Even if you make a good case and win, your car accident settlement money may not come in right away.
If you were the victim of a car accident and are looking at months of medical treatment, don’t despair. According to the law in Missouri, the responsible driver or their insurance company is responsible for your damages and bodily injuries. However, you should keep in mind that even if you make a good case and win, the settlement money may not come in right away.
So, how long will it take before you actually get your settlement check? It might take weeks, months, or even years. This depends on a number of factors.
Difficulty Establishing Liability
Car accidents, especially ones with numerous participants, are not simple, straightforward events all the time. The other driver’s insurance company will work hard to find any evidence that you were also responsible for what happened. Whether you were not wearing a seatbelt or you were using your phone while driving, there may be small details like these that can make the lawsuit longer than you thought.
Difficulty Assessing Damage
When you suffer injuries from a car accident and you already had certain conditions, it might be hard to prove that the damage you are suffering from right now is the result of the other driver’s negligence. Depending on your diagnosis, a doctor will find it more or less easy to give a final verdict.
Sometimes, you need to see several doctors and go through various tests before it can be established that your injuries were caused by the car accident you are settling for.
Reaching MMI after a Long Period of Time
MMI is the Maximum Medical Improvement that you can reach after recovering from your damages. This means that your doctors consider you fully recovered, and no longer in need of treatment. Accepting a settlement before reaching your MMI is an option, but our St. Louis car accident attorneys don’t recommend it at all since you may still need expensive medical treatment in the future, which will no longer be covered by the insurance company.
After Signing the Release Form
Let’s say that you got to an acceptable settlement and you signed the release form. This generally means that the insurance company is no longer liable in case you have more expenses in the future. Although it doesn’t represent the actual agreement on a settlement, the release form coincides with it, since insurance companies will rarely issue a settlement check before having the release form signed.
Another possible issue to consider is a settlement appeal done by the insurance company, which can delay your check by 1-2 years. Other possible delays are due to law loopholes or the absence of a clear deadline for payment.
Hiring a good St. Louis car injury lawyer will help you anticipate all these delays and get a realistic picture of how long it’s going to take before you get your settlement check.
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