How Long Does It Take to Settle a Car Accident Case in South Carolina?

by Charnell Glenn Peake on Jun. 08, 2020

Accident & Injury Car Accident Accident & Injury Accident & Injury  Personal Injury 

Summary: After you have been hurt in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, you have the right to pursue the responsible parties for fair compensation. The aftermath of a wreck is understandably stressful. You might lose time from work and be facing medical treatment and rehabilitation to recover from your injuries.

How Long Does It Take to Settle a Car Accident Case in South Carolina?

After you have been hurt in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, you have the right to pursue the responsible parties for fair compensation. The aftermath of a wreck is understandably stressful. You might lose time from work and be facing medical treatment and rehabilitation to recover from your injuries. 

Many of our clients wonder how long it takes to get an accident claim settled. The answer depends on the case, but it can typically take anywhere from a few months to several years. Here are some of the factors that might influence how fast your car accident case settles. 

Determining and Proving Liability

If another driver’s carelessness or negligence led to your accident and injuries, they should be held accountable for your damages. Further, you have the right to pursue any party, such as the manufacturer of a defective part or a property owner, if their negligence resulted in your harm.

But, proving liability isn’t always simple, and the responsible party might dispute your allegations. If you have a hard time proving your claim, you will also have difficulty getting the insurance company to offer a fair settlement. This can stall the claims process significantly. Fortunately, you can speak with a knowledgeable attorney about how best to proceed. 

Your Injuries from the Car Accident

The type and extent of your injuries can also play a large role in how long it takes your auto accident case to settle. If you have serious injuries that still require treatment, it is important to follow through with your physician’s recommendations and get the services you need until your condition stabilizes. 

Some injuries, such as whiplash, are more difficult to prove and can be hotly disputed by insurance companies. Also, if you have a pre-existing condition, the insurer might try to claim that your injury wasn’t caused by the crash. 

Proving Your Damages

As an injury victim, you have the right to pursue a variety of damages. You can claim compensation for lost wages and medical treatment related to your injuries. Another possibility is pain and suffering, which can increase the value of your case significantly. 

It is one thing to come up with a fair amount for your settlement but quite another to get the insurance company to agree to it. Whether through negotiations or in the courtroom, it is vital that you be able to prove or justify damages. 

A good personal injury attorney will be a strong negotiator on your behalf. They will also understand the best ways to prove damages, such as hiring experts when appropriate. 

Dealing With the Insurance Company

Not all insurance companies are the same. Some are easier to deal with than others, but it is important to note that few will have your best interests in mind. Some insurance companies are pros at dragging cases out in the hopes that injury victims will tire of the process and accept a lower settlement offer. 

An insurance company might take extra time to investigate every aspect of your claim. When dealing with insurers, it is vital that you have a strong legal advocate in your corner that understands how these companies operate and will take the steps necessary to navigate the obstacles they will produce throughout your case. 

Negotiating a Settlement or Filing a Lawsuit

Once you are medically stable, you can choose to settle your case with the insurance company or file a lawsuit. Typically, the insurance company will make an offer. You can accept it, reject it, or make a counter demand. It is always a good idea to speak with an attorney about the value of your case before settling it since you can’t change your mind later. 

If the insurance company isn’t treating you fairly, you have the right to file a civil lawsuit, provided you do so within three years of the date of the accident. Lawsuits can take from several months to several years to resolve, but you can still settle at any point during this process. 

Getting Your Settlement Check or Award

If you do settle your case or receive an award through the courts, you can expect to receive your check from the insurance company in about four to six weeks. The insurance company will ask you to sign a release form that officially ends your case. You can discuss the particulars of this process with your attorney. 

Speak With an Experienced South Carolina Car Accident Attorney

If you have been injured in a car accident in South Carolina and would like to learn more about your options, we can help. At Peake & Flower, we have more than 100 years of combined legal experience protecting the rights of accident victims in Columbia and the surrounding communities of Richland, Lexington, and Kershaw counties. Contact our office today at (803) 788-4370 or reach out to us online to schedule a free consultation. 

Legal Articles Additional Disclaimer

Lawyer.com is not a law firm and does not offer legal advice. Content posted on Lawyer.com is the sole responsibility of the person from whom such content originated and is not reviewed or commented on by Lawyer.com. The application of law to any set of facts is a highly specialized skill, practiced by lawyers and often dependent on jurisdiction. Content on the site of a legal nature may or may not be accurate for a particular state or jurisdiction and may largely depend on specific circumstances surrounding individual cases, which may or may not be consistent with your circumstances or may no longer be up-to-date to the extent that laws have changed since posting. Legal articles therefore are for review as general research and for use in helping to gauge a lawyer's expertise on a matter. If you are seeking specific legal advice, Lawyer.com recommends that you contact a lawyer to review your specific issues. See Lawyer.com's full Terms of Use for more information.