Following a car accident that leaves you with injuries, you will likely find yourself coping with missed days at work and enormous emotional and financial strain. It’s natural to question how long it will take to settle your lawsuit so that you can begin to put the ordeal behind you and move forward.

The duration of a car accident lawsuit can vary widely based on several factors, making it difficult to predict a straightforward timeline. Understanding what influences the length of your case is crucial. An experienced Huntsville car crash lawyer from Tyler Mann Injury Law can help streamline the process and ensure you receive fair compensation.

General Timeline for Car Accident Lawsuits

The timeline for resolving a car accident lawsuit can vary from one case to another. Most insurance or legal actions typically conclude within a few months to about a year.

In Alabama, auto insurance claims are generally settled within a few weeks to a few months. Insurers must update the status of a claim within 30 days or the number of days specified in the policy, settle within 30 days of reaching an agreement, or provide updates every 45 days during investigations. Payment delays beyond two years, the statute of limitations, are prohibited.

If a case proceeds to trial, the duration can take longer, often lasting a year or more. Trials can involve complex procedures, such as witness depositions and multiple court appearances, contributing to the extended timeline.

Car Collision Lawsuit Steps: Why It May Take Time to Settle

Vehicle accident lawsuits can vary in duration, often taking months or even years to resolve due to the complexity of the legal process involved when they go to court, when compared to settlement negotiations out of court. Here is a brief overview of the steps required to bring a claim to court:

  • Investigation and Gathering Evidence: Your attorney will conduct a thorough investigation of the crash, collecting crucial evidence such as police reports, medical records, witness statements, and expert testimony. Depending on the case’s complexity (such as when there is more than one liable party or the other driver is denying liability), this phase can last several weeks to months.
  • Negotiations With Insurance Companies: Your attorney will negotiate with the at-fault party’s insurance company to secure a fair settlement. This stage may involve disagreements over liability or encounter delays, requiring the submission of additional evidence and consistent follow-up.
  • Filing a Lawsuit: If negotiations are unsuccessful, your attorney will proceed to file a lawsuit in court. This step includes the drafting and filing of legal documents, a process that can span several weeks.
  • Discovery Phase: Once the lawsuit is filed, both parties enter the discovery phase, exchanging evidence and information relevant to the case. This phase can last several months and includes depositions, document exchanges, and testimony from expert witnesses.
  • Mediation or Settlement Conferences: Before proceeding to trial, the court may mandate mediation or settlement conferences to encourage both parties to reach an agreement. This stage can span several weeks to months, depending on how quickly it can be scheduled and the readiness of both parties to engage in negotiations
  • Trial: If mediation or settlement conferences are unsuccessful, the case may move to trial. The trial can range from several weeks to months, depending on the complexity of the case and the court’s scheduling.
  • Appeals: If either party is dissatisfied with the trial outcome, they can file an appeal. This can extend the process by several months or even years, depending on the specifics of the appeal and the court’s timetable.

Factors That Affect Resolution Time

Various factors can influence the length of your car accident lawsuit, including:

  • Complexity of the Case: Cases with clear liability and minor injuries often settle quickly. Cases that involve multiple parties, severe injuries, disputed liability, or significant property damage tend to take longer as they require more extensive investigation, evidence gathering, and negotiation.
  • Severity of Injuries: If you have severe or permanent injuries requiring extensive medical care and rehabilitation, your case will need a more thorough investigation and will likely take longer to resolve.
  • Amount of Damages: Cases involving higher stakes, such as catastrophic injuries or wrongful death, typically take longer to resolve, whether through settlement or trial, in part due to calculating an appropriate compensation amount.
  • Insurance Company Cooperation: The insurance company’s cooperation in offering a fair settlement is crucial. If they are slow to respond or propose insufficient compensation, negotiations can become prolonged, thus extending the timeline of the case.
  • Court Backlog: Court backlogs in certain jurisdictions can delay the scheduling of hearings, mediations, and trials.

Get the Legal Representation You Deserve

The timeline of a car accident lawsuit can be unpredictable, but with the right legal team, the process can be managed more efficiently. At Tyler Mann Injury Law, our skilled car accident attorneys are dedicated to advocating for your rights and securing the best possible compensation for you.

We’ll take the time to thoroughly understand your unique situation and craft a strategy to settle your case quickly and fairly. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation and learn how we can help you get the compensation you deserve after a car accident.