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How Long Does a Car Accident Settlement Take in Washington?

  1. How long does a car accident settlement take in Washington?
  2. Factors that determine how long your car accident case may take
  3. Filing a personal injury claim in Washington
  4. Common pitfalls to avoid after filing your car accident claim
  5. Choose Herschensohn Law to help settle your car accident case

How long does a car accident settlement take in Washington?

how long does a car accident settlement take

car accident can be a life-altering event—and an expensive one. It’s incredibly frustrating when the bills are piling up, you’re ready to move on, and you still have no idea when the insurance company is going to come through with a fair settlement.

Unfortunately, there’s no guaranteed schedule for how long it will take to settle a car accident claim. Some are settled in a few weeks. Some take more time. It’s important to understand that faster isn’t always better—especially if the insurance company is refusing to offer you anything close to what your claim is worth. At Herschensohn Law, we’re ready to use our knowledge of the law and aggressive legal tactics to help you get maximum compensation as efficiently as possible.

Read on to learn more about the factors that can determine how long your case may take and what our firm can do to help.

how long does a car accident settlement take

Factors that determine how long your car accident case may take

why is my car accident settlement taking so long

Because every case is different, it’s impossible to say with complete certainty how long it will take for you to settle your claim and take home a check.

However, the following factors tend to have the greatest impact in most cases:

  • The extent of your injuries. Minor or moderate injuries that fully heal and only keep you out of work for a short amount of time tend to be easier to settle. More severe injuries, especially those that lead to extensive medical bills and cause ongoing issues, tend to take longer—not only because they cost more to treat, but also because future needs are often more difficult to calculate.
  • The size of your claim.No insurance company is going to be thrilled about the idea of paying out a six or seven-figure settlement. The more they stand to lose, the more carefully the claims adjuster will examine the case and look for any opportunities to draw out the process and question your version of events.
  • The details of the crash. If the other driver was clearly in the wrong, your case is likely to settle faster. But if there’s any gray area about who is to blame, it may be much harder for both sides to agree on a fair settlement.
  • The quality of your legal advice and representation.Almost any case could be settled in a matter of just a few weeks to a few months, by simply taking whatever offer the insurance company gives you. However, this approach will almost always be a mistake in the long run, as it can easily leave you with far less compensation than you need (and no way to get more once you’ve agreed to accept the insurance company’s offer).

A skilled personal injury attorney will help you find the right balance between settling your case quickly, but also making sure that the compensation offered is reasonable, fair, and will meet your long-term needs.

RELATED: How Does My Attorney Determine the Value of My Car Accident Claim?

why is my car accident settlement taking so long

People we’ve helped

Filing a personal injury claim in Washington

how long does a car accident settlement take

If you’ve been in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, and you believe you are entitled to compensation to cover your damages, the first step is filing a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.

If the driver is uninsured, or their insurance coverage is not large enough to cover the extent of your injuries, you may also need to file a claim with your own uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) insurance provider.

At this point, a claims adjuster for the insurance company will be assigned to the case. Be wary of this person. Their goal is to settle your case as cheaply as they can, and not to ensure you get fair compensation. Do not admit to any fault, provide any statements, or give them any information besides the basic facts of the accident. Then, contact an experienced attorney as soon as you can.

RELATED: Dealing with Car Insurance Companies

how long does a car accident settlement take

Common pitfalls to avoid after filing your car accident claim

car accident settlement

Here are some common pitfalls to avoid if you want to achieve a resolution that’s both fair and (relatively) quick.

  • Not hiring a car accident attorney. With so many free resources available, many people attempt to handle their personal injury cases on their own. However, this can lead to costly mistakes, as well as slowing down the process. An attorney can not only give you excellent legal advice, but handle the necessary paperwork, conduct a careful investigation, and negotiate with the insurer to keep the process moving and give you peace of mind.

The best time to seek a free consultation with a car accident lawyer is always as soon as possible—ideally even before you decide to make a claim.

  • Posting about the accident and your claim or lawsuit on social media. Ideally, you should only speak to your doctors and your lawyer about your case. Insurance adjusters can (and often do) attempt to use public posts or statements on social media as evidence against you.
  • Delaying medical care. Always go see a doctor as soon as possible after an accident if you have any symptoms—even minor ones. If you delay medical treatment, the insurance company may try to argue that you are exaggerating your condition or that you are attempting to seek compensation for injuries unrelated to the crash.
  • Not waiting until your injuries have sufficiently healed before accepting a settlement. The long-term effects of even minor auto accidents may not be clear for days, weeks, or sometimes even months later. Always wait until you have been through treatment and reached maximum medical improvement before accepting a settlement. You want to have as clear a picture of your long-term medical costs as possible before agreeing to anything.
  • Taking the first settlement offer. Again, the insurance company is concerned about its own financial interests. The first offer you get will almost always be less than what your case is worth, and potentially much less than what you actually need to get back on your feet. The insurance company is hoping the financial pressure will get to you and you won’t fight to protect your interests. Don’t take the bait.
  • Choosing quick over fair. We understand that waiting to get compensation can cause stress. But agreeing to a settlement that won’t even cover your long-term costs will only cause more trouble later. In the meantime, your lawyer can file a Letter of Protection with your healthcare provider, which guarantees that medical bills will be prioritized for reimbursement after any settlement payout or jury verdict.
car accident settlement

Choose Herschensohn Law to help settle your car accident case

Filing Your Car Accident Claim

We understand how much pressure you’re under after suffering an accident. Unfortunately, insurance companies will often attempt to exploit that pressure and get you to take a bad deal.

You deserve fair compensation and you deserve it as soon as possible. When the insurance company doesn’t want to pay up and is dragging out the process, contact Attorney Zach Herschensohn.

Our law firm has won millions in settlements and jury verdicts for people hurt in Washington crashes and works hard to make the process as quick, smooth, and efficient as possible for our clients—while at the same time fighting for the maximum compensation they deserve.

Contact Zach Herschensohn today for a no-risk free consultation. He will listen to you, ask questions, and give you his honest feedback about whether you have a case—and if so, how much it could be worth. There are no up-front costs, and if we take you as a client, you won’t owe us anything unless we win.

Contact our office in Kent, WA today by calling (206) 899-0998, or filling out our simple online contact form.

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.

Filing Your Car Accident Claim

Our results speak for themselves

CONTACT HERSCHENSOHN LAW

Hurt? Let our law firm handle the details

When you request your free consultation, Kent personal injury attorney Zach Herschensohn will listen to you, answer your questions, lay out your legal options, and give you down-to-earth legal advice.

When you work with our law office, there are no obligations, hidden fees, or fine print. It’s that simple.

Request your free case evaluation

We’ll meet with you to help you understand your legal options and what to do next.

Enter your contact information:

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

We’re proud to fight—and win—for injured people in Kent, Washington. View our case results to learn more.

References

  1. Texas Department of Transportation. (2020, April 15). Texas Motor Vehicle Traffic Crash Facts Calendar Year 2019. https://ftp.txdot.gov/pub/txdot-info/trf/crash_statistics/2019/01.pdf
  2. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (2019, December). Fatality Facts 2018, Large Trucks. Retrieved from https://www.iihs.org/topics/fatality-statistics/detail/largetrucks

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as
legal advice on any subject.