One of the biggest worries of anyone hurt in a car accident is whether their insurance company will accept the full value of their claim. Once a Miami personal injury lawyer assures them that they have a solid case, the next question is, “when do I collect my car accident settlement?”
Your worry is understandable. You keep getting medical care bills. While hospitals will wait until they find out that you are filing a car accident claim, the grace period they offer varies from case to case. Thus, while trying to recover from your injuries, you are stressed by phone calls and letters reminding you of unpaid bills. It is natural to wish to collect your settlement as soon as possible.
But, as an experienced Miami car accident lawyer can tell you, being in a hurry will not help your case. If healthcare providers become insistent, the lawyer can talk to them and assure them that you will get your compensation and they will be paid.
Florida Is a No-Fault State, but This Does Not Make the Claims Process Simpler
Florida is a no-fault state that uses a pure comparative negligence principle in personal injury cases. This means that after a car accident, each driver will file a claim and collect the settlement from their respective insurers.
It also means that everyone is eligible to file a claim, irrespective of their proportion of fault. However, the car accident settlement amount they may collect is the total value of their damages reduced by their proportion of fault.
The fact that they are dealing with their insurer gives a lot of accident victims a false sense of security. Surely, they’ve always paid their premiums on time, so the insurance company should also pay for their claim promptly.
In reality, every insurance company in existence cares about one thing only: their profit. Thus, without a clear strategy and an experienced Miami car accident lawyer, you may wait a long time and receive a reduced settlement than you expected.
What Are the Factors that Impact the Timeframe of a Car Accident Settlement?
You may have read online that it takes between four and six weeks until you collect the car accident settlement from your insurer in Florida. This period of time is probably a median obtained by analyzing a number of cases. Thus, it is not a clear baseline you can rely on when it comes to your own case.
Every car accident claim is different and various factors come into play. Here are some of the most important elements that may decide when you get to collect the settlement.
1. Your Proportion of Fault
There will always be a disagreement between you and an insurance agent with regard to your proportion of fault for the accident. Remember, they will reduce your claim amount by this percentage – so it is in their interest to inflate it as much as they can.
Thus, your Miami car accident lawyer will have to analyze your case, present evidence and negotiate with the insurer with respect to this percentage. If the difference is significant – they say you were 50% at fault, but you claim you were only 20% at fault – these negotiations will not conclude quickly.
2. Proving the Cause of Your Injuries
Even if you are dealing with your own insurance, you still have to prove that you suffered injuries and economic damages as a result of the car accident. Unfortunately, in some cases, it is difficult to prove the cause of the injuries because the accident victim waited until the next day to seek medical care.
In many cases, the adrenaline rush after an accident will prevent you from feeling pain. But, in a few hours or early the next day, you will be in pain. But this time frame gives an insurance adjuster reasonable cause to doubt the source of your injuries.
Maybe you walked away from the crash with barely a few scratches, went home, and then got hurt while doing a home improvement project. Of course, a lawyer will show that the medical report indicates that your injuries are consistent with your description of the car accident.
But this further complication only makes the claim process longer.
3. The Total Value of Your Damages
Insurance companies tend to disagree and refuse to settle when the value of your economic and non-economic damages is very high. This is usually the case if you suffered severe injuries, such as:
- Multiple bone fractures
- Spine injuries
- Head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Internal organ damage.
These injuries require surgery, a long time spent in the hospital, and then rehabilitation and physical therapy. Thus, your medical care bills will be very high and the insurer may try to dispute some of the expenses as ineligible.
However, an experienced Miami car accident lawyer will fight for your rights up to the maximum coverage of your policy.
4. The Available Evidence
Evidence is crucial in any car accident case if you want to collect the settlement check in the shortest possible time. Faced with clear evidence, an insurance adjuster will understand that they have no legal grounds to dispute your claim.
This is why it is essential to provide your lawyer with:
- The accident report prepared by the police
- Photos and videos you took at the accident scene
- Witness testimonies
- Medical records.
Together, these pieces of evidence will show:
- How the accident happened
- How much you are at fault
- That you suffered injuries due to the accident.
With these points clearly established, your claim will settle in a reasonable time and you will collect your car accident settlement.
5. Whether Your Case Goes to Court
There are two instances when a car accident case may go to court. One is when the insurer refuses to settle. The other is when your damages exceed the insurance coverage and you need to sue the at-fault driver for the difference.
In this case, you are likely looking at months until the case is heard and the court issues the judgment in your favor.
Bring Your Case to an Experienced Miami Car Accident Law Firm!
Our goal is to help any accident victim settle their claim as quickly as possible and collect the settlement check. However, we will not hurry up at the expense of the maximum amount you are eligible to collect.
We advise you to be patient and trust your lawyer. We fight for every client with dedication, experience, and professionalism. So, schedule a free case review with one of our personal injury lawyers in Miami as soon as possible after your accident.