One of my good friends, Tyler Moffitt wrote a blog post on “How long a Georgia Car Accident Case Would Take,” you can read it here. I thought that would be good information for my Missouri clients as well and so I put together this guide below.
Every car accident case is different. There are different fact patterns, different jurisdictions, different injuries, different defendants etc. There are some cases that I have been able to settle in less than 30 days, and there are other cases that I have worked on for 5 years! This guide will explain the process of why cases sometimes take a little bit longer and why some cases will settle in a very short amount of time.
Timeline of Missouri Car Accident Case
1. You Hire the Krause & Kinsman Law Firm
You will come into our office after your car accident. We will go through a full intake session that will take a little more than an hour. This is where I will dive into your case. I will learn about your injuries, the doctors that you’ve seen, where you are in your treatment and about your medical insurance. We will also go over how the accident occurred, who was at fault, and where the accident took place. This intake is one of the most important aspects of the claim because it tells me what I need to do next. I may need to order medical and billing records, hire experts, talk to doctors and get the police report. There are many steps that I take to properly resolve your case to get you the most compensation possible. To learn more about the compensation that you might be entitled to click at the link below:
Time Estimate: 1 Day
- We start gathering the evidence
We need to get a lot of evidence before we submit a demand for your case. We will go to the accident scene and take pictures of the traffic lights, road conditions and where the cars were position during the accident. We also take videos of the traffic flow and how the traffic signals work. Often we need to collect from you your W2’s for missing work, medical records, and pictures of your car.
We also hire private investigators who will interview witnesses of the scene of the accident to enhance your position. This is a great method to determine liability from the start of the case so it won’t be argued later during the negotiation phase.
Time Estimate: 3-6 weeks
- We Order Medical and Billing Records
We have spoken about the process of ordering medical and billing records from your providers before. This is important because it helps us enhance the compensation that you will receive from your claim. Typically, this is the part that takes the longest. If you are still treating while we are representing you, we must wait. We do not want to settle your case until after we know that you have gotten better. You can read more about ordering medical records below:
Time Estimate: 30 days-until done treating
- We Talk to the Responsible Party’s Insurance Company about Settling
After we have ordered the medical and billing records, after we got all the investigate materials we will put together a demand letter asking for the compensation that you deserve. We will then negotiate with the insurance company. Some insurance companies are quick to pay and others really dig in and try to nickel and dime. We will never settle a case for a lower amount than what we believe you deserve. We know that car accidents can be very traumatic and we will make sure the insurance companies know that they must come with their best offer. We do this by putting together very complete demand packages and supporting our claims with an abundance of evidence
Time Estimate: 2 weeks
- Filing a Lawsuit
If the insurance company does not give us a fair offer, we will need to file a lawsuit. Lawsuits are much more involved. We will need to conduct depositions, hire experts, get more facts and respond to discovery. This process is much lengthier and may take more than a year. Very few of our cases go to trial because we do a lot of work to prove to the insurance companies that they are going to lose if they do choose to take us to trial.
Time Estimate: 1 Year
If we file a lawsuit we typically have to go to mediation before the case actually sees a jury. We will present evidence to a mediator who will help us to try and come to a resolve with the insurance company. We have done mediations and they can prove very useful in presenting our side of the argument.
Estimate Time: 6 months
- Actual Car Accident Trial
There are many steps before we actually go to trial. We will have already investigated the facts, taken deposition, responded and requested discovery, issued demand letters, hired experts, submitted expert reports and participated in mediations before we go to trial. The actual length of the trial will depend on the complexity of the case. Most cases will not go longer than three days.
Time Estimate: 3 days
Call Now for your Free Consultation
There are many steps that go into properly working up a car accident case. Most attorneys do not consistently work on car accident cases. We have settled many, many cases and we can help you. If you have been in a car accident, feel free to call us and we can help you get the compensation that you deserve.
Adam Krause is a personal injury, mass tort, business litigation, and employment discrimination attorney who practices in Kansas City, Missouri. He graduated from the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Law and has been practicing law for several years now. Adam Krause has made a career of taking complicated litigation and presenting it in the most elementary terms for a jury of your peers to understand. Learn more about his experience here.