There’s no denying that driving is an essential part of our lives. We use vehicles to travel to and from work, the grocery store, taking children to school, and any number of other essential activities in our lives. You may be the safest driver on the road by wearing a seatbelt, following traffic laws, and staying on top of your car’s maintenance. However, you can still have a run-in with a negligent driver and need the help of an experienced Louisiana transportation accident attorney.
An accident is a stressful situation for everyone involved. As an injured victim, you’re likely in a lot of pain. Add to that, your confusion about the insurance process and worry that the damages will bankrupt you. If this is your first vehicle accident, you may not even know what constitutes a reasonable settlement. The truth is, insurance firms are greedy; they depend on your lack of knowledge so that they can take advantage of your helplessness. However, with the assistance of an experienced Shreveport personal injury attorney, you ensure your best interests are being taken care of rather than taken advantage of. If you’ve been injured in a car wreck caused by a negligent driver, allow the Shreveport lawyers at Greenwald Law Firm to help you achieve the best possible Louisiana car accident settlement available to you.
How Long Does an Accident Claim Take?
Filing an accident claim is the easy part. What’s not always as clear is how quickly your accident claim will progress after filing. There are a number of factors that go into determining this, as there are a number of factors that go into determining the settlement amount. As such, it could take anywhere from a few months to several years to reach the end of the claim process. Keep in mind, however, that a claim should only be settled after you’ve completed treatment for your accident-related injuries. This is because a settlement is meant to compensate you for your losses, and the full amount of compensation is unknown if you haven’t fully healed yet.
Other factors that may cause your claim to take longer than expected include the time it takes for an accident investigation to take place, the number of parties participating in your claim, and your geographic location. All of these factors may add to the amount of time it takes to conduct a thorough examination of your claim.
How Long Do Car Accident Settlement Negotiations Take?
Part of the car accident personal injury claims process is negotiations. Like the entirety of the processes, the length of negotiations depends on a variety of factors. This means they can last anywhere from a few weeks to several months, even years in some cases. Negotiations will occur for as long as it takes both parties to agree on a price (or decide they want to take the case to trial.) Offers will typically be denied many times and several counteroffers made before reaching an agreed settlement.
How Long Does a Car Accident Settlement Take?
It should come as no surprise that like claims and negotiations, the amount of time it takes to actually obtain your car accident settlement depends on a variety of factors. From the initial filing of the claim to investigations, negotiations, and potential court proceedings, your claim may take a few months or a few years. We know that’s frustrating to hear for the umpteenth time, but the reality is that there is never one set timeline for case proceedings. Settlements for minor injuries are usually quick. Major injuries that necessitate extensive care usually necessitate a lengthier wait. Additionally, and especially within the past couple of years, we’ve seen how outside factors (like a pandemic) can cause serious delays in the progression of the justice system.
Once the settlement has been agreed upon, however, the process will move along much quicker. In fact, payment is required within 30 days in Louisiana once an insurance company agrees to settle a lawsuit and all parties receive the paperwork. Additional damages, such as penalties and attorney fees, may be tacked on if the payment is not completed within 30 days of the car accident settlement agreement being signed.
What Factors Cause Delays in These Types of Settlements?
The following are some of the most common elements that cause delays in these types of settlements:
- The severity of the injury
- Insurance company cooperation
- Court cases and proceedings
- Outside influences (COVID-19, natural disasters, etc.)
Every insurance company handles claims differently, as does every attorney. Insurance companies must meet certain deadlines in order to adjust claims and provide car accident settlement payments in a timely and equitable manner, but even they experience delays sometimes. However, more often than not, your insurer will actually try to offer you a quick settlement to try to get you to accept the offer before receiving any outside opinions.
Accident Settlement Time Frame
Many times, it’s actually in your best interest that you don’t reach a car accident settlement right away. It’s possible that a long wait is a good thing, as the quicker it’s settled, the less likely you are to receive the maximum compensation available to you. That’s because good work takes time. It takes time to find out what really happened in a collision and it takes time to ensure you’ve received the proper medical attention for any major injuries. Further, you must allocate an appropriate amount of time for your attorney to obtain these medical records, analyze them, prepare a case, and present documentation to support your claim. Your Shreveport personal injury attorney is acquiring useful information while the clock ticks away and you’re on the mend.
Additionally, once some time has passed, settlements are frequently more favorable. The insurance company is more ready to settle if a trial date is approaching. As a result, the time spent waiting for the trial date is a useful delay technique that works to you and your attorney’s advantage.
How Much Will Your Settlement Be?
In Louisiana, the at-fault insurance system applies, which means the person who caused the accident is responsible for any injuries or property damage. The most common types of damages include auto repair and replacement, medical bills, rental cars, loss of wages, and pain and suffering. What is called a “pure negligence standard” is used to calculate car accident settlement damages in Louisiana. As a result, even if you were found partially at fault for your own injuries, you can still claim damages minus the percentage of any fault you share.
What Types of Damages Can I Receive?
Economic, non-economic, and consortium damages will all be considered when calculating a Louisiana car accident settlement. In some cases, punitive damages may also apply.
- Economic damages – include past medical expenses, future medical expenses, lost earnings in the past, future earnings, or impairment of earning ability
- Non-economic damages – pain and suffering, mental pain and anguish, impairment of quality of life
- Consortium damages – if the injured person has a spouse who has lost companionship as a result of the accident
- Punitive damages – damages that exceed simple compensation and are awarded as a means to punish the defendant
In order for you to receive the legal assistance you need, a knowledgeable Shreveport personal injury attorney is essential in negotiating your car accident settlement with your best interests in mind.
How Much Tax Is There On A Car Accident Settlement?
Your vehicle accident settlement’s economic and non-economic damage reimbursement is tax-free. Aside from any punitive damages that may be awarded, vehicle accident settlements are generally not taxable in Louisiana.
How Long Does it Take for a Settlement Check to Clear?
Money is headed your way, whether you reached an out-of-court car accident settlement or were awarded damages by a judge. After an agreement is reached and you sign a bodily injury release, the insurance company has 30 days in Louisiana to mail your check to your attorney. If necessary, your attorney may be able to ensure that you receive your check even sooner.
The car accident settlement check is typically made out to both your attorney’s office and you. You’ll have to give permission for your attorney to sign the settlement check on your behalf. Your law firm issues a check to you once they pay off your medical bills, settle any liens associated with your case, and deduct your legal expenses. It takes up to three days for most settlement checks to clear.
How Long Do I Have to File a Car Accident Lawsuit in Louisiana?
According to Louisiana’s personal injury statute of limitations, you have one year to submit a claim for personal injury and property damage in Louisiana. The day your accident occurs is the day the clock on this one-year term. No matter how strong your case is, if you do not file your claim within one year, Louisiana courts will most likely refuse it. In such circumstances, you will be unable to recover any losses.
Contact the Greenwald Law Firm Today
Every year, car accidents in Louisiana are the most common insurance claims, and every year, thousands of individuals seek legal representation for help with their cases. This is because hiring a top Shreveport car accident attorney can be the difference between walking away with only injuries and debt or walking away with a settlement check. At the Greenwald Law Firm, it’s important to us that you get the compensation you’re entitled to. Contact the Greenwald Law Office today at 318-219-7867 to book a consultation and speak with one of our experienced Shreveport car accident attorneys.