptionally severe and it is unclear who is at fault, an accident reconstruction expert might need to be consulted. If multiple parties were involved in a multi-vehicle collision, it could take months just to get everyone’s version of events.
If you or a passenger suffered physical injuries, a claim may not move forward in litigation until you have finished obtaining treatment. For many people with soft tissue or joint injuries, they could be attending physical therapy for months or even years to regain mobility and range of motion. If a plaintiff suffered a disability or dismemberment, they may never be finished with treatment. In that case, their attorney would add a claim for future medical expenses in addition to incurred medical expenses.
Other Reasons a Claim Could be Delayed
Lack of Attention to Your Case
If your current attorney is unresponsive or if your case is constantly passed around between junior-level associates at a large firm, your case may not be receiving the attention it deserves. With each passing month, the parties get further away from reaching a potential settlement. Our attorneys at Harris, Preston, and Chambers are a small, local law firm dedicated to opening the lines of communication with our clients. When we take on a case, we make it our mission to keep in constant contact with you, and answer any questions you may have.
The Defendant (or Their Lawyers) is Stalling
Often once a case reaches the negotiation phase of litigation (before or after discovery is complete), the defense may employ stalling tactics. Whether they dodge phone calls, play phone tag or claim they cannot get in contact with their client, our attorneys at Harris, Preston and Chambers have seen it all before. We understand how frustrating it can be to wait for compensation after you have suffered through a car accident and are continuing to delay with debilitating pain. We do everything in our power to expedite a claim for you.
Discovery is More Complicated Than Assumed
If you were involved in a Utah multi-vehicle collision or you saw multiple healthcare providers for treatment, discovery can often be the longest phase of litigation. Discovery is the exchange of evidence, documents, photos, statements and medical records between the parties. Attorneys and their team working on a personal injury case must obtain all of your records, police reports, photos of the accident, photos of the injury, witness statements, and any other pieces of evidence related to your case.
Too often a medical office delays in providing a plaintiff’s records to their attorney despite prior HIPAA authorization. Our lawyers do everything we can to stay on top of your claim, including following up with your providers to obtain records. Sometimes the other side will engage in stalling tactics to delay discovery, but if this is the case, our attorneys at Harris, Preston and Chambers can use litigation strategies (such as a motion to compel discovery) to ensure the exchange of information occurs.
What Happens if You Lose a Car Accident Lawsuit?
Many car accident cases never make it to court, meaning the case settles, but each case is different. If retained, our lawyers at Harris, Preston and Chambers will counsel you on case strategy, and whether or not the defense’s counteroffer is fair or appropriate, but ultimately the decision to settle or go to trial is up to you.
If you choose not to take the defense’s offer and proceed with the trial, it could take months to get a court date assigned, which could be subject to postponement. The fate of your case also lies in the hands of a jury. While juries usually sympathize with the plaintiff in a personal injury claim, there is no guarantee that they would suggest an award that is greater than what the defendant offered in settlement negotiations. In addition, if a plaintiff loses a car accident lawsuit, and their attorney took the case on a contingency basis, the plaintiff does not owe the attorney anything. However, if the plaintiff is successful, their attorney would take a percentage of their recovery to pay fees and expenses incurred.
Contact Our Logan Car Accident Attorneys
If you or a loved one were injured in a Logan car accident, you may have questions about what happens next. While no two personal injury cases are the same, our attorneys at Harris, Preston & Chambers, LLP can walk you through each step of litigation. We can help you determine what your case might be worth and how long you can expect until the case settles. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.