Have you been injured in an accident in the Reno and Las Vegas area and filed a personal injury claim with your insurance company? You may be wondering why accident settlements take so long. What happens if you reject the settlement offer? Can you re-open a claim after you have settled? Read below as our team at De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers explains how long accident settlements typically take, what factors affect settlements, and under what circumstances you can re-open a claim. Then, when you are ready, we can help you successfully negotiate your accident settlement.
How Long Does It Take To Settle an Accident Claim in Las Vegas?
Settlement timelines for accident claims can vary depending on the circumstances of each case, but the average personal injury claim takes three to six months to resolve. Settlement negotiations can go on for a while, but they can’t go on for longer than two years from the date of the accident. If you are involved in an accident that’s caused minor injuries, you can expect to see it settled in under a month, while a more complex case can take up to two years.
Nevada’s statute of limitation limits an injured person’s right to file a lawsuit against someone for injuring them to two years. After two years, you cannot seek legal assistance or file a claim with the court for compensation.
What Factors Affect the Time It Takes To Settle an Accident Claim?
Every accident case is unique, including the injuries sustained and the circumstances leading to the incident. These factors contribute to the time it takes to settle an accident claim. Other aspects include the following:
The Type of Accident
In personal injury law, an accident can involve one of many different types of incidents that result in injury or harm, including:
- Slip and fall accidents.
- Car, motorcycle, and truck accidents.
- Injuries from animal bites, including dog bites.
- Workplace accidents.
- Injuries from defective products.
The type of accident will determine the case’s complexity and how long it will take to settle. In addition to personal injury law, some accidents, such as truck accidents, workplace accidents, and injuries from defective products, have additional laws, regulations, and requirements that may affect the settlement timeline. These can involve establishing the party or parties responsible for the accident, how much of the fault was theirs, and whether they violated applicable laws.
The Nature and Severity of Your Injuries
Your injury type and its extent also affect your settlement timeline. Accidents involving simple or minor injuries, such as a sprained wrist or a broken leg, can be resolved more quickly than those that result in multiple injuries, a need for long-term rehabilitation or treatment, or permanent disability. More severe injuries result in higher medical costs, which insurance companies and defendants may be responsible for. In most circumstances, you will be unable to settle a case while still receiving medical treatment for your injuries.
The Value of Your Claim
You can typically settle quickly if the settlement amount is under $10,000. Large-dollar settlements, particularly those involving injuries that result in permanent disability, usually take longer because insurance companies will want to scrutinize the case. Small-dollar settlements typically take less time.
The value of your claim should include any medical expenses incurred from the accident, the cost of necessary future medical treatment and physical rehabilitation, lost wages, loss of future earnings, and recompense for any pain and suffering you experienced, including a loss of enjoyment.
Insurance Policies and Compensation Limits
In Nevada, insurance companies have 80 business days to initiate and settle a claim after filing it. Most insurance companies will determine the value of your claim using the company’s damages formula, which assigns a monetary value to injuries and losses, the liability of all parties, and the available insurance coverage.
What Happens if You Reject the Settlement Offer?
Most accident claims do not require you to go to court because you and the other party agree on the value of your injuries and other damages. But you can reject it if the other party does not offer what you or your lawyer believes is appropriate compensation. In that case, your lawyer will advise you of your options, including negotiating further, making a counteroffer, or filing a lawsuit.
Can You Re-Open a Personal Injury Claim?
Unless you have signed a settlement agreement and a release of claims or the two-year statute of limitations has passed, you can re-open a personal injury claim. When you sign a settlement agreement, you must sign a release of claims document. This states that in exchange for compensation and other agreed-upon terms, you forfeit your right to file or pursue a lawsuit against the other party. Settlement agreements are final and binding.
You can only re-open a personal injury claim after settlement under four extenuating circumstances:
- New evidence shifts liability for the accident to another party or changes the cause of your accident.
- A clerical error or another error results in the settlement documents not accurately reflecting the parties’ agreement.
- Fraud is involved, or a party acted in bad faith.
- You had inadequate legal representation because your lawyer breached their duty to provide adequate representation. This may include failing to advise you of your legal rights, file documents on time, or keep you abreast of claim developments.
Let De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers Negotiate Your Accident Settlement
The experienced and knowledgeable team of personal injury attorneys at De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers understand that navigating insurance companies and knowing your rights after a personal injury can be overwhelming. Serving Reno and Las Vegas, we can guide you through every step of the accident settlement process, including filing a claim with the insurance company, obtaining the required documentation, negotiating with insurance companies, and, if necessary, filing a lawsuit.
Before you or a loved one have to deal with an insurance company or representative of a party involved in your accident, contact our office for a free consultation. A member of our bilingual staff is available to answer your questions.