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ABOUT how long should settlement negotiation take?

Riverdale, GA |

Long story short: I was struck by car (drunk driver) while walking on *sidewalk*. Only injury is neck and upper back pain till this date (no broken bones) (accident happened a month ago). Driver was arrested and currently going through court process for DUI and hitting a pedestrian. I've been going to physical therapy and am currently seeking other medical help due to having sleep problems and all types of stress since accident. I have an attorney on the case, I wanted to know how long should the actual negotiation process take being that he is 100% at fault (and has insurance)?? and i was seeking employment before this but cannot work right now and no money to support myself in the meantime. Can that speed up the proccess or get me more money or something??

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Attorney answers 8


Your case is NOT near settlement. You said "I've been going to physical therapy and am currently seeking other medical help due to having sleep problems and all types of stress since accident." Your attyorney would likely be committing malpractice if he tried to settle before even knowing all your bills and diagnosis (as future bills would not be covered). Be patient. If you push him now, he may quit your case due to very unrealistic expectations. No settlement talks should happen before you finish treatment.

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Im aware of that, but I looking for an estimated time of how long a negotiation for my type of case would take AFTER we get to that phase, I know were not negotiating right now. And the only reason im asking is because I was seeking employment up until the accident, now i cant work and have no means of financial support at all (not even 20$ to get my prescription from pharmacy) while going through pain and suffering and this whole proccess. So I'm in a very difficult situation!



The driver that hit me left me in a much worst position than I already was in. My license are also suspended and even getting transportation (people to drive me to therapy and stuff) is a BIG hassle.


This is a common question from clients. The answer though depends on a lot of things. First, how quickly do you recover? What insurance company is on the other side? What are you claiming as damages? How much insurance does the other driver have? You need to talk to your attorney. He is in the better position to help you answer this question. Good luck.

The information provided should not be considered legal advice. I am not licensed to practice in any State other than SC. The results of your case will depend on the presentation of evidence, the law and other factors that may change depending on an in depth analysis of the facts of the case. Please see an attorney before making legal decisions.


a case settles when both sides can reach an agreement. In other words cases settle when they settle. What you ask when will my case settle it is like asking how high is up.

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Talk to your lawyer, thee things tend to take some time. Timothy K. Hobbs II
Attorney at Law
Web: Hobbs Law Group

The answers on this discussion board are general in nature and NOT intended as legal advice. Responding to questions does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Always see a lawyer about your individual situation.


The answer is always "It depends." How much insurance does the driver have? The more in coverage, generally the longer it takes. You are not at "maximum medical improvement" so neither your lawyer nor the insurance company can clearly assess the value of your damages. The DUI element is a big issue in evaluating your damages but not the only one. Even a "quick" settlement can take 6 months to a year.


I have to agree that "it depends" on many factors. The at-fault person's insurance coverage, your extent of damages which includes past, present and future medical care as it relates to your injuries. Lost wages should also be considered(a little trickier with your circumstances). You need to have a good understanding on where your medical care is going and how extensive it will be moving forward.

If the at-fault driver pleads guilty to DUI, it helps but is not conclusive. You should speak with your attorney about your concerns but you want to be careful, rushing things can harm you in the sense of not discovering all of your injuries that relate to this matter.

Focus on getting better will be the best thing you can do so once you are cleared to work you can return as quickly as possible.

Be careful and speak with your attorney about your concerns.

This response is for general information only, no attorney client privilege has been established by this communication.


Every case is different, and as attorney Ashman and the other posts have correctly stated, it does not sound like your case is anywhere near settlement. Since you are currently represented, this is something you should discuss with your attorney to determine what courses of action you have in terms of moving your claim forward. You should also discuss with your attorney if there are other sources of income which you can pursue while you are unable to work, such as Social Security Disability, short-term or long-term disability insurance, or other options, and I am sure they can assist you with guidance and/or referrals in these areas as well. I wish you the best both with your claim and with your recovery.

Timothy M. Klob
Klob Law Firm

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There is not a specific anwer to your question because there are many different factors that determine the length of negotiations. Your attorney cannot properly evaluate the case until the criminal charges have been concluded and the court's disposition obtained; you have finshed treating for the accident and been released by your doctor(s) or reached maximum medical improvement; all your records and bills have been collected; and any reports which may be needed concerning the degree of permanent impairment and/or relationship of your treatment to trauma have been obtained. Then, and only then, can a demand be prepared and negotiations commenced. Attempting to "speed up the process" is more likely to damage the case value than get you more money for the claim.

This advice is for general guidance only and applies to Virginia. The applicable laws may differ in other states.

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