If you or somebody you care about sustains an injury or property damage in a vehicle accident caused by the negligence of another party, you may be able to recover compensation. This compensation can come through an insurance settlement or as a result of a personal injury lawsuit jury verdict. However, you may be wondering how long it will take to recover compensation.
Here, we want to examine the timeline involved in a Kentucky vehicle accident. It is important to keep in mind that no two accidents are exactly alike, so the timeline for your particular claim will look different than the timeline for another individual.
The first step in almost all vehicle accidents that occur in Kentucky is filing an insurance claim. However, we strongly encourage you to work with a skilled car accident lawyer soon after the accident occurs so that your attorney can handle this entire process on your behalf.
If another person calls your accident, you will still file a claim with your insurance carrier, and your carrier will then work on processing the claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier. However, just because your insurance carrier is “yours” does not mean that they are looking out for your best interests. You need to limit how much you say to your insurance claims adjuster, and the best course of action would be to allow your attorney to handle this process.
Depending on how clear liability is for the incident and the overall severity of any injuries, an insurance claim could be resolved within a few weeks or a few months, but that is not always the case.
You can almost guarantee that the first offer an insurance carrier makes for a claim will be far below what you should actually receive in compensation. For many vehicle accidents, it is not uncommon for there to be multiple back-and-forth offers and counter offers between the injury and property damage victim and the insurance carrier.
If there is a dispute around liability or if a settlement cannot be reached, an insurance claim can go on for quite some time, even more than a year.
In the event the insurance carrier or at-fault party refuses to offer a fair settlement, it may be necessary for you and your injury attorney to file a civil personal injury lawsuit. This moves the claim beyond a simple insurance matter and pushes the case toward a jury trial.
The first step in a lawsuit is not the courtroom. The discovery process is the starting point, and this is when attorneys for both sides exchange evidence with one another, continue to investigate the incident, and take depositions from witnesses. It is not uncommon for settlement negotiations to continue, particularly if new evidence comes to light that pushes one side or the other towards a settlement or to drop the claim altogether.
It could take a year or more for a lawsuit to even reach the courtroom if a settlement is not reached before then. Once the case does finally reach a jury, it typically will not take too long for the matter to be heard and decided, but that does not take into account any appeals from the plaintiff or the defendant.