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How Long Does It Take to Settle a Car Accident Claim?

Posted on April 30, 2021 in

After a car accident, several questions may cross your mind. You may wonder if you have any injuries, whether you will need to take your vehicle for repairs, or how to hold the other driver accountable for your injuries. You may also wonder how long it will take to settle your claim and how soon you can receive compensation.

The Oregon car accident claims process varies based on the severity and circumstances surrounding the collision. Depending on the facts surrounding your case, it may take a few months to a few years before you reach a settlement.

How Long Does It Take to Settle a Car Accident Claim?

The Oregon Insurance Claims Process

Oregon is a fault insurance state, which means you have two main options to seek compensation after a collision. You can file an insurance claim against the at-fault driver, or you can file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court.

During the insurance process, the company will assign an adjuster to investigate the accident and determine who is responsible. The adjuster may review evidence, enter into negotiations with your lawyer, and collect statements from relevant parties. At the conclusion of your case, the adjuster will inform you of whether you deserve a settlement and how much that settlement will be. In Oregon, these claims usually take a few months to conclude.

Filing a Car Accident Lawsuit in Oregon

The personal injury lawsuit process follows a different, lengthier process.

  • First, your attorney will investigate your accident and consider whether to send an initial demand letter to the at-fault driver.
  • If your attorney does send a demand letter, you may enter into negotiations with the at-fault driver. Your case may settle at this stage.
  • If your attorney does not send a letter or these negotiations are unsuccessful, you will file your lawsuit in Oregon civil court.
  • After filing, you and your attorney will enter the discovery process, where you will share information with the at-fault driver and take depositions of relevant parties. Discovery may take six months to one year to complete.
  • After discovery, you may enter into pretrial negotiations or mediation with the at-fault driver. If successful, your case may settle at this stage.
  • If you do not enter negotiations or if these negotiations are unsuccessful, your case will proceed to trial. Car accident lawsuit trials can take a few days to a few weeks to conclude. If the court rules in your favor, you will receive your settlement within a few weeks of the verdict.

Although a lawsuit may take longer, it is important to fight for maximum compensation throughout each stage of your case. If you accept an insufficient settlement, you could face hardships later on. Speak to a car accident attorney in Portland to determine your optimal path to recovery.

Factors That Lengthen a Car Accident Claim

There are certain factors that affect how long it will take your claim to reach a settlement, including the following.

  • Severe injuries, such as spinal cord damage or brain trauma
  • The involvement of multiple drivers
  • Unclear liability, which requires extensive investigation
  • Your statements and actions following your accident
  • A very high total of financial losses and damages
  • Failure to seek prompt medical attention
  • Not hiring an attorney to handle your claim, which could lead to incorrect paperwork and missed deadlines

If you are a car accident victim in Oregon, you need an attorney on your side. Your lawyer will advise you on your optimal path to seek maximum compensation and guide you through each step of the process. Contact your attorney as soon as possible following the accident to discuss your legal options.