One of the most common questions we receive from clients is, how long does it take to get a settlement check from a car accident?
The length of time it takes to receive your check depends on different factors.
First, you must successfully resolve the case before the defendant’s insurance company starts the process of issuing a settlement check.
Every case is different, which means the timeline to resolve your matter will vary compared to another person’s case.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Settlement from a Car Accident?
Many variables impact how long it takes to settle a car accident claim. Hiring a skilled car accident lawyer will help streamline the process.
Insurance companies typically take advantage of unsuspecting accident victims by offering you less than your case is worth or denying your claim outright.
That’s why it’s essential to hire a lawyer to represent you. Here’s a look at some factors that impact how quickly your case might resolve.
You’ve Reached Maximum Medical Improvement or Finished Treating
Generally speaking, before an insurance company considers resolving your car accident liability claim, you need to finish treating or reach what’s known as maximum medical improvement (MMI).
MMI is the point where you have recovered either fully or as much as your doctor expects you to.
Someone with relatively minor soft tissue injuries might stop treatment in two months and have no residual pain complaints. Someone with severe injuries may require years of ongoing treatment.
If you try to resolve your case too quickly and need additional treatment, the defendant’s insurance company is under no obligation to reimburse you.
You can’t return and ask for further compensation once you settle the case and receive your check.
If future treatment is a possibility, your doctor needs to outline that and estimate costs so you can include them in your demand to the at-fault party.
You Need to Wait for Medical Records and Other Support for Damages
No insurance company will extend a potential settlement offer without proof of your damages. You can’t tell the claims adjuster you treated for months and lost weeks of work without any evidence.
You need to submit all support if you want the defendant’s insurance company to consider settling. Obtaining records from physicians, hospitals, employers, etc., can take time.
This process could take days or months, depending on the providers.
Submitting Your Demand and Waiting for a Response
Once you have all your documentation and support, you must submit a demand package to the defendant’s insurance company.
A demand package outlines the amount of money you’re asking for and why. The insurance company will need to evaluate your demand before deciding to make an offer or deny your claim.
This process could take days or even a month in some cases.
Filing a Lawsuit
There’s no guarantee your case will resolve through settlement negotiations after you send a demand package to the at-fault party’s insurance.
Suppose the insurance adjuster says their liability investigation reveals you are the primary cause of the accident or they disagree with your claim for damages.
In that case, you could be forced to file a lawsuit. Filing a lawsuit doesn’t mean your case will go to trial. It could be months or over a year until you successfully resolve it.
However, it could prompt some insurance companies to settle right away as they know you are serious.
How Long Does It Take to Get the Money Back from a Car Accident Settlement?
Once your case resolves, receiving your money shouldn’t take long. The insurance company will send you a release of all claims to sign and return before issuing the check.
If you return it right away, insurance companies are often quick to send the settlement check so they can close their file.
Your attorney will review the release language and ensure no issues or terms need to be changed.
The settlement check will go to your attorney’s law firm. The lawyer deposits it in an escrow account. Any liens, such as medical liens, must be paid first.
The attorney will also deduct their fees and expenses. Once everything is complete, they will issue a check to you directly.
Depending on the number of liens, the whole process can take a few weeks or even a couple of months.
Contact Our Colorado Car Accident Lawyers Today
Rather than searching online to attempt to determine how long it may take to settle your car accident claim, contact the skilled legal team at Tenge Law Firm, LLC.
We specialize in auto accident cases and have decades of experience assisting injured car accident victims like you.
We can help you determine how long it might take to resolve your car accident claim. Contact our office today to schedule a free initial consultation.