This is a common question that we are often asked when we first meet with someone who was recently injured in a car accident. While it is a reasonably straightforward question, it is difficult to answer. There is no one-size-fits-all approach, and the length of time before obtaining a settlement can depend on several factors, not all of which are known right away.
The short answer is that it varies on a case-by-case basis and depends on your injuries and recovery, as well as your instructions. It is best to fully treat your injuries, either until you’ve fully recovered, or you’ve recovered as much as your doctors and other care providers can reasonably expect. Many injuries take time to develop and fully treat. If your claim is settled too soon before the long-term effects of your injuries are known, you won’t receive the full amount of compensation you deserve. While the hope is that you make a swift and full recovery, this may not occur for quite some time.
NEGOTIATING A SETTLEMENT
Medical evidence is crucial to your claim. After you instruct us to initiate settlement, we will request updated medical reports and use the available evidence to draft a settlement proposal for the bodily injury adjuster. We will follow up with them regularly and try to move the process along wherever possible, but negotiations can be unpredictable and depend on several human factors. The adjuster may request additional documentation before considering our proposal. There are also procedural matters like serving the defendants and filing documents with the Court.
Whenever we receive a settlement offer, we will bring it to your attention and obtain your instructions. We will be able to discuss it in detail with you, and while we provide our advice, you have the final decision regarding whether to accept or reject an offer. We will act according to your instructions. When you accept an offer, you are giving up your claim in exchange for the settlement funds, and releasing the other driver and their insurance from any cause of action you had or will have from the accident. It is best to know the full extent of your injuries so that you can make an informed decision when instructing us to settle your claim. This is why attending treatments, mitigating your losses, and regularly visiting the doctor are so important.
BEYOND SETTLEMENT: LITIGATION
While we make every effort to avoid unnecessary litigation, should we be unable to obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries through settlement, your claim will be forwarded to defence counsel for questioning. Questioning is the first step in the litigation process. While this step may be necessary to adequately compensate you for your injuries, it comes with a risk: that your award may increase or decrease should the matter proceed. It also means a longer wait. When you accept a settlement prior to litigation, you accept this risk in exchange for the offered sum.
Please Note: The information provided on this website does not constitute legal advice and should not be construed as such. Moustarah & Company does not guarantee that this information is accurate or up to date. As a result, should you require legal advice, please contact a lawyer.