When you’ve been injured in an motor vehicle accident caused by another driver, you have some initial options, including:
- Accept a quick (and likely “low-ball”) settlement from the insurance company, or
- Hire an experienced attorney to represent you and your best interests
In some cases, taking the initial settlement offer could be your best option. However, it’s highly recommended to consult with a personal injury attorney prior to making that decision, and hopefully before deciding to “DIY” your claim in the first place.
Although there are a plethora of factors that can affect the timeline of your particular case, we’ll lay out the 5 most common factors below:
1. The type and severity of your auto accident-related injuries
Recovery for some injuries may involve medical treatment over the course of a few months, with 100% resolution of the pain and injuries afterward. Other injuries may require lengthy medical facility stays, surgeries, recovery from broken bones or internal injuries, or long-term medical treatment. Some auto injury victims never fully recover.
In order to receive appropriate financial compensation for your losses, it’s important that your medical damages be clearly and objectively established. A lower measure of damages may lead to your case being settled within a few months’ time. On the other hand, some cases may require a lawsuit which can take years to resolve.
In order to understand the medical costs that are associated with your case, it is essential to:
- Receive the medical care that you need to recover, and
- Allow your medical treatments to fully run their course
Take caution in settling before your medical providers advise that you’ve reached maximum medical improvement. Otherwise, it may be impossible to recover compensation for any future medical treatment and other related damages.
In some cases, a full recovery may take several months or years. In others, a full recovery may not be possible. Your auto accident attorney should address your specific circumstances and options with you. The extent of your injuries and recovery time will impact the time needed to resolve your case.
2. The receipt of all medical bills and records
Once you have been released from treatment by your medical provider, it typically takes some time to receive all medical records and bills related to the injuries you suffered in the auto accident.
Medical records are a key component in your case. These records are typically proof of the physical injuries that you have suffered and the treatment that you needed in order to make a full recovery. The records and medical bills also aid in calculating your damages.
It can be difficult and may take weeks or months to obtain all relevant medical bills and records. Any unnecessary delay in receiving these records and bills from the medical facilities could cause delay to resolving your personal injury claim.
3. The case load of your car accident attorney
Another factor is how busy your attorney is with other cases. A higher case load can lead to delayed movement and, therefore, delayed settlement or award.
This is something that many auto injury victims are unaware of when hiring a personal injury attorney. Don’t be afraid to ask about the average time that the attorney takes to resolve his or her personal injury cases after medical treatment has concluded.
At Baskerville Law, we believe in keeping our case load reasonable, so that we're able to give each client’s case the attention and priority that it deserves. When our case load is heavy, we do not accept additional cases until we can give current and new cases proper attention.
We believe that this can make a large impact in the time spent from initial consultation to recovery of financial compensation.
4. The insurance company involved and workload of the insurance adjuster
The information that we submit to the insurance company can be very dense and lengthy, and it can take several weeks for the insurance company to fully review the information.
While our team closely monitors the time that it takes for the insurance company to respond, a more complex claim will likely require more time to review. Additionally, some insurance companies have multiple levels of approval, often if the claim is above a certain dollar amount.
5. Any potential “problems” in your case
Every case is different and sometimes there are circumstances that can hold up the proceedings. For example, there may be questions around liability. This is why it's so important to call the police to the scene of the car accident and file a police report.
The insurance company may also question claimed damages, including whether the negligence of the other driver caused your injuries or if they were pre-existing.
There are many complexities involved in an auto injury case, and these are just a few of the common factors that impact how long it can take to resolve your claim. If you were injured in an accident that was not your fault, it is likely worth your time to reach out to a reputable attorney.
For a free, no-obligation case evaluation from Baskerville Law, call or text us at (505) 247-2774 to get started. We serve auto injury victims in Albuquerque and throughout New Mexico.