Settling a Riverdale Car Accident Case
While state law allows individuals injured in car accidents to file suit directly against a negligent third party rather than seeking compensation from their own insurance first, it is actually fairly rare for car accident claims to proceed all the way to a trial in civil court. Instead, most such cases end with a settlement agreement that the involved parties negotiate and agree upon outside of court, without a judge or jury ever getting involved.
So long as a court verdict has not been passed down, settling a Riverdale car accident case is a valid option for recovering damages after a serious crash. However, if you want to get the most out of this process and maximize your chances of a good resolution, you will likely need help from an experienced attorney.
Basic Steps in the Settlement Process
The first stage in the Riverdale car accident settlement process is the plaintiff drafting a demand letter and sending it to the party they believe is responsible for their damages, which could be an insurance provider, an individually negligent driver, or even the negligent driver’s employer. This letter should include details about what led up to the incident in question, all the economic expenses—like medical bills and lost wages—the filing party has already sustained, and what amount of money the filing party wants for those damages and various others.
From here, legal counsel for both parties involved in the incident may go through several rounds of back-and-forth negotiations, seeking a middle ground that both sides can agree upon. If necessary, additional information about the filing party’s injuries and subsequent losses may be submitted as justification for a particular amount of compensation. A third-party mediator may also be able to facilitate productive discussions and resolve the matter more quickly.
If the filing party receives an offer they are satisfied with, their acceptance of that offer and signing of a related release document formally ends their case. Importantly, though, this means that the settlement recipient cannot seek any more compensation later if their damages turn out to be worse than they initially thought, so it is essential to be absolutely sure that a settlement covers all available losses before accepting the offer.
How Long Will It Take a Settle a Car Crash Claim?
Much as there is no standard formula for how much a car accident settlement in Riverdale should be worth, there are no firm guidelines on how long it may take for a settlement agreement to be reached. If the recipient of a settlement demand is eager to get the case over with, it may only take a few weeks to arrange an agreeable settlement offer. Conversely, if a defendant does not want to offer a fair amount or contests their liability altogether, the settlement negotiation process could drag out for months.
Regardless, car accident victims in Riverdale generally cannot negotiate over personal injury settlements any longer than two years following the date of the incident in question. At this point, the civil statute of limitations set by Official Code of Georgia §9-3-33 would prohibit them from filing a lawsuit over that accident, so it is almost certain that they would not be able to compel a settlement for their damages either.
A Riverdale Attorney Could Facilitate a Favorable Car Accident Settlement
For many people, settling a Riverdale car accident case is the best way to get the financial restitution they need as quickly and painlessly as possible. However, that does not mean you should automatically accept the first settlement offer that comes your way, as these initial offers are rarely enough to cover all the short-term and long-term losses a serious car wreck can cause.
Retaining a skilled car accident lawyer is often key to getting a good result out of the settlement negotiation process. Call today to learn more about the help a qualified attorney could provide you.