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Why Is My Car Accident Settlement Taking So Long?

Many drivers in Virginia wonder why their car accident settlement is taking so long after a collision. Numerous factors can increase the time it takes to resolve a claim, including slow response times from the insurance company and complicated issues with liability. 

A Richmond car accident lawyer from the Pendleton Law Team can keep your claim moving. We focus on aggressively negotiating for clients after a collision and may push for a lawsuit if the insurance company engages in delaying tactics. 

Find out more about your legal situation by calling or completing our online contact form. 

How Long Should a Car Accident Settlement Take?

It’s essential for drivers to understand that the settlement process can take significant time after a collision. In normal circumstances, negotiations with the insurance company may take months. Sometimes, they last for over a year. 

We know it can feel like the settlement process isn’t moving quickly, so keeping this information in mind can help you as your Richmond personal injury lawyer collects evidence and negotiates with the insurance company. 

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What Factors Influence the Length of Settlement Negotiations?

Multiple factors can impact the time it takes to settle a car accident claim. These factors include:

Frequency of Communication

A large part of the negotiation process involves waiting for another party to respond to a message. The insurance company may delay responses to settlement proposals, for example, extending the length of negotiations. 

You can reduce some of the length of negotiations by responding promptly to any calls or emails from your lawyer. 

The Investigative Process

Your lawyer will need to investigate what happened and collect evidence to back up your claim during a process called ‘discovery.’ This process can take time as it may require your lawyer to:

  • Find and interview witnesses 
  • Wait for a copy of a police accident report
  • Request access to surveillance video of the accident

Additionally, the other party also gets time to investigate and may request information from your lawyer. All of these steps can increase the time it takes to settle your claim. 

Disagreements During Negotiations

The at-fault party may disagree about numerous subjects during settlement negotiations. Disputes can range from disagreements about what each driver did before the collision to the weather at the time of the crash. 

Resolving Medicaid, Medicare, TriCare, and other Liens

If a settlement is reached and you agree to it, we are legally obligated to clear all liens associated with your case, including those from Medicare and Medicaid. Government agencies are typically slow to process any paperwork, but in Virginia, the issue is even more complex for clients who have Medicaid. 

In 2018, the legislature in the Commonwealth of Virginia expanded Medicaid to over 700,000 individuals but did not add additional funding in the budget to expand the administrative need to process claims for all of the additional insureds. This resulted in a backlog of individuals who are waiting to receive their final disbursements. The best course of action at this stage is to contact your legislator to urge them to make them aware of how it is affecting their constituents and urge them to enact change.

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Is It Faster to File a Car Accident Lawsuit?

Sometimes, drivers consider suing the at-party party after a collision, especially if negotiations with the insurance company feel slow. While you can file a lawsuit, generally, this increases the amount of time it takes to resolve your claim. 

However, your attorney may recommend a lawsuit if negotiations with the insurance company fail or the company refuses to acknowledge all of your losses. We’ll stick with you every step of the way. 

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What Can You do to Speed Up a Car Accident Claim?

Knowing what to do when involved in a car accident may help expedite the negotiation process. We recommend that you:

  • Immediately notify the police of an accident
  • Take pictures of the accident scene, damage to your vehicle, and your injuries
  • Seek prompt medical care for all injuries, including concussions 
  • Reach out to a car accident lawyer for help 

Taking these steps can establish that your accident happened when, where, and how you say it did. Getting fast medical care provides official documentation that the accident caused your injuries and establishes your expenses. 

Contacting a lawyer right away allows us to promptly begin the legal process and gives you access to personalized advice about your next steps. Your lawyer can also help you avoid common mistakes that could slow down your claim. 

For example, your lawyer may advise against admitting fault for the accident or posting on social media. Following your lawyer’s advice can help you avoid decisions that can extend the legal process. 

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How Long does It Take to Get Compensation After You Settle?

Our team focuses on handling settlement negotiations in a timely fashion. It takes some time to receive compensation for your losses once both parties agree to a settlement. 

The exact time will depend on how you choose to receive compensation and internal regulations from the insurance company. If you have concerns about how long you’ve been waiting for your compensation, you can reach out to our firm for an update.

Discuss the Timeline for Your Car Accident Settlement Today

Why is your car accident settlement taking so long? Factors like liens, disagreements about what happened during the accident and communication delays can slow down negotiations.

However, even average settlement talks can take months or years to resolve. It truly depends on many factors such as the severity of injuries, the amount of time it takes the injured individual to achieve maximum medical improvement, any liens associated with the settlement, if the case goes to trial, and more.

You can contact the Pendleton Law Team for help throughout your claim. We’ll keep you up-to-date as we negotiate and use strategies to minimize insurance company delays. Call or contact us online to learn more. 

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