How Long Does a New York Car Accident Case Take?

Waiting for a car accident case to settle can be a frustrating process. You have incurred physical pain due to your injuries, you have lost income because the accident caused you to miss work, medical bills have piled up, and you have had financial stress for which you simply did not sign up. Meanwhile, you are asking yourself, “Why is my car accident settlement taking so long?”  

Tenacity and Patience are Key to Maximum Settlements

Sadly, patience is required for you to receive a fair settlement. While each case is unique and it is impossible to predict precisely how long your case will take, we know that the process is usually a lengthy one. Being patient and helping your legal team work the case in the right way will lead to the best result for you.

The Importance of Reaching Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) Before You Settle

One of the main reasons that cases take time is our need to fully understand your injuries and how they will affect your life in the future.  The full extent of your injury may not be known right away. Often, it takes quite a while for you to heal to the point where we know how much pain and what kinds of limitations you will be left with in the future.  Surgeries, therapy, treatments, tests, and procedures also lengthen the time it takes to obtain a prognosis about your future. 

Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) is when you have reached the point in your recovery where your doctors agree that you will not improve any further. Generally, we need to wait until you reach MMI before settling.   Only then will we know the full extent of your future pain, limitations, lost wages and medical expenses, and be able to put a value on your injuries.  In some cases, it may take more than a year for you to reach MMI.  

Once You Settle, You Have Settled

This sounds pretty obvious, but it can’t be said enough.  Once you settle with an insurance company, even if you find out later that your injuries are worse than you thought, you will not be able to go back and negotiate. The case is closed. 

As a result, it is vital to fully understand your injuries before settling with insurance companies. You may need ongoing medical care or may not be able to return to the job or career that you once pursued. Knowing all the facts about your injury protects you from an unfair insurance settlement, even when the car accident settlement is taking too long.

The Larger Your Case, The Longer it will Take

Generally speaking, the larger your case, the harder the fight. Insurance companies will want to hold onto their money as long as they can.  Defendants and their lawyers will also fight amongst themselves about who is at fault, and larger cases usually don’t settle until trial gets closer.  All of this takes time.  

Litigation Takes Time

Sometimes, insurance companies will not settle your case without extensive litigation.  They may disagree with us about the value of your claim, or they may think that their client isn’t at fault.  Whenever this happens, we will start a lawsuit and fight.  But this takes time.  If we can get your case settled for the right amount of money early, we will do so.  But, if we can’t, we will fight it out to reach the right result and justice for you and your family. Of course, the harder the fight, the longer it will take.  

Representation Cannot Be Stressed Enough

A car accident is never expected and can cause many changes and complex challenges. While a settlement cannot restore the things you have lost because of the accident, it can ease the financial burdens accompanying it. Having a New York car accident attorney by your side from the days following the accident until the settlement check is signed is crucial to getting the compensation you deserve. At Kammholz Law PLLC, Personal Injury Lawyers, we have the compassion, the resources, the skills, the experience, and the knowledge to see your case through to a successful finish.