How Long Does It Take to Settle a Pedestrian Accident Claim in New Jersey?
It can take anywhere from a few months to a few years to settle a pedestrian accident case in New Jersey. Many factors influence the length of time such cases take to settle.
A New Jersey pedestrian accident lawyer can evaluate the circumstances of your case and develop an estimated timeline for how long it will take to receive your settlement. Some variables can at times be unpredictable, such as the willingness of the insurance company to offer fair value for your claim. Harrell Injury Law is committed to taking prompt and timely action on our client’s cases to reach a speedy and favorable resolution while avoiding any unnecessary delays in the settlement process.
Which Pedestrian Accident Cases Take Longer Settle?
Many factors are involved in causing a pedestrian accident case to be settled quickly or take a longer time to settle. They include:
- The complexity of the case
- Challenges of gathering evidence
- The circumstances of the accident
- The nature of the pedestrian injuries
If your injuries were very serious and you are undergoing medical treatment, legal matters may take longer to resolve because the total amount of your damages can only be assessed when you have reached the state of maximum medical improvement, or when your injury has been treated or rehabilitated to the point where it is unlikely to get any better. In other words, to assess the full scope of your damages, you have to know exactly how bad your injury is and what it will cost, not only now but long-term.
Can You Predict How Long a Pedestrian Accident Case Takes?
There are no hard and fast rules on when a case will be settled. That said, an experienced New Jersey pedestrian accident attorney can advise you on the factors in your unique case that influence its likely timeline toward settlement.
For example, typically it is necessary to file a lawsuit in order to obtain a settlement with the insurance company. However, it’s not always done immediately after the accident.
Your medical prognosis and need for further treatment may be unclear immediately after the accident. You may have serious injuries and be undergoing medical treatment. Your attorney may decide to put off settlement until you complete your treatment so he can compile a complete medical record.
In addition, your pedestrian car accident attorney also needs to investigate basic facts concerning the accident in order to bring a lawsuit, which is often a necessary step that leads to a settlement.
Some circumstances are within your attorney’s control, such as deciding when to file a lawsuit. Other factors are beyond your attorney’s control. For example, insurers differ in approaches to accident lawsuits. Some are more willing to settle, while others can try to stall with lowball tactics, and may even choose to take the case to trial.
If you live in a county where the court has a crowded docket, it takes time for your case to come to trial. While this will entail an extension of the process, the good news is that a trial date often is a catalyst for a settlement.
What’s Happening During All That Time Before My Case Settles?
It’s natural to grow impatient when time passes after a pedestrian car accident. While it may seem like nothing is happening, your lawyer is actually doing a lot of work.
During this time, your pedestrian accident attorney is taking important steps toward settlement of your case for the maximum amount.
Those activities include:
- Drafting a demand letter
- Obtaining police reports
- Securing medical records
- Tracking down witnesses
- Investigating the accident
- Interviewing accident witnesses
- Gathering written witness statements
- Presenting a demand package to the insurer
- Drafting and serving a summons and complaint
Why Is My Attorney Bringing a Lawsuit When I Want to Settle?
Bringing a lawsuit can be necessary to obtaining the best settlement for you. A legal case has strategic and legal advantages.
A lawsuit puts the driver’s insurance company on formal notice of your claim. A pending legal action provides your attorney with the power to issue subpoenas to obtain records from third parties, such as government entities and private parties, relating to your pedestrian accident.
For example, your attorney might issue subpoenas to obtain documents or video from:
- Accident witnesses
- Local property owners
- Vehicle service-providers
- Bars or restaurants serving alcohol
A lawsuit enables your pedestrian accident attorney to question witnesses under oath in an out-of-court, pre-trial proceeding called a deposition. Your attorney can compel a witness to appear for such questioning by serving them with a subpoena; they must then answer questions related to your pedestrian accident.
These investigative and trial preparation steps put your car accident attorneys in the best position to gather evidence about the driver’s negligence, as well as positioning them to negotiate the best possible settlement in your favor.
At Harrell Law Firm, our only goal is to do what’s best for our client. We consult with you at every stage of the process and we’re always available for direct one-on-one communication.
When you contact us, you’ll find that we’re ready to listen to your story with a compassionate ear and ready to get to work right away to help you navigate this difficult time in your life. Reach out anytime for a free consultation.