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Timeline on Settling Crashes with a Drunk Driver

June 4, 2020

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Many people worry about how long they’ll have to wait for a settlement. The internet certainly doesn’t help with its troves of misinformation. So we’re going to break down the process so you can have a somewhat clear timeline on what to expect. When you have a drunk driver involved, the entire resolution takes longer.

Each step can take a matter of days or weeks. Keep in mind that if you’re overwhelmed with your recovery, you don’t have to push this process through quickly. After notifying your insurance, you can control the timeline more than you might think, and it’s time to start thinking about contacting a Columbia injury attorney.

Alerting Your Car Insurance

You should always contact your car insurance provider soon after the wreck. Given the extent of your injuries, you may take a few days or a week to get everything together. When you call in to report the crash, you’ll need some basic information, really the simple facts. You don’t need to get into details right away, and you really should avoid that if possible.

What happens when you call-in is that you’re reporting the crash. You don’t have to make a statement at that very moment. If anything, wait on the statement. Additionally, you may only have a few weeks to report your crash before you violate your policy. There’s also the downside that there isn’t one set limit.

Different insurance providers have different reporting requirements—the most forgiving offer for thirty days. However, many make exceptions when their drivers are hospitalized, unresponsive, or have suffered extensive brain trauma.

Expect to report your claim within at most, 30 days.

Understanding the Delay with Charges

When it comes to DUIs, the separation is pretty distinct. As the victim, there’s really no reason for you to have much involvement. You can probably provide a victim impact statement during their sentencing, but often DUI cases aren’t handled that way unless there are significant injuries. That judge might decide to award restitution or punitive damages.

But, will you have to delay your claim because of it? Not necessarily, although many car crash attorneys like to wait and see how the criminal charges play out. You can use the result of charges to help support you in civil court, although it’s not always allowed.

If you’re waiting for their court case to go through, you may need to wait at least a few weeks. How fast criminal trails happen for the accused can vary drastically.

You and your car accident attorney can work out exactly what you plan to do in this situation.

Filing Your Formal Statement and Demand Letter

This process doesn’t necessarily take much time. You sit down and write out your formal statement then send that into your insurance company. Don’t give a statement over the phone. Make sure that you carefully review your statement to ensure that it’s complete, factual, and clearly shows who was at fault.

Then your demand letter is something that you should work closely with your attorney. The demand letter is a place for you to list out the expenses and losses you experienced due to the crash. That letter will stand as the starting point for compensation negotiations. You can use it to support your need for medical relief, or even for bills, you couldn’t cover while you’re out of work.

This work can be done over the course of a few days.

Negotiations, Settlement, and Court

Negotiations will come first and may last for weeks. People will go back and forth. The involved insurance company may even negotiate with your medical billing departments to lower the amount due. If negotiations go well, you’ll receive a settlement. Otherwise, you will go to the civil court.

The civil court system will have a judge review your case and then make a determination on fair compensation.

Overall the entire process typically lasts between 1 and 5 months. Of course, that can vary depending on the injuries and charges associated with the wreck.

Get Started and Contact a Car Accident Lawyer in Columbia, SC

Many victims feel as if they have no control. They didn’t have control when someone smashed into them after drinking. They didn’t have control when police pushed forward with charges, ultimately slowing down closure on the claim. These victims often feel as though they can’t even prioritize their medical recovery because insurance companies move at their pace.

You don’t have to give into that. You can take control of some elements of how fast things are moving. While it’s difficult to speed up the process, you can slow it down when it doesn’t suit you. You can also work with a professional to ensure that everything is moving along as it should. Use an accident lawyer from Columbia, SC, to make sure that you have a grip on your recovery and compensation. Call Connell Law.