How Long Can an Insurance Company Take to Settle a Personal Injury Claim?

When a client has been in a car accident and is seeking damages, a frequently asked question is, “How long will it take to settle my case?”.  That depends since there are two ways to resolve a personal injury case: settlement out of court or verdict at trial.

The first step towards settling a claim is to file a lawsuit and then decide if you want to settle out of court or go to trial Typically, both parties decide to settle out of court.  If one part refuses to settle out of court, the lawsuit will go to trial.

As a general rule, settlements tend to be resolved quicker than trials, one of the reasons why most parties choose former option.  So if you do decide to settle out of court, how much time can you expect this process to take?

Let’s start from the beginning since there is really no specified time period.  However, the following will give you a general idea of what to expect.

Whether the claimant has a claim against  an individual or a company, he has two years from the date of injury to file a lawsuit.  However, this time period can be longer or shorter depending on the facts of the case.  Any experienced attorney can help pinpoint time frames on a case-by-case basis.

Once the claimant files, the two insurance companies can spend up to two years trying to negotiate the claim out of court.  If the claimant wants to go to court, they must file a claim within that time frame.  Once the expiration date is reached and a lawsuit has not been filed, the opportunity to file passes forever.  If the entity at fault is a government agency, the claimant only has 180 days from the date of injury to file a claim.  This claim needs to be filed with the right representative of the government agency being sued and using a professional attorney is the best way to see that the claim in filed correctly and with the right person.  The deadlines put on claimants as to how much time they have to file a lawsuit is called “statues of limitations”.

As far as the amount of time it takes to settle a case in or out of court, there is no deadline.  Typically, the length of time can depend on many variables, including the complexity of the case, the extent of the injuries,  and whether or not both parties are cooperative.

To learn more about how long it could take to settle your personal injury claim, call us at 800-975-0080 and a friendly attorney will discuss your case with you during a free, no obligation consultation. Call us today!

Social Media’s Role in Car Accidents

Social media allows us to stay in contact with whoever we want whenever we want and where ever we want, and that means while we’re driving, too.  For the newest generations raised in a world dominated by social media sites like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, staying updated and keeping everyone else updated can become a constant obsession.  And this can be very dangerous, especially when people use these sites while driving.

You and Your Smartphone

With a smartphone at your fingertips you can check stock quotes at a red light, snap an Instagram picture of a funny named road sign, take a selfie while your driving, update your feed, and on and on.  When a driver does any of these actions while driving, he becomes a danger for everyone on the road.  Playing around on social media sites while driving is a major distraction.  In fact, anything that takes your eyes off the road for any longer than the time it takes to blink is a distraction. That goes for adjusting consul controls, turning around to talk to someone in the back seat, and fumbling to find your ringing phone.

The Evidence

Studies have found that the social media sites most visited by drivers are Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.  A study done by Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) concluded that there are thousands of drivers on the road using social media sites everyday.  The numbers get worse.  Of the thousands who frequently use social media while driving, many admitted they are looking at their smartphone 60 percent of the time rather than at the road.  Organizations are now calling on the government to make an action plan about educating the public on the consequences and risks involved when using a smartphone while driving.  To avoid the temptation of texting while driving, you can install an app that blocks testing.  Perhaps similar apps will be created when it comes to social media sites.

At Hastings & Hastings we understand that distracted drivers are a major cause of accidents, many of which could have been avoided.  When a person is using a phone to update their status on Facebook and gets into an accident, they are liable for damages. If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident due to a distracted driver using social media sites while driving, or using their phone in a different way that led to the accident, call us at 800-975-0080.  Our friendly team of attorneys will listen to your experience and answer all of your questions. Call us today for a free, no obligation consultation.