FAQ: How Long Does a Car Accident Settlement Take?

Car accident settlement process and considerations explained by experienced car accident lawyers.

Car Accident Settlement Process and Insights from a Car Accident Lawyer

Question: How long does a car accident settlement take?

Answer: The average duration of settlements for car accidents falls between nine (9) months and eighteen (18) months, with some getting settled in as quickly as six months.

Still, several factors come into play that can either expedite or prolong the resolution.

On this page, we’ll discuss this question in further depth, the car accident lawsuit process, who qualifies to file a car accident lawsuit, and much more.

Intro to the Process in Car Accident Settlements

Rates of car accidents, specifically fatal car accidents, are on the rise.

A car accident can be a life-altering event, leaving victims grappling with physical injuries, emotional distress, and financial burdens.

In such unfortunate circumstances, filing a car accident claim becomes essential.

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Car accident claims and lawsuits entail a legal process that allows those affected by the accident to seek compensation for their losses.

Victims and their families usually want to know how long a car accident lawsuit can take.

At TorHoerman Law, we aim to answer this question and explore the intricate process of car accident claims and settlements, focusing on the duration it typically takes to reach a resolution.

We’ve shared information about these topics to help car accident victims and give them guidance.

If you or a loved one have been injured at no fault of your own in a car accident, an experienced attorney can help you seek justice.

Contact TorHoerman Law for a free consultation.

You can also use the chatbot on this page to find out if you qualify for a car accident lawsuit instantly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Several factors, including the specific circumstances of the accident, severity of injuries, legal representation quality, and whether negligence or recklessness was involved, can influence the average car accident settlement amount.


The severity of injuries can significantly impact the settlement amount.

Typically, more severe injuries result in higher compensation due to factors like medical bills, surgeries, and potential long-term disabilities.

Establishing fault involves analyzing evidence, witness testimonies, and the specifics of the accident.

If one party is conclusively found to be at fault, they usually bear a larger portion of the settlement.

In shared fault scenarios, the settlement amount is adjusted based on each party’s percentage of liability.

The car accident lawyers at TorHoerman Law work on a contingency fee basis.

A contingency fee is a payment arrangement where the car accident lawyer doesn’t charge any upfront lawyer’s fee or hourly rates.

Instead, they receive a percentage of the settlement or court award if they win the case.

If the case is unsuccessful, the car accident victim does NOT have to pay any money for legal representation.

This structure allows clients to pursue legal action without worrying about immediate legal costs and ensures that the lawyer is incentivized to secure the best possible outcome for the client.

Yes, the insurance policies of the involved parties may play a critical role in the car accident settlement amount.

Larger coverage limits can lead to more substantial settlements, while limited coverage might restrict the potential settlement amount.


Having an experienced personal injury attorney can be invaluable.

An experienced car accident lawyer can provide guidance, gather crucial evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and if necessary, represent you in court, ensuring that you get a fair settlement.

Economic damages relate to tangible losses such as medical bills, lost wages, and property damage.

In contrast, non-economic damages account for intangible consequences like pain, suffering, emotional distress, and loss of life quality.

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Table of Contents

Car Accident Settlement Process and Overview

Car accident claims are viable processes for individuals who have suffered harm due to the negligence or wrongful actions of another party.

To be eligible to file a claim, certain criteria need to be met:

  • Negligence: The accident must have been caused — at least in part — by another person’s negligence.
  • Injuries and Damages: The claimant must have suffered injuries or incurred damages as a result of the accident.
  • Causation: There must be sufficient evidence linking the accident to the injuries or damages claimed.

The Car Accident Settlement Process

Once eligibility is established, car accident lawsuits unfold in several stages.

Reporting and Documentation

The process begins with reporting the accident to the appropriate authorities, usually by filing a police report at the accident scene.

This document provides crucial details about the accident, including date, time, location, parties involved, and initial assessments of fault.

Medical Evaluation and Treatment

Seeking immediate medical attention is vital, even if your injuries appear minor.

A thorough medical evaluation can ensure your well-being and establish a direct link between the accident and your injuries.

Contacting the Insurance Company

Both parties’ insurance companies need to be notified of the accident.

This initiates the claims process and allows insurers to conduct their investigations.

Investigation and Evidence Gathering

To build a strong case, evidence must be collected.

This may include photographs of the accident scene, witness statements, medical records, expert opinions, and any available surveillance footage.


Insurers and legal representatives engage in negotiations to reach a fair settlement.

This stage involves back-and-forth discussions, with both sides presenting their arguments and counteroffers.

Settlement Agreement

Once an agreement is reached, a settlement amount is finalized.

This agreement typically includes a release of liability, barring any future claims related to the accident.


Most car accident claims can be settled without having to reach court.

In cases where negotiations fail to yield a satisfactory outcome, the claim may progress to litigation.

This involves filing a lawsuit and presenting your case in court.


Upon agreement, compensation is disbursed to cover the damages outlined in the settlement.

This may involve payments for medical bills, property repairs, lost wages, and other applicable costs.

How Long Do Car Accident Settlements Take?

The timeline for settling a car accident claim is a critical aspect of the process, as it directly affects the well-being and financial stability of the injured party.

The average duration of settlements for car accidents falls between nine months and a year and a half, with some getting settled in as quickly as six months.

Still, several factors come into play that can either expedite or prolong the resolution.

Location and Jurisdiction

The state where the accident occurred has a significant impact on the settlement timeline.

Different states have varying statutes of limitations, legal procedures, and court backlogs that can influence how long it takes to resolve a case.

The Severity of Injuries

The extent of injuries sustained by the claimant and their physical condition can significantly impact the settlement timeline.

More severe injuries may require extensive medical treatment, consultations with specialists, and a longer recovery period.

Liability Disputes

If there is a dispute over who is at fault for the accident, it can lead to delays in the settlement process.

Investigating and establishing liability for car accident cases can take time, especially if multiple parties are involved.

Insurance Company Investigations

Insurance companies conduct their investigations to assess the validity of the claim and the extent of damages.

The thoroughness of these investigations can influence the time it takes to reach a settlement.


The negotiation phase is a critical factor in determining the duration of a settlement.

If both parties are willing to cooperate and reach an agreement swiftly, the process can be expedited.

However, if negotiations stall due to disagreements on liability or compensation, it can prolong the timeline.

One factor that can help expedite this aspect is working with an experienced car accident lawyer.

Car accident lawyers know how to negotiate and present a stronger case for your personal injury claim.


If negotiations fail to produce a fair settlement, the case may proceed to litigation, which can significantly extend the timeline.

Court schedules, legal proceedings, and the time required for trial preparation can add months or even years to the process.

How a Car Accident Lawyer Can Help Build Your Case

Having a skilled car accident attorney by your side can significantly impact the outcome and duration of your case.

A lawyer can help you with the following and more:

  1. Collecting Evidence: Car accident lawyers can help gather crucial evidence like accident reports, witness statements, medical records, and expert opinions.
  2. Calculating Damages: With a lawyer, you can easily assess the full extent of your damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering.
  3. Negotiating with the At-Fault Party’s Insurance Provider: Experienced personal injury lawyers are experienced negotiators who can advocate for your best interests during settlement talks.

All these benefits are within your reach if you know how to hire competent and dedicated car accident lawyers.

Here are three tips for finding a personal injury attorney:

  • Look for Experience: Look for a lawyer with a strong track record in handling car accident cases. During your research, ask for car accident settlement examples to see how well they handled the personal injury lawsuit.
  • Find a Lawyer Who Values Communication: Choose a lawyer who communicates clearly and keeps you updated throughout the process.
  • Assess Client Reviews: Read reviews and testimonials from past clients to gauge their satisfaction and the lawyer’s effectiveness.

How Evidence and Damages Influence Potential Settlement Amounts for a Car Accident Claim

In car accident settlements, evidence and damages play a pivotal role in determining the amount of compensation an injured party may receive.

Building a strong case backed by compelling evidence and accurately assessing the damages incurred are essential to achieving a fair and just settlement.

Types of evidence in car accident cases may include:

  1. Accident Scene Documentation: Photographs of the accident scene can provide crucial visual evidence to reconstruct the events leading up to the accident. These include vehicle positions, road conditions, and traffic signals.
  2. Witness Statements: Eyewitness accounts can corroborate your version of the events and add credibility to your claim. Make sure to collect contact information from witnesses at the scene if possible.
  3. Police Reports: Official police reports provide an objective account of the accident and often include preliminary assessments of fault.
  4. Medical Records: Detailed medical records outlining your injuries, treatment plans, medications, and prognosis are essential to prove the extent of your physical harm.
  5. Expert Opinions: Testimonies from medical experts, accident reconstruction specialists, or engineers can provide professional insights into the accident’s cause and the resulting injuries.
  6. Surveillance Footage: If available, surveillance footage from nearby businesses or traffic cameras can provide an unbiased view of the accident.

Damages Covered in a Car Accident Settlement

Damages refer to the total amount of losses incurred as a result of a car crash.

An experienced car accident lawyer can help you assess and calculate damages.

With the help of car accident attorneys, you may be able to recover compensation for a variety damages in a car accident claim:

  • Medical Bills: This encompasses a wide range of costs, including:
    • Emergency room visits
    • Hospital stays
    • Surgeries
    • Doctor’s appointments
    • Prescription medications
    • Physical therapy
    • Future medical care related to the accident
  • Lost Wages: This is compensation for the income you’ve lost due to missed workdays while recovering from injuries. Lost wages may also include future earning potential if your injuries have a long-term impact on your ability to work.
  • Property Damage: An auto accident settlement can cover the repair or replacement costs for your vehicle and any other personal property damaged in the accident.
  • Pain and Suffering: Pain and suffering is a non-economic damage encompassing physical pain, emotional distress, anxiety, and loss of enjoyment of life caused by the accident. Calculating pain and suffering damages can be complex and will vary based on the severity of injuries and their impact on your daily life.
  • Punitive Damages: In cases of extreme negligence or malicious intent, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the at-fault driver and other responsible parties. These damages are meant to deter similar behavior in the future.

TorHoerman Law: Your Car Accident Lawyer

Navigating the car accident settlement process can be complex and time-consuming.

Understanding the factors that influence the duration of a settlement, the importance of legal representation, and the role of evidence and damages can help you approach the situation more confidently.

If you find yourself in this situation, remember that seeking the guidance of a skilled car accident lawyer can greatly enhance your chances of securing a fair settlement for your losses.

At TorHoerman Law, we can help you build a strong case and fight for the monetary reparation you deserve.

We’ve handled many similar cases in the past, leveraging our knowledge in personal injury law for the best interest of our clients.

If you believe that you have a case to file, please contact us today.

We will talk about your situation and see if legal recourse is the best way to go.

You can also use the chatbot on this page to learn if you’re eligible to file a car accident lawsuit.

Tor Hoerman

Tor Hoerman

Owner & Attorney - TorHoerman Law


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Tom Lewis

TorHoerman Law was responsible for handling a medical case for our family. I was extremely impressed with their professionalism and ability to react quickly. They also did a nice job keeping us updated with the case throughout the process. This was the first time experiencing a situation like this and Tor Hoerman law did an excellent job from start to finish.

Jordan Terry

TorHoerman Law is an extraordinary law firm – a firm that truly makes the client’s best interests the primary concern. Their team of personal injury lawyers are experienced, personable, and well versed in a range of litigation areas. They are supported by a dedicated team of staff that are as equally friendly and helpful. I would recommend TorHoerman Law for any personal injury litigation needs.

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