If you or your loved one was involved in a hit and run accident in Fort Lauderdale, you may be wondering how long your case will take to settle. However, this can be difficult to determine without knowing the specific details related to your situation. Having an experienced lawyer review your claim could give you a better understanding on how long you will need to wait to have your case resolved.
At Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers, our reputable team of legal professionals is ready to discuss your hit and run accident claim in a free, initial claim evaluation. During this complimentary meeting, one of our attorneys can determine whether your case may be eligible for financial compensation. Although there are no guarantees in hit and run accident cases, if you have a viable claim, we may be able to provide an estimate on how long it may take to settle your claim and how much would be adequate compensation for your damages.
Continue reading below to understand how certain things can affect the amount of time you may need to wait until your hit and run accident claim is settled. Keep in mind that hiring an experienced hit and run accident lawyer could help move the process along much smoother, rather than handling the case on your own. Hit and run accident victims who have the help and guidance of legal representation, tend to garner larger settlement awards as opposed to those who choose to represent themselves.
What Determines the Timeline in a Hit and Run Accident Claim?
Although your situation may differ depending on the details, generally speaking, there are three main factors that may affect how long you will need to wait before your hit and run crash claim is settled:
- Maximum Medical Improvement – If you or your loved one was injured in a hit and run crash, you will want to reach maximum medical improvement, before settling with the insurance companies involved. This means you should wait until your doctor declares that your condition is stable and no longer expected to improve. If you decide to settle beforehand, you may not obtain the full and fair amount of compensation you may need for future medical care. Remember, once you decide to settle your hit and run accident claim, you will no longer be allowed to file any additional claims for the same accident in the future, regardless of if your condition worsens.
- Factual and/or Legal Issues – If you do not have substantial evidence of the hit and run crash, the insurance companies may delay or deny your claim, which will lengthen the process. Insurers may try to say that your damages were caused by something other than what you claim, and you may be denied compensation. This is common in a hit and run accident claim, especially when the at-fault driver cannot be found or identified. However, if your hit and run accident claim has merit, this is where a conscientious lawyer from our firm can help defend your rights and help you seek the full amount of financial compensation you may need to make a healthy recovery. If your claim is valid, a good lawyer can help investigate the damages and gather enough evidence to help bolster your hit and run accident claim.
- Large Amounts of Compensation – Whenever large amounts of compensation are at stake, insurance companies will do just about anything to avoid paying the full amount of money you may legally deserve. Although they may seem friendly and helpful, insurance adjusters can try to hold anything you say against the value of your claim. This is another important reason why you need a quality attorney on your side. He or she can properly communicate and negotiate with insurers on your behalf and help ensure you are pursuing the rightful amount of compensation you may legally deserve.
Timelines in a Hit and Run Accident Claim
Once you and your attorney have agreed on what is a fair and adequate settlement amount, he or she can then draw up a demand letter on your behalf and send it to the insurance companies involved. The insurance company can either accept your claim, send a counteroffer, or deny it altogether.
If a settlement agreement is reached between the parties involved, Florida Statute 627.4265 states that the auto insurance company must pay the claim within 20 days. However, if it is a Personal Injury Protection (PIP) claim, the insurer is required to pay within 30 days, according to Florida Statute 627.736.
Of course, all of this depends on how fast you and your lawyer can get everything over to the insurance companies. An experienced lawyer will know the proper procedures and urgency you will need to take to maintain the value of your claim.
What if My Hit and Run Crash Claim Goes to Trial?
While many hit and run accident cases are settled before going to court, there are instances where the parties may not come to an agreement on a settlement amount. If this is the case, you and your attorney may need to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver to pursue the full amount of compensation you may deserve.
The case will first go through mediation where the two parties meet with a mediator to try and settle their differences before going to trial. The mediator is a neutral, third-party individual assigned by the court, who has no say in the outcome. He or she is simply there to listen to both sides of the story and attempt to have the two parties agree on a settlement.
If mediation fails to resolve the case, your hit and run accident claim may end up in court. It is important to stay consistent with your story and only provide the facts about what happened. If you change your story throughout the process, it will make your claim much less credible.
While some minor hit and run accident claims can be settled within a month or so, complex cases can last several months to over a year, depending on the details. For example, if there are very little clues and evidence available or if your injuries have yet to stabilize, it could make the process longer.
Call a Legal Professional to Handle Your Hit and Run Accident Claim
When it comes to hit and run accident claims, we recommend having an experienced legal professional review the details of your situation. If you decide to accept a quick settlement offer from the insurance company, you could be selling yourself short.
At Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers, we never settle for less when we fight for the legal rights of our clients. Regardless of if your claim is large or small in value, we treat every case with urgency and treat our clients with the respect they deserve.
Call our firm any time, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Allow our team of legal professionals guide you through the complexities of the claims process so you can strive to seek the full and fair amount of monetary compensation you may legally deserve.
We offer free, first-time consultations for hit and run accident victims in Fort Lauderdale (by appointment only), and there is no obligation to hire our firm for legal representation if you decide not to proceed.
You can contact a licensed lawyer at Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers in several different ways. You can call us at (561) 800-8000, fill out a free online form on our website, or chat with one of our online representatives.
Fight for your right to seek compensation in a timely manner. Contact Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers today.