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How Long Does It Take to Get a Settlement Check From a Car Accident?

January 29, 2021 By Cerussi and Gunn P.C. Legal Team

After a car accident, it is normal to look forward to receiving your settlement check with great anticipation. The medical bills, property repairs and lost wages have been stacking up, adding to your family’s stress after a collision. A settlement check represents a new start, with the money you need to pay the bills and finally move forward. The timeline on your payout, however, will depend on your specific case. The answer can range from a few months to a few years.

Average Settlement Times for Car Accident Cases in New Jersey

There are two main timelines for payouts for auto accidents in New Jersey: the settlement timeline and the injury trial timeline. Settlements are faster than trials; oftentimes, significantly faster. The average car accident settlement is achieved within three to six months of filing the initial claim. If the case cannot settle and has to go to court, the timeline can extend to one year or longer.

The average car accident insurance settlement in New Jersey involves several key steps from the date of the collision to the company cutting a check.

  1. The claimant files an insurance claim. New Jersey uses a no-fault insurance system, where the driver’s own insurance company pays for damages, regardless of fault. A driver may be able to hold someone else responsible, however, for a serious injury.
  2. The insurance company hires a claims adjuster to review the claim. The adjuster must acknowledge the receipt of a claim within 10 working days. It will hire an adjuster to contact the victim, ask questions and investigate the crash to determine fault.
  3. The insurance company accepts or denies the claim. With an acceptance, the insurer will offer an amount it believes is reasonable to resolve the claim. With a denial, the insurer will deny liability for the collision and won’t offer a settlement.
  4. The victim negotiates with the insurer. The victim then has the chance to negotiate with the insurance company – either for a higher settlement or for an internal review of a claim denial.
  5. The case settles or goes to court. If the claim does not come to an end with a satisfactory settlement award, the victim can take the insurance company to court in New Jersey for a fair outcome instead.

The majority of car accident claims in New Jersey achieve successful settlements. You can receive a settlement check within just a few months if your case settles. Otherwise, you will have to wait for a trial date and take the defendant to court for fair compensation. This process can take several months up to a few years from start to finish.

What Factors Can Slow Down Your Payment?

No two car accident claims are identical. They all have different elements, factors and timelines. How fast one person settled his or her claim may not predict the timeline of your claim. If you are curious how long it might take to receive a settlement check, consult with a Monmouth County car accident lawyer. An attorney can check your claim for factors that may impact your settlement timeline to give you an accurate estimate.

  • The extent of your injuries
  • The length of your medical recovery
  • Liability disputes
  • The length of the insurance company’s investigation
  • The number of defendants
  • Your comparative negligence for the accident
  • The amount you are seeking in damages
  • Going to trial vs. settling

Generally speaking, a case involving serious to catastrophic injuries will take longer to settle than one with minor injuries. Serious injuries have longer healing periods, forcing the claimant to wait longer to accept a settlement. Cases with multiple defendants and liability disputes can also encounter delays. These are complex cases that require additional work behind the scenes. For more information about how long it might take you to get a settlement check for a car accident in New Jersey, speak to a lawyer near you.