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How Long It Takes To Settle a Pedestrian Accident in New York

Published July 3, 2024 by TGR TGR
How Long It Takes To Settle a Pedestrian Accident in New York

Josie stops for brunch at one of Buffalo’s fabulous eateries. As she crosses the parking lot, a speeding car rockets around the corner and knocks her off her feet. Josie, who’s on her back and nursing a nasty bump to the head, wonders, “How long does it take to settle a pedestrian accident claim?”

Learn the answer, plus a few factors influencing the settlement timeline, below.

How Long Does Settling a Pedestrian Accident Claim Take?

Because all pedestrian accident cases are different, it’s impossible to say exactly how long your case will take to settle. You’ll need to talk to a lawyer to determine the expected timeframe for your case.

That said, on average, simple cases usually settle six to 12 months after medical treatment is finished. Cases involving serious injuries and extensive medical bills can take more than a year.

Factors Affecting the Pedestrian Accident Claim Timeline

How long does it take to settle a pedestrian accident case? The answer depends on a few factors, including liability, evidence, and the severity of your injuries.

The Severity of Your Injuries

The severity of your injuries matters because your attorney will want to wait until you’ve reached maximum medical improvement (MMI) before settling. Reaching MMI doesn’t mean you’re back to full health. Rather, it means your doctors don’t think you’ll recover further.

If your injuries are minor, you may reach MMI in a few weeks or months. Pedestrian accident victims with serious injuries might take more than a year to reach MMI.

Pre-Existing Conditions

Pre-existing conditions can complicate your claim and extend the settlement timeline. This is because the at-fault party’s insurance company might try to blame pre-existing conditions for your injuries. Your lawyer will need to gather medical records to prove your pre-existing conditions have no bearing on any current injuries.

The Evidence Collection Process

The other driver’s insurance company isn’t going to pay for your damages without some strong evidence. It takes time to assemble a collection of evidence, and the more complex your case is, the longer evidence gathering will take.

Determining Liability

It’s usually fairly easy to determine liability in a pedestrian accident. However, the driver who hit you might try to say that the accident was partially your fault. For example, they might claim you ran across the street without using a crosswalk.

New York law allows courts to reduce your settlement if you’re partly at fault. If the other driver blames you for the crash, your lawyer must spend additional time minimizing your liability.

Settlement Negotiations

Negotiating for a settlement is often the longest part of the process. Once your attorney sends a demand letter, you’ll have to wait for the insurance company to reply. If they don’t accept the demand (which is likely), you’ll need to send a counteroffer.

Negotiations go back and forth like this until you and the insurance company reach an agreement. This can take several weeks to a few months.

Going to Trial

If the insurance company won’t negotiate or settle, your lawyer might want to go to court. Should this happen, it could take more than a year to close out your claim.

How Long Will Your Case Take? Find Out Now

How long does it take to settle a pedestrian accident case? If you’re fortunate, you can wrap up your case in a couple of months. If not, it could take over a year for your settlement check to arrive.

To learn more about average settlement times, contact us online or call Cantor, Wolff, Nicastro & Hall LLC at (716) 848-8000 for a consultation with a pedestrian accident lawyer.

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