Car accidents are traumatic and cause lasting physical, emotional, and financial impacts to your daily life. If you have been harmed due to someone else’s negligence in Virginia, obtaining a settlement helps you recover from your losses and move forward. However, the settlement process can be complex and lengthy, leaving you with more questions than answers.
At Waterman Law Centers PLLC, we know a lot can happen between the date of your car accident and when the settlement is obtained. Even with following the process outlined, lengthy medical treatment, tough settlement negotiations, and other unexpected factors can extend the time it takes to maximize your compensation. We work tirelessly to guide you through the legal process so you know what to expect, your rights are protected, and you obtain the compensation you deserve.
3-4 Steps in the Virginia Car Accident Settlement/Judgment Process
With a skilled car accident lawyer on your side, you can seamlessly navigate the following three-to-four steps of the Virginia car accident settlement process:
- Making a Claim: The first step in seeking compensation for a car accident is making a claim through the offending driver’s insurance company. We present evidence of your damages, such as medical records and bills, police reports, witness accounts, photographs, etc. The insurance company investigates your claim and determines whether they will offer compensation for damages.
- Negotiating a Settlement: When the insurance company presents a settlement offer, your car accident lawyer will review the offer with you and negotiate for the better compensation you deserve. This process involves multiple rounds of offers and counteroffers. If an agreement cannot be reached, we file a lawsuit and if necessary, proceed to trial.
- Filing a Lawsuit: If your car accident lawyer needs to file a civil lawsuit on your behalf, your case still may be settled before trial. If not, you and your lawyer will go to trial and present evidence of negligence and the damages you suffered. The offending driver’s insurance company also presents evidence in its defense. The jury will then make a decision and award damages.
- Collecting a Judgment: If you are awarded compensation at trial for damages, you must collect your judgment from the offending driver’s insurance company, but typically only up to the limits of the insurance policy.
The statute of limitations for initiating a car accident claim in Virginia is two years from the date of the accident. If you miss this window, you will lose your right to seek compensation for the damages you suffered as a result of negligence. Also, delaying pursuit of a claim makes collecting evidence and building a strong case more challenging. Working with an experienced Virginia car accident lawyer helps you meet the necessary deadlines and filing requirements.
Understanding a Car Accident Settlement/Judgment Timeline
The timeline for a Virginia car accident judgment varies based on multiple factors, including particularly but not limited to disputed liability, the severity of the car accident, the extent of injuries, the number of parties, the amount of insurance, and other complexities of your case. However, there are some general guidelines, including the following:
- Negotiations take anywhere from several weeks or a few months
- Filing a lawsuit extends the settlement process to several months up to years
- Once you are awarded damages, you will need to wait at least several weeks or months to collect your judgment.
Working with a skilled lawyer at Waterman Law Centers, PLLC, helps you work towards a fair and timely resolution.
Contact an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer at Waterman Law Centers, PLLC
Car accidents can be overwhelming and confusing, but understanding the Virginia car accident settlement/judgment process and timeline can make seeking compensation less daunting. By working with an award-winning car accident lawyer at Waterman Law Centers, PLLC, you can confidently navigate the process and get the compensation you deserve.
Whether negotiating a settlement or filing a lawsuit, knowing what to expect helps you make informed decisions about your case. Schedule a complimentary consultation by calling (757) 906-4707 or filling out a contact form.
Mr. Waterman has been named to The Best Lawyers in America for Personal Injury during 2007-2023, and was voted “Lawyer of the Year” for Personal Injury in 2022 by his peers in Southeast Virginia; and Waterman Law Centers is listed as a Metropolitan Tier 1 Best Law Firm by U.S. News & World Report for Personal Injury for 2021-2023.