How Long Does a Car Accident Injury Settlement Take?
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Injured in a car accident in El Paso? The process of seeking medical treatment, filing a claim, receiving compensation, and making a full recovery can be very complex. It is often difficult to determine exactly how long it will take if this is your first time going through a personal injury settlement.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident, our El Paso car crash lawyers can help answer any questions you may have. Call Zinda Law Group today at (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation with an El Paso car wreck attorney.
The Different Parts of a Car Accident Injury Settlement
If you’ve recently been injured in an accident, you’ve most likely become aware of the complicated nature of recovering from and seeking compensation for a car accident. There are a variety of things that must take place to effectively receive a settlement.
These can include:
- Gathering witness testimonies;
- Exchanging insurance information with the opposing parties;
- Doing thorough research on which law firm to hire, and signing an agreement with them;
- Negotiating with insurance companies;
- Seeking appropriate treatment for all of your injuries, both mental and physical; and
- Appropriately documenting your pain and suffering to justify any multiplier or per diem additions to your settlement value.
The list above merely scratches the surface of what you must undertake to properly seek recovery for your damages. Doing this even when healthy can be burdensome, but carrying out these steps while injured can be completely overwhelming.
If you find yourself facing the above obligations, it is highly advisable to seek the help of a skilled El Paso personal injury attorney. At Zinda Law Group, our experienced car accident lawyers are dedicated to protecting your legal rights and helping you seek the maximum compensation you deserve. Our legal consultations are 100% free, and as one of our clients, you will pay absolutely nothing unless we win your case. That's our No Fee Guarantee.
How Long Will My Injury Settlement Take?
The short answer is typically 2 to 12 months, with especially complicated proceedings extending over a period of years. The long answer is that it comes down to which law firm you choose to hire.
There are certain firms that operate on a volume basis, meaning they choose to take on as many cases as they can handle with the goal of settling them all as quickly as possible. If you choose to hire one of these firms, you may find that, while your case was settled quickly, your attorneys did not put enough effort into your case to recover the maximum compensation you may have deserved.
On the other hand, there are law firms that may take more time on average to settle a case because they truly believe in fighting for their clients. As such, they are unafraid to go to court and are not seeking to simply settle every case as quickly as possible.
At Zinda Law Group, we believe every client is worth fighting for. We are unafraid to go to trial, and we will ensure to the best of our ability that your case will not be rushed and that we will help you seek every last penny of compensation you are owed.
What Can I Claim?
Car accident compensation generally involves claims for economic and non-economic losses you have incurred because of the accident. These losses are called ‘damages' and may include:
The cost of medical treatments and therapies needed due to injury in an accident may be used to calculate the value of your case. You should wait until you have reached the point of maximum recovery if possible to settle so that you can clearly understand the amount of medical costs incurred due to the accident.
Depending on how severe your car accident and injuries are, the cost of future medical care and rehabilitation may also affect the value of your claim.
The severity of your injuries may impact the amount of compensation you can seek. In some cases, like disfigurement, loss of the use of limbs, or the reduction in quality of life, the lifelong effects of these injuries may mean that you require more medical treatment and future medical care that those who have sustained minor injuries in a car crash.
If your car is damaged or totaled in the accident, you may be entitled to claim the cost to repair or the value of the vehicle itself.
If you are unable to work as a result of your injuries, you may be able to seek compensation for lost wages. This may also cover future lost earnings if you are going to be out of work for an extended period or unable to return to work at all.
If you are injured in a way that you need to alter your home to accommodate your impaired mobility, for example, you may be able to claim the cost of these household expenses.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering are a little more challenging to determine and speaking with your attorney will help you in understand how this may be calculated. Pain and suffering are generally claimed to compensate for physical and mental anguish suffered as a result of the accident.
Loss of Consortium
Loss of consortium damages may be claimed in some situations where a person suffers the loss of companionship of a spouse or significant other.
Punitive damages are intended to punish the person at fault if their actions are seen to be intentional.
How is an Injury Settlement Calculated?
The value of your compensation is typically calculated by combining your economic and non-economic damages, as well as some additional values such as for punitive damages in some cases.
Your economic damages are calculated by combining your financial losses and future expenses related to the accident, such as future medical care and other expenses.
Non-economic damages are more difficult to determine, and methods of calculation may vary. It is advisable to speak with your attorney to understand how damages may be calculated in your particular case.
Factors Affecting Average Car Accident Settlements
Many factors help decide how much a settlement is worth. However, these factors are different for every case.
Liability is a significant factor in determining a settlement. Your attorney will investigate to determine the facts and discover who is liable, or at fault, and if the liable party was engaged in negligent behavior that contributed to the accident, such as driving while intoxicated or distracted by a cell phone. Determining liability will allow your attorney to pursue the maximum settlement you are entitled to, so it is crucial to gather and record evidence from the accident to help your attorney in making this determination.
The monetary damage to your vehicle determines the amount of property damage. Property damage includes the cost of any repairs to damage that occurred as a result of the accident. If your vehicle is deemed too damaged to repair, the amount will be calculated by determining the fair market value of the vehicle, which takes into consideration what similar vehicles of the same make and model are worth.
Your medical expenses are factored into the settlement, and this includes any medical transportation (i.e., ambulance), emergency room visits, visits to doctors and specialists, treatments and procedures, medication and therapies that are a result of the accident. You should wait until you have reached your highest point of recovery, or Maximum Medical Improvement, to determine the scope of medical costs more accurately. However, some cases, especially those involving recurring treatments for a chronic condition, may be entitled to a settlement that also takes into account the cost of future treatments for an injury sustained in the accident.
Loss of wages and/or earning potential
If you are unable to go to work due to an injury suffered during the accident, this can be factored into your settlement to recover the wages lost due to time off from work. If you have suffered a severe injury that permanently prevents you from performing the functions required in your work, this loss of earning potential will also be used to calculate your settlement and takes into consideration the type of work done, skills needed, and how your injuries impact the performance thereof.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering compensation is a more subjective factor. Every case is different, and a variety of things can affect compensation. In general, compensation for pain and suffering is awarded to compensate for physical and mental pain and anguish suffered due to the accident. The amount of compensation varies from case to case, as every situation involves different injuries, combinations of injuries, and different people may react differently to the kind of trauma suffered in an accident. The compensation for minor cuts and bruising will be different than the compensation for a cracked rib, or a spinal injury, for example.
Many factors may affect how quickly you receive compensation. Your lawyer will investigate to determine the facts of the case and details of the accident to determine fault. This may include obtaining police reports, obtaining witness testimonies, and obtaining any video footage that may exist.
It is also important that you have made a full recovery as possible, also known as Maximum Medical Improvement. Like every case, every injury is different, and some may require more time to recover from fully. It is crucial that you reach this point, however, so that your attorney may have the most accurate details regarding your medical costs as possible.
Negotiating with insurance companies can also take time. They will often dispute facts and evidence presented and may seek to drag out the negotiations or delay payment. Your attorney will negotiate these obstacles and fight to ensure that you seek the settlement to which you are entitled.
How long do I have to file a claim?
In Texas, the statute of limitations to file a personal injury case is two years from the date of the injury. Consult an attorney as soon as possible after your accident. This not only ensures your case is filed before the statute of limitations for your case expires, but it also allows your attorney to investigate your claims while evidence is still readily available, as witnesses may forget details over time, and potentially negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf.
How to Claim Compensation
1. Seek Medical Treatment
After being involved in an accident, you should immediately seek medical treatment. Seeking treatment immediately after the accident ensures you get the medical attention you need as soon as possible. Seeking medical care immediately after the accident also provides documentation of the injuries you suffered as a result of the crash. This will help your attorney prove that the injuries you suffered were caused by the crash, which is an essential component of securing a settlement.
2. Document Evidence
It is vital after an accident to document and gather as much information and evidence as possible. You should obtain a copy of the police report and collect any witness information available. The details of the accident are critical to helping your attorney prove fault. You should also keep detailed records of any injuries you received, as well as any treatment or medication you have received as a result of injuries caused by the accident. This will help your attorney pursue a settlement that covers these expenses. It is important to do this as quickly as possible, as some evidence such as those made by police may be more difficult to obtain, as they deal with many car accidents and may forget specific details regarding your accident over time.
3. Consult an Attorney
After seeking medical attention and documenting any evidence available, you should immediately consult an experienced El Paso car accident attorney. An attorney will help you seek the settlement you are entitled to.
Insurance companies may try to avoid or delay paying an individual, but your attorney can help you seek the compensation to which you may be entitled. Your attorney will investigate the accident and find as much evidence as possible to support your claim. Your El Paso car wreck lawyer will use this information to negotiate with the insurance companies for you and secure your settlement.
Your attorney will investigate the accident, procure evidence, and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. They will use evidence obtained from the investigation into the accident to help prove fault, an essential first step in seeking your settlement.
Next, your attorney will use records detailing the extent and scope of your injuries, lost wages, loss of earning potential, and pain and suffering to negotiate with the insurance company.
These negotiations will involve offers by the insurance company, which may be countered, and this process will continue until a settlement is reached, or in some cases, if the insurer refuses to settle, or is not offering you a fair settlement, the case may be taken to trial. If your case goes to trial, your lawyer will represent you and seek the settlement you deserve.
Get Help from El Paso Car Accident Attorneys
At Zinda Law Group, our car collision attorneys understand how overwhelming it can be to seek compensation from a car wreck-related injury.
We have helped thousands of car crash victims get their lives back on track after suffering an injury, and we have the knowledge and resources necessary to help you pursue compensation for medical bills, property damage, lost income due to missed work, pain and suffering, and much more.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto collision, call us at (800) 863-5312 for a 100% free consultation with one of our El Paso car accident lawyers. Meetings with attorneys by appointment only.