How long does an auto accident claim take to resolve?  This is a question that is frequently asked by people after an auto accident.  To understand this, you need to understand the time line of an auto accident claim.

Treatment Stage

After you have been involved in an auto accident, you claim will go down a fairly linear path.  The day of the accident you will gather as much information as possible, contact your attorney and receive any emergency medical attention that you require.

Next, your attorney will send you to a clinic which will be in charge of your medical treatment.  They may not do all your care.  But they will coordinate with other providers to make sure that you receive the right care to allow to recover as quickly and as fully as possible.

Some people recover quickly because of their general health or the seriousness of the accident.  However, some people may require a longer time to recover, or may not ever recover to the level of health they had before their accident.  This is one of the biggest factors in determining how long it will take to negotiate a settlement. 

Negotiation Stage

Once your treatment is completed, your demand packet will be sent to the insurance company.  We may go back and forth negotiating a settlement amount. 

If an amount is agreed upon and you give your approval, the settlement paperwork will be drafted and then the check will be sent out.  Your attorney will still need to negotiate your bills to the medical providers.  Once this is completed, your attorney will pay the bills and provide you a check.

Litigation Stage

If we are unable to negotiate a settlement for an amount acceptable to you, your claim will be filed in court.  Once a claim is filed in court, it could take up to an additional two years or more.

Litigation starts by filing a petition with the court.  Next the defendant must be served.  Written discovery and depositions will be done to show both sides what the trial will be like. 

A mediation is generally required prior to the trial.  At the mediation, both parties will meet and attempt to work out a settlement.  The mediator will attempt to provide an outside perspective of the value of your claim.

If a settlement is not reached, you are going to trial.  The claim can be settled anytime during this process.  The judge or the jury will determine how much you will receive from your claim.


As you can see from the above, the question of how long does an auto accident claim take can very from case to case.  If your claim is resolved quickly, it can be done a couple of months after you complete your medical treatment.  But, if you have to go all the way through trial, your claim can last years.  

Keep your attorney informed as to your treatment and any changes in your contact information.  If you do all this, your claim can be resolved as quickly as possible.