There’s no easy answer for how long your pedestrian accident claim will take to settle. It depends on many variables, from the severity of any injuries you’ve suffered to the jurisdiction in which the accident occurred. But one thing is certain: you want your claim settled as quickly as possible!
The Time Frame for Settling a Pedestrian Accident Claim
The duration of a pedestrian accident claim varies based on the specifics of the case. If a party contests your claim, then there is no fixed deadline for when it might be resolved. However, some pedestrian accident claims are resolved in a matter of weeks or months while others take significantly longer.
In order to reach an appropriate settlement, you will need to prove fault as well as calculate damages. This can require testimony from witnesses and/or medical professionals, as well as input from other experts who specialize in civil litigation such as economists and accident reconstructionists. The amount of evidence that needs to be collected and evaluated often takes months or years.
In addition to gathering evidence and negotiating with insurance companies, there is also the issue of filing paperwork in the courts, especially if a debatable amount goes beyond arbitration amounts determined by insurance companies. A trial by jury may also become necessary for certain cases, which adds an additional layer of complexity to already lengthy proceedings.
No two pedestrian cases are exactly alike but going through the various processes involved can potentially take anywhere from months up to several years depending on circumstances. It is important that victims seek experienced legal help along every step of their claim so that they can navigate through this sometimes arduous process with greater ease and more favorable results.
The Role of Attorneys
Having an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer on your side not only gives you the highest chance of success in obtaining a fair and just settlement, but it can streamline the process. An experienced attorney will be able to handle all aspects of your claim so that you don’t have to do everything yourself. Pedestrian Accident Lawyer can help you document damages, identify any potential defendants, and review any settlement offers you may receive.
In addition, a pedestrian accident lawyer will know how to effectively argue for a favorable outcome for you in a court of law if necessary. The value of having someone knowledgeable and experienced in this field to handle your case cannot be underestimated since they understand the nuances involved with obtaining a beneficial resolution. Attorneys can also expertly negotiate on your behalf when necessary and provide unique insights into the process that individuals without legal backgrounds may not know or understand.
Steps Involved in the Process
Once you have sought medical attention and assembled any necessary documents or evidence to prove fault, there are several steps involved in filing your claim.
Before a settlement offer can be made, your claim will be reviewed by the insurance company for fault, the extent of injury, and responsibility. This process includes investigations such as:
- Gathering medical reports
- Reviewing witness statements
- Interviewing you as the claimant
- Investigating information about the responsible party or parties
- Analyzing any damages incurred (medical bills, lost wages, etc.)
The Role of Insurance Companies
In the case of a pedestrian accident, the party primarily responsible for compensating the injured pedestrian will usually be their own auto insurance provider if they have one and/or that of the at-fault driver. If no auto insurance coverage exists, other potential sources can include uninsured motorist coverage carried by either driver or third-party sources such as homeowner’s policies when relevant.
Once it has been firmly established which party is responsible for making payment and all documents have been forwarded to that insurer, they then take over managing the speed at which your matter progresses. Insurance companies often take longer than other defendants in their approach to settling claims due to their desire to reduce risk exposure by appearing unwilling to settle quickly or at full value.
This does not mean that your case will necessarily drag out, but it may signal for you to demand a faster or larger settlement than originally proposed if supported on grounds of liability and damages.
What about the Court System?
When two or more parties become embroiled in a dispute, sometimes bringing the matter before a judge or mediator is necessary to come to an agreement.
If your claim is unable to be settled through mediation and negotiation, then you may have no option but to take the case to court. However, it’s not uncommon for these cases to settle quickly once they’ve been filed with a court – often through direct negotiation between the parties or through alternative dispute resolution.
If negotiations fail and both sides are unable to reach an agreement, then a trial will likely be necessary with both sides presenting their cases in front of a judge. Depending on the complexity of the case and associated disputes, this can be a lengthy process that can involve witnesses and expert witnesses supplying evidence in order to make their case. This process can often add months – even years – onto your pedestrian accident claim’s settlement timeline as more official dates must be attended and proceedings handled.
It’s also possible for an appeal process after an initial ruling has been granted. If either party feels that the ruling was incomplete, biased, or unfair then they may wish to appeal it; this adds considerable time into settling your pedestrian accident claim as further hearings are required in order for one of the parties’ appeals decision to be upheld or overturned.
No matter what, it is important to note that making sure that you are informed about all of your rights as a pedestrian and following through on any necessary steps required in order to make sure you receive adequate compensation for your injuries from an accident is paramount.
With patience, you and your pedestrian accident attorney will work together toward a satisfactory resolution of any disputes that arise from your case so that justice can rightfully be served when applicable.