The time frame for resolving a case is dependent on many different factors.First, you should typically attempt to settle your case only after you have finished all medical treatment. That is because an insurance company will notpay your medical bills as you incur them. Instead, they will write one check when everything is resolved, which covers not just medical care you have received up to that point in time, but any that youmay require in the future. The more time that is behind you, the better the understanding you have as to the severity and permanencyof your injuries.
If an attorney encourages you to settle your case before you have actually finished treating, it is a disservice to you because you will notbe fully compensated for all your losses. It is unlikely an insurance company will look at your claimand say, “You are going to require another $10,000.00 in medical care in the future, so we will write you a check for that as well.”
How long it takes is to resolve your case is dependent on several factors, to include:
- When you finish treating for injuries that you have sustained;
- How long it takes the insurance company to evaluate your claim and make a determination (as to both liability and damages); and
- Whether their assessment is reasonable or they are offering far less than you believe your case is worth.
If youfile a lawsuit, it could be 1-2 years from the date the lawsuit was filed before your case goes to trial.
Should People Seek Immediate Medical Attention After An Automobile Wreck?
In determining whether you need to see a doctor followinga wreck, it is better to err on the side of caution and getmedical care. I tell my clients that it is a judgment call that only they can make. You know what is wrong, what does not feel right, whether it is something that you can tolerate or not.If in doubt, get examined by a doctor. It is better to be treated sooner, ratherthan later.
The more time that passes between the date of the wreck and when you first receive medical care, the more questionable the injuries become in the eyes of an insurance adjuster, a judge, a jury, and everyone else. This is in partbecause there are too many things that can happen during the interim.How does the doctor know the injuries are related to the wreck? Why did you wait so long? These are questions that you likely will have to answer. Whereas, if you had gone to the doctor within a couple of days after the wreck, you might not have to address those issues.
Should I Ever Release My Medical Records to The Other Party’s Insurance Company?
If you are involved in a very minor car wreck and you aretrying to resolve itwithout an attorney being involved, you will either have to sign a medical authorization, so that the other driver’s insurance carrier can obtain your records, or get them from all of your treating doctors and provide them to the insurance company. Understand, however, that most medical authorizations provided by insurance companiesallow them to get medical records going back to the day you were born, which I consider tobe overly broad.
There could be things in your medical records that you do not want to share with other people and that have nothing to do with the injuries you sustained in a car wreck. To me, this is highly invasive. Those records may be used to try to embarrass you. I do notbelieve that is appropriate.
If you have been seriously injured, you should not be communicating at all with the other driver’s insurance company and, under absolutely no circumstances, should you sign any document they provide to you. You need to contact an attorney, who will advise you as to what you should or should not do.
For more information on How Long it Takes to Resolve a Car Wreck Claim, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (256) 534-3288 today.