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

May 15, 2020

deadly car crash

How long it takes to settle a car accident case depends on various factors, and there is no fast timeline. However, those experiencing serious injuries because of the reckless or negligent actions of another driver can expect the settlement to take much longer than a minor accident. When someone suffers life-changing injuries, settling their car accident case could take years.

New Jersey is a No-Fault State

New Jersey is a no-fault state when it comes to car insurance, so medical coverage is paid by the individual’s insurance company, no matter who is at-fault. This Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance also pays for lost wages due to the accident and other related expenses. All drivers must carry a state-required minimum amount of PIP insurance if they chose a basic insurance policy. However, when injuries are serious, those with a basic policy still have a limited right to sue. They may file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver if injuries include:

  • Loss of a body part
  • Displace fracture
  • Significant disfigurement or scarring
  • Permanent injury
  • Loss of a fetus

If a car accident results in death, family members may file a wrongful death lawsuit. Some motorists opt for a more expensive insurance policy, which provides an unlimited right to sue. In such cases, the injured person may file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver and recover more in damages than is available under the basic policy.

Time Frames

When a person is severely injured, it takes longer to settle a lawsuit because the extent of their recovery is vital. Victims badly injured in car accidents may recover and go on to lead normal lives with the ability to work at their former jobs. Others are not so lucky and may require ongoing treatment and care. Victims may not have the ability to work and may need special equipment or home and vehicle modifications to accommodate their disabilities.

It is only after the patient recovers or reaches maximum medical improvement (MMI) that a fair settlement amount is determined. MMI means that the person is not going to recover fully, or any future improvements will likely be insignificant. For this reason, it may take years to settle such lawsuits. Until recovery or MMI is proven, the present and future costs of injuries will remain unknown. Most people will either recover or reach MMI within one year of the accident. Depending on the type of injury and the patient’s ability to heal, it could take longer.

Cherry Hill Car Accident Lawyers at DiTomaso Law Help Victims Receive the Compensation They Deserve

If you were seriously injured in a car accident, contact one of our experienced Cherry Hill car accident lawyers at DiTomaso Law today. We will fight aggressively so that you receive the compensation you deserve. Call us at 856-414-0010 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey and Philadelphia, we proudly serve clients throughout southeastern Pennsylvania and South Jersey, including Mt. Holly, Camden County, and Vineland.