How Long Do Car Accident Cases Usually Last in Florida?
If you have been hurt in a car accident in Florida, you may have considered filing a claim to pursue compensation for your medical bills, your property damage, and other losses you sustained in the crash. In particular, you are probably wondering how long it will take to complete your car accident case. The answer is different for each claimant, because there are many factors that can influence the timeline and complexity of a personal injury claim or lawsuit. In this article, Miami car accident lawyer Prosper Shaked explains some of the variables that can impact the duration of an auto accident claim or lawsuit in Florida. If you were recently injured in a car crash in the Miami area, contact Prosper Shaked for a free consultation about your legal options.
6 Factors that Determine How Long Your Auto Accident Case Will Take
Unfortunately, it’s difficult to give an estimate of how long your claim will take to resolve, because there are so many variables that impact the final timeline. Generally speaking, the process concludes somewhere between six months and one year after the case begins, though there are also exceptions where cases may take longer to bring to a resolution. The question is: why?
Florida is a no-fault insurance state, which means that when you are injured in an auto accident, you will generally file a claim with your own insurance company, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. While this is generally a smooth process, issues can arise that complicate these types of claims, which can extend the timeline. For example, the claim might be denied, or you may incur medical expenses that exceed your policy limits, leading to the need for a lawsuit or claim against the other motorist. There are also cases that are complicated by the involvement of multiple parties, such as a car accident at an intersection involving three or four different drivers. Furthermore, some cases involve government entities or businesses, such as a truck accident lawsuit in Miami, in which case the trucking company and its attorneys will become involved.
In these types of situations, you may need to negotiate a settlement agreement with the other party or parties involved in the accident – or in some instances, even go to court for a trial. If it becomes necessary to negotiate a settlement or go to trial before a jury, months can be added to the personal injury timeline, for a variety of reasons:
- Put simply, it is not in the insurance company’s best interests to pay for your injuries. To avoid losing money, insurance companies often resort to using tactics that are specifically designed to draw out the process.
- The process of filing claims and counterclaims, or working through the “discovery” process by which key information about the case is obtained on both sides, can take months to complete.
- Courts often have extremely crowded calendars. Therefore, simply scheduling a court date can extend the length of your case.
- Depending on the nature of the accident, it may take time to track down key evidence, such as locating a witness who saw the collision.
- The injury itself can greatly delay the resolution of the case, depending on how severe its effects are. This is because it is crucial to wait until your doctor has determined that you have reached “maximum medical improvement” (MMI), meaning you have recovered from your injuries to the greatest extent possible. Otherwise, it is impossible to know the true extent of your injuries – and in turn, impossible to determine what amount of compensation is appropriate to pursue. On a related note, it may also take time to schedule the necessary MRIs, surgeries, or other medical procedures you need as part of your treatment and medical evidence.
- Your own preference can shape the course of your case. Some people prefer to settle out of court in order to keep potential costs and delays to a minimum, while in other cases, it makes more sense to litigate. Prosper Shaked can help you make an informed decision about the potential benefits and consequences of following either route.
Miami, FL Car Accident Attorney Prosper Shaked Can Help You File an Injury Claim
There are many factors to consider when designing a legal strategy for pursuing car accident compensation. It is important to have guidance from a knowledgeable, trustworthy, and experienced Miami personal injury lawyer if you were hurt in a crash in Florida. Prosper Shaked can provide you with a clear and honest assessment of your case, so that you can make the right decision about how to proceed. To talk about your car accident claim in a free legal consultation, contact the Law Offices of Prosper Shaked online, or call 24 hours a day, seven days a week at (305) 690-0244.