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How Long Does It Take to Settle a Car Accident Claim?

Gama Law Firm LLC Jan. 12, 2024

At Gama Law Firm, we understand that one of the most pressing questions after a car accident is, "How long will it take to settle my claim?" It's a valid question, and while the answer varies, we're here to give you an overview of the process and timeline based on our experiences as Colorado car accident lawyers

Your Options for Seeking Compensation

If you're seeking compensation from another driver after a crash in Colorado, you can go about it in one of two ways: 

  1. You could negotiate a settlement outside of court with the insurance company representing the at-fault driver.  

  1. You could sue and convince a court to award you compensation. 

Most personal injury and car accident claims are settled outside of court. In fact, only 4-5% of these cases ever make it to trial, which is ideal because a settlement is almost always a quicker way to resolve your claim compared with a lawsuit.  

After securing an auto accident settlement through negotiations, the insurer for the at-fault driver will then pay you the money. In exchange, you release the insurer (and the covered driver) from any further liability arising out of the accident. Insurance companies will typically complete these payouts within a few weeks of settling.  

How Long Does It Take to Reach a Settlement?

In most cases, car accident claims are typically settled within 1-2 months after negotiations begin. However, some may take up to a year or more. The time it takes to settle a car accident claim through negotiations can vary greatly depending on the specifics of your case. Some factors that can influence the timeline include: 

  • The extent of your injuries: If you have suffered serious injuries, it may take longer to negotiate a fair settlement amount. 

  • The complexity of the case: If there are multiple parties involved or if liability is disputed, it may take longer to reach a settlement. 

  • Your willingness to negotiate (and the insurer's willingness to settle): If you are willing to accept a lower settlement amount, the process can be expedited. Likewise, if the insurance company is eager to settle, the process may move quickly. 

You can always consult with an experienced attorney to get a clearer picture of how long your specific case could take to settle.  

An Overview of the Process

Every car accident claim is unique, so there isn't a catch-all answer. However, there are some common steps and factors that can influence the timeline.  

Reporting the Accident

The first step in the process is reporting the accident to your insurance company and the at-fault driver's insurance company. You will need to provide a statement about what happened, along with any evidence you have collected (such as photos or witness statements). This initial report can help determine who was at fault and the severity of the damages. 

Understanding Your Statute of Limitations

Every state has a statute of limitations for personal injury cases, which is the amount of time you have to file a claim. In Colorado, the statute of limitations for car accident claims is generally three years from the date of the accident. There are certain exceptions to this statute, so be sure to speak with an attorney to fully understand your case's deadline.  

Gathering Evidence and Documentation

Gather all the necessary evidence and documentation. This includes things like the police report, medical records, witness statements, and any other relevant information.  

We've found that this process can take some time, particularly if there are challenges in obtaining certain documents. Yet, rest assured, we're well-versed in navigating these complexities and will work diligently to gather everything needed to build a strong case. 

Negotiating With the Insurance Company

Once we have all the necessary evidence, we'll move on to negotiate with the insurance company. Having an experienced personal injury lawyer like us by your side can make a significant difference during this stage. We handle all communication with the insurance company and negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf.  

This negotiation process can range from a few weeks to several months, depending on the complexity of your case and the cooperation level of the insurance company. But don't worry, we're committed to fighting for your rights and ensuring you get the compensation you deserve. 

Finalizing the Settlement

Once a settlement agreement has been reached, the final step is to finalize the paperwork and for you to receive your compensation.  

This process can take a few weeks because there are often legal documents that need to be drafted and signed. We'll guide you through this process and make sure all the paperwork is completed precisely and on time. 

Reach Out for Personalized Legal Advice

Settling a car accident claim is not a one-size-fits-all process. It can vary based on several factors, and while some claims can be resolved quickly, others may take several months or even longer. But no matter the timeline, at Gama Law Firm, we're committed to working tirelessly to seek the full compensation you rightfully deserve. Contact us today to set up a time to discuss your case. We offer free consultations and serve people throughout Aurora, Colorado, and the Greater Denver Area.