Settling a Car Accident Case
Settling a personal injury claim stemming from a car accident in Georgia can be a very lengthy and tedious process. Every case is unique, and while some may reach settlement relatively quickly and easily, others can drag on for months or even years, depending on the complexity of the case and the extent of the injuries sustained.
Medical Care Comes First
Before you may proceed with filing a claim, your medical care must be complete, and all bills and records need to be received by your attorney for review. Of course, this step alone may take up to several months, depending on the severity of your injuries.
It is still important to contact an attorney as soon as you have been injured, as he or she has plenty of preliminary work to do. While you are receiving medical care, your attorney can:
• Identify policy limits with the other driver’s insurance
• Obtain your accident report from law enforcement
• Interview any witnesses
• Obtain any other relevant evidence such as 911 calls, photographs, police dash camera footage, and other physical evidence
• Research relevant case law
Preparing the Demand
Once your medical care is complete, your attorney will file a request for all medical records and bills from your doctor and treatment facilities. Typically, it will take roughly 45 to 60 days for your lawyer to receive these documents.
Once received, your attorney will prepare a demand package. This process usually takes about one week. Once prepared, your lawyer will send the demand to the other party.
Offer, Counter-offer and Settlement
You and your attorney will typically receive a response to the demand in 30 to 60 days. If you are not satisfied with the first offer, you may counter-offer, and this process will continue until you are happy with the settlement offer or you and your attorney decide to take the case to trial.
If you receive an agreeable settlement offer, your attorney will send a confirmation letter, and you should receive a settlement check in about one month.
If, however, you and your attorney decide to go to trial, the case may be in litigation for up to a year or longer.