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Why Is My Car Accident Settlement Taking So Long?

Posted on: April 15, 2024

Car accidents can be stressful and overwhelming—but one of the frustrating things is the time it takes to receive your car accident settlement.

Whether you’re dealing with medical expenses or simply need compensation for your pain and suffering, accident settlements are a necessary part of moving forward with your recovery. So why does it take so long to receive them?

As Oviedo’s top personal injury lawyers, we have seen firsthand the effect that accidents (and settlements) have on the average Floridian. Let’s take a closer look at why car accident settlements take longer than expected and what you can do to ensure your rights are protected.


An insurance claim form for a car accident with a hundred dollar bill and a pen

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How Long Does a Car Accident Settlement Take?

Once negotiations are complete, you will likely receive your settlement check in a matter of weeks. In fact, Florida law requires that insurers send payment within 20 days or pay 12% interest.

However, it isn’t waiting to receive your check that seems to take forever; it’s the period of time leading up to that final settlement. By the time the insurer makes their first offer, you may be so frustrated by the process that you are ready to accept it right away.

As experienced personal injury attorneys, we urge accident victims to think carefully before accepting a settlement offer. You should never settle for less than you deserve merely because you are eager to put the entire incident behind you.

It takes time and persistence (from your lawyer and from you) to settle your case, so patience during this process is crucial. By working with legal professionals experienced in handling car accident cases—such Beers & Gordon—you can improve your chances of a satisfactory resolution.

Having a trusted legal team by your side can provide guidance, support, and the necessary expertise to navigate the complex settlement process effectively.


Why Is My Car Accident Settlement Taking So Long?

Auto accident cases can be mystifying, especially if you don’t follow personal injury cases day-in and day-out. However, if you’re seeking compensation after a car accident, you probably want to know that your time is being spent wisely.

Here are five factors that may be the reason your car accident settlement is taking longer than expected.

1. Accident Investigation

Even though Florida is a No Fault state, determining who was at-fault for the accident is an important part of the process. Thorough investigations are necessary to gather supporting evidence, such as police reports, witness statements, medical records, photographs, videos, vehicle downloaded information, and accident reconstruction analysis.

While these steps can significantly delay the settlement process, it also gives your personal injury lawyer time to complete their own investigation.

2. Liability Disputes

When it isn’t immediately clear who was at-fault for the accident, disputes are very common. These disagreements often require further investigation, legal analysis, and negotiation, leading to delays in reaching a settlement.

Resolving liability disputes can be a complex and time-consuming process, especially if there are conflicting accounts or multiple responsible parties.

3. Injuries and Medical Treatment

In order to receive a fair settlement, you need to understand the value of your case. The extent of your injuries and the cost of your medical treatment will play a significant role in determining the value of a settlement.

It is important to assess injuries thoroughly and accurately, which may involve seeking multiple medical opinions, consulting with specialists, and evaluating long-term effects. Many people try conservative measures for months prior to deciding to pursue more serious treatment, such as surgery. These cases likely should not be resolved until the surgery has occurred.

If you have to wait for medical treatments to be completed or reach maximum medical improvement, this can further delay the process.

4. Insurance Adjuster Delays

The insurance adjuster assigned to your personal injury claim will be responsible for reviewing relevant documentation, consulting with their supervisor, and negotiating with your attorney. However, adjusters (and the insurance companies who hire them) typically handle numerous claims simultaneously.

As former defense attorneys, we know how overwhelmed many of these insurance representatives are. So, we will be empathetic to these individuals as they are controlling the ability to get a fair settlement. Of course, we will also hold their feet to the fire to move cases along. And if they do not timely do so, we will push for litigation and move quickly in litigation.

5. Negotiation

Negotiating a fair settlement involves back-and-forth discussions between the parties involved. Each side may present counteroffers, conduct further investigations, and evaluate the strength of their case. Both parties may need to consult experts, review medical reports, and analyze other pertinent factors before reaching a mutually acceptable resolution.

This negotiation process requires time and patience to ensure a fair outcome. You and your attorney will want to be patient because if the insurance company believes you or your attorney need or desperately want the settlement, the money offered will reflect this assumption.

It is very important for the insurance representative to understand that you and your attorney are willing to take the case into litigation and possible trial.


An insurance officer filling out a report after a car accident

Tips for Expediting the Settlement Process

Is there any way to make the settlement process go faster?

First, maintain open and regular communication with your attorney. Respond promptly to any requests for information or documentation and keep them updated on any changes or developments related to your case.

While the attorneys do most of the work, it is a working partnership.

Second, it is essential to gather and organize all relevant documents and evidence related to the accident. This includes police reports, medical records, photographs of the accident scene, and any other supporting documentation. Having a comprehensive file will not only help facilitate the settlement process but also strengthen your case.

Third, keep detailed records of all expenses and losses incurred as a result of the accident. This includes medical bills, prescription costs, rehabilitation expenses, lost wages, and any other financial losses. Documenting these costs will ensure that you can present a clear and accurate account of the damages you have suffered.

Finally, be proactive in following up with your attorney. Stay informed about the progress of your case and inquire about any potential delays or obstacles; this can keep the settlement process moving forward.

Ask questions, too. If your lawyer cannot (or will not) answer your questions, you may have the wrong attorney. Remember, you can always change lawyers if you aren’t satisfied with your representation.

two men arguing with each other after a car accident

Work with Beers & Gordon

If you find yourself struggling with a car accident settlement, it is essential to seek the guidance and support of experienced legal professionals.

At Beers & Gordon, we specialize in handling car accident cases and are dedicated to protecting the rights of accident victims. We have been handling these cases for over 70 years combined and recovered tens of millions of dollars for our clients. Our knowledgeable team can navigate the complexities of the settlement process on your behalf, working diligently to expedite and maximize your car accident settlement.

Don’t face the settlement process alone. Contact Beers & Gordon for a free consultation to discuss your case and explore your legal options. Our experienced car accident attorneys are ready to provide the guidance and support you need to protect your rights and obtain the compensation you deserve.

Jim Gordon / Beers and Gordon P.A. / Civil Trial Attorneys

Jim Gordon

Jim Gordon earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of Nebraska in 1997, and two years later began working at a firm in Orlando handling insurance defense matters on cases involving vehicle accidents, negligence, product liability, and more. He established Beers & Gordon P.A. with David Beers in 2009 to represent the rights of people injured because of negligence. He is a member of the invitation-only National Trial Lawyers organization and the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.


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