After a motor vehicle crash injury in Pennsylvania, you have a few different legal options for recovering compensation. You may be submitting a claim with your own or another driver’s insurance company or filing a lawsuit against an at-fault party.
But no matter what legal avenue you take to financial recovery, you’re probably eager to finish the process and move forward with your life.
How long does it take to resolve a car accident case? The answer varies significantly from case to case. Every car accident is different. Some cases are wrapped up in a few weeks, others take several months, and a smaller number may last as long as a year or more.
Let’s look at a few of the factors that influence how long your car accident case might take. If you have any questions about your case, contact an experienced Lycoming County car accident attorney from Stapp Law, LLC in Williamsport. A free consultation is available now.
How Long Does It Take To Settle a Car Accident Case in Pennsylvania?
Settling a car accident claim with an insurance company is typically a shorter process than filing a lawsuit and going to court. Most car crash cases are resolved through an out-of-court settlement rather than going to court.
But reaching a settlement is still an involved process that can’t happen overnight. There are several factors that can make recovering a settlement a longer journey. The timeline of your claim will be affected by the answers to questions like:
- Who is at fault for the accident?
- How severe are the injuries and property damage?
- Were all involved drivers covered by auto insurance?
- How much insurance coverage do you have?
- Were there any fatalities in the vehicle crash?
- How did the accident happen?
- How long will you require medical treatment?
- How long will you miss work due to your injuries?
- Is the insurance company willing to settle—or do you need to file a lawsuit?
The answers to these questions and more play a huge role in determining how long it will take to resolve your car accident case.
How Car Accident Cases Are Handled in Pennsylvania
Each state has its own unique set of laws for handling motor vehicle collision cases. If you want to know how long your case might take, it’s important to first understand the PA state laws for recovering compensation after a car accident.
Pennsylvania is one of only a few other states that are known as “no-fault” auto insurance states.
This means that if you’re hurt in a car accident, you should first file a claim with your own insurance company—no matter who is at fault. PA state law requires you to carry the following minimum amounts of auto insurance coverage:
- $5,000 in medical benefits coverage to cover medical bills for you and others under your policy, regardless of fault
- $15,000 per person/ $30,000 per accident in bodily injury liability coverage, used in the event that you injure someone else in the collision
- $5,000 in property damage liability coverage for any harm you cause to someone else’s property
There are other types of insurance coverage (such as uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage) that you can opt in or out of.
Additionally, if you want to retain the unrestricted right to sue an at-fault driver, you need to pay extra for “full tort” coverage. “Limited tort” coverage is less expensive, but it limits your right to recover certain damages from the other motorist, including pain and suffering damages. Whether you have full tort or limited tort coverage can also impact how long it takes to resolve your injury case.
If you’re involved in a car accident, and none of your losses exceed any of your or the at-fault driver’s policy limits, you may have a straightforward case that won’t take too long to resolve. You will need to file a claim with the appropriate insurance carrier and provide evidence of your losses. There may be some back and forth with the auto insurer, after which time a settlement can ideally be reached. If there are any issues during this process, contact an attorney who can make sure you get a fair outcome.
However, if you suffered serious injuries that resulted in financial losses surpassing policy limits, there may be a more complicated road to compensation. Cases like this will generally take more time. You will likely need to work with a lawyer who can walk you through legal options for recovery if your losses are greater than what can be recovered through your insurance coverage.
Injured in a Williamsport Car Accident? Stapp Law, LLC Is Here for You.
Stapp Law, LLC, located in the heart of downtown Williamsport, is the personal injury law firm clients know they can trust. Founding attorney Gregory Stapp and the entire team have built a strong reputation in Central Pennsylvania as a law office that gets things done.
When you partner with us, insurance companies know you mean business. We work hard and we work efficiently to protect our clients from being taken advantage of by big-business auto insurance corporations. Our legal team earns winning results by making smart decisions in the interest of our clients.
Most importantly, we never waste your time. You know that when you have Stapp Law, LLC on your side, we’re making the most of every minute we spend on your case. We don’t get paid by the hour. We only get paid if you win.
Contact us to set up your free consultation today. We’ll review your rights and legal options with you during your case evaluation. At that time, we’ll be able to let you know how long it will likely take to resolve your car accident case.
Simply call our office or fill out our online form to get started.