Following a Georgia car accident, many accident victims have two key questions: how much compensation can they expect, and how long does it take to get a settlement check in hand?
Compensation can be critical after your Georgia car accident. You have bills to pay, medical challenges to deal with, and, in many cases, a significant loss to your income as a direct result of the accident. Just how long does it take to receive compensation in a car accident claim?
The Average Time to Get Paid After a Georgia Car Accident
On average, you should expect it to take a few months to get compensation after a Georgia car accident. However, multiple factors can influence the timeline to compensation. Working with an attorney can help you understand how long it may take you, specifically, to get compensation for your losses and your injuries.
What Influences the Car Accident Settlement Timeline in Georgia?
As you consider how long it may take for you to get paid after a car accident settlement in Georgia, talk to an attorney about these factors and how they may influence your claim.
You may think that your recovery has little to do with your car accident settlement timeline. You sustained the injuries you sustained, and your doctor may be able to provide you with a reasonable estimate of how long you should take to recover and what medical costs you might be looking at on your road to recovery. However, your recovery can actually have a substantial influence on how much compensation you receive. Even minor injuries can have unexpected setbacks and complications that could change the procedures you need or the time you have to spend out of work. If you file your claim too soon, any claim for compensation may not include those possible setbacks, which means that you could end up missing out on the full compensation you deserve.
In the case of severe injuries, including those that may have lifelong complications, you may not want to wait until you have made a recovery before you move forward with your claim. Talk to your attorney about how long you should wait before moving forward with your claim.
Some Georgia car accident claims may involve a much longer investigative process than others. Sometimes, the claim is relatively straightforward. You can clearly see exactly who caused the accident and what factors may have contributed to the incident, so you can easily move forward with a claim against that party.
Other car accident claims, however, may be much less straightforward.
You may have a case in which it is difficult to determine which driver caused the accident, and both the insurance company and your lawyer may need to spend more time gathering relevant evidence, reviewing any footage of the accident, and talking to witnesses. You may have a case in which multiple entities share liability for the accident, as when the accident was caused by an employer on the clock at the time of the incident. In those cases, it may take much longer to fully investigate the cause of the accident.
In addition, the insurance company may want time to fully investigate the extent of your injuries, especially in cases where you may have sustained severe or life-altering injuries in the accident. The more serious your injuries, the more information the insurance company may want about them, and the longer it may take to investigate.
Once the insurance company has established liability for the accident and the extent of your injuries, you will often receive a settlement offer. An initial settlement offer may look good on the surface, but it often fails to contain the compensation you really deserve for your injuries. You do not want to accept a settlement offer that does not accurately reflect your needs. Talk to an attorney about how much compensation you should really expect after a Georgia car accident and how to best put together a counteroffer related to the compensation you really deserve for those injuries.
The negotiation process after a car accident can drag out much longer than you expect. While you and your lawyer work to maximize the compensation you can recover for your injuries, the insurance company may work to minimize the compensation it has to pay out as much as possible. You may go back and forth through several rounds of negotiation before you arrive at a settlement offer that actually seems to fit your needs. Each round of negotiation can add further time to your claim.
In some cases, you may not be able to reach a settlement agreement through negotiation. The insurance company may fail to present a reasonable offer that fits your needs, and you may end up fighting for the full compensation you deserve. As a last attempt to reach a settlement agreement before you go to court, you may attempt mediation. During the mediation process, you and the insurance company will sit down with a mediator. Each side will lay out its argument, then the mediator will offer advice and information about what the court would likely decide in a specific case. Often, you can reach a final agreement through mediation.
If you can reach a final agreement neither through negotiation nor mediation, you may have to take your Georgia car accident claim to court. While most car accident claims do settle out of court, sometimes, you will need the court to rule on final liability for the accident or the full compensation you deserve, based on the terms of the policy and the extent of your injuries. If you go to court, it can substantially extend the time needed to settle your claim, since you will need to wait for a court date.
Contact a Georgia Car Accident Lawyer for Help with Your Claim
If you suffered injuries in a Georgia car accident, an attorney can help streamline the claim process and increase the odds that you will get the compensation you expect for your injuries. Contact Cambre & Associates, LLC today to learn more.