How Long Does it Take to Settle an Illinois Car Accident Case Involving Injuries?
Anywhere from 90 days to over one year, depending greatly on the specific circumstances and factors individual to your case. While some car accident cases can be resolved directly with the at-fault driver’s insurance company, other cases must proceed to litigation in order for victims to recover full and fair compensation for their damages.
Accident-related expenses you are entitled to recover from an at-fault party under Illinois law include medical bills, property damage to your vehicle, lost wages, compensation for pain and disability, and in the case of a fatality, wrongful death damages paid to the surviving family.
The timing of any potential settlement in a car accident case usually hinges on factors including:
- Insurance companies involved
- Liability—is there a dispute as to who caused the accident?
- Severity of injuries sustained
- Medical testimony to support injuries
- Degree of permanency related to injury
Naturally, the most high-stakes cases involving serious accidents causing catastrophic damage and injuries will be more likely to drag out before a settlement is negotiated or go to litigation.
If a case can be resolved with an auto insurance company, it might be possible to come to an agreed settlement within 90 days of discharge from medical care. In accident cases involving litigation, the case may take more than one year to make its way through the litigation process to trial or final disposition.
Why You Should Resist the Temptation to Settle too Soon After an Accident
Frequently, auto insurance companies will reach out and offer to settle your case soon after an accident in order to reduce their exposure and get a file closed quickly. For a person injured in an accident, such an offer may be tempting, particularly if you are faced with mounting medical bills and other expenses. However, a quick settlement of a car accident case with an insurance company is rarely in your best interest. These types of speedy, lowball settlements usually indicate that decision makers have not assessed or accurately measured all the elements contributing to your total damages, such as past and future medical costs and lost income.
Further, once a car accident case is settled with a release signed by you—the injured— you will never be able to recover any additional monetary damages, regardless of how severe your injuries ultimately turn out to be or when you become aware of their severity.
At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC, our goal is to get you the maximum compensation possible for injuries you have suffered in an Illinois car accident. From the time you retain our auto accident firm to represent you, we begin the process of investigating your case in order to establish that the other driver’s negligence caused the collision. We also collect medical records and bills so we can evaluate the full extent of your injuries.
As you progress through your medical care and eventual discharge, we continually collect and update your records. Frequently, we meet with your physician and request that they prepare a report documenting your injuries and any impact they might have on you in the future.
While this can be a lot of work, taking these steps enables our firm to resolve cases for our clients in Chicago and across Illinois in a timely manner directly with an insurance company.
Our experience handling thousands of auto-related injury cases helps us to recognize when an insurer is under-valuing your case. In these situations, we will get a lawsuit filed and actively litigate your case so we can get you the compensation you deserve.
Regardless of the complexity of your case or the severity of your injuries, you can rest assured that the Chicago car accident attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers will take the steps necessary to ensure the full value of your case is achieved via settlement or litigation. Contact our office today for a free evaluation of your Illinois auto accident case.