On average, most boat/jet ski accident claims settle within one to two years. Some resolve much sooner, while more complicated cases can take several years. If you’re wondering how long your case will take to settle, there are several factors to consider.
If you have high costs, you’d probably love to settle as soon as possible. However, injury cases take time. The length of your case will depend on the details.
What It Takes to Settle a Boat/Jet Ski Accident Case
Every boat/jet ski accident case is unique. Even slight differences can affect how long it takes to settle. To know the specifics for your case, talk to a boat/jet ski accident lawyer today.
Here are the steps involved with settling a boat or jet ski accident case. The timeline for each stage can affect how long your case will take.
Beginning the Claim Process
Before filing an insurance claim, it’s best to contact a lawyer. They can help you establish a plan of action. Your lawyer can also start on the preliminary paperwork and tell the other party that you will file a claim.
It’s also good to note the statute of limitations. In Georgia, you have two years to file your claim. If you miss the deadline, you won’t be able to recover compensation.
To get help from the beginning, speak with an experienced lawyer. At John Foy & Associates, we have over 20 years of experience. We also do not collect a fee unless we win your case. To get a FREE consultation, call (404) 400-4000, or contact us online.
Gathering Information and Evidence
You and your lawyer will begin investigating. You’ll need to gather evidence like:
- Medical records
- The police report
- Witness statements
- Pictures from the scene
- Accident reconstructions
It’s best to wait until you’ve reached maximum medical improvement (MMI) before filing your claim. MMI is where your condition has improved as much as it can with medical treatment. Once you’ve reached MMI, you’ll have the best idea of your total medical damages.
After you’ve researched enough, your lawyer will send a demand letter to the other party. This letter will detail the accident, your damages, and the compensation you’re seeking.
The investigation phase often takes between six months and a year. In some cases, it could take longer. The timeline depends on the complexity of your accident and injuries.
Boat/Jet Ski Accident Settlement Negotiation
After you file your claim, the insurance company has 30 days to respond (Georgia Code Section 9-11-67.1). Often, the insurance company will send a lowball offer. You mustn’t accept a settlement offer without speaking to a lawyer.
Your attorney will know how to negotiate with the insurance adjuster. They will work to get you a fair settlement offer. If your lawyer is successful, you will receive the compensation you deserve.
Thankfully, most boat/jet ski accident claims settle through negotiation within a year or two. However, sometimes the insurance company will not compromise.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
If you cannot get a fair settlement offer, you might file a personal injury lawsuit. You and a lawyer can discuss the pros and cons of suing.
Before going to court, there will be opportunities to negotiate. Insurance companies do not like dealing with expensive lawsuits. The insurer is likely to settle before you make it to the trial date.
Going to Court
If you go to court, the trial date is usually around 1-2 days after filing the lawsuit. Before the trial, your lawyer will do a lot of work to prepare.
If you win at trial, the jury will determine what the at-fault party owes you. You could receive your compensation as a lump sum or payments.
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Factors That Determine How Long Before a Case Settles
Your damages, who was at fault, and the insurance company’s response all matter. Let’s look more closely at each.
Boat/Jet Ski Accident Damages
If you have severe injuries, it’s best to wait until you’ve received all treatment. However, there is a statute of limitations for how long you have to file. In Georgia, you must file your case within two years (Georgia Code Section 9-3-33).
If you need treatment beyond two years, you’ll need to determine your future costs. A boat/jet ski accident lawyer can help you do this.
With greater damages, you’ll have to fight harder for a fair settlement. The insurance company will try to lowball what they pay you. Plus, the insurance policy might have a limit on how much it will pay. If you cannot get enough from an insurance claim, you might need to sue.
Fault and Negligence
Most of the time, one party is entirely at fault for a boat accident. However, partial responsibility can affect your case.
Through Georgia’s comparative negligence laws, you can still receive compensation if you were less than 50% at fault. However, the insurance company might disagree about your percentage of fault. The back and forth can delay how long it takes you to settle.
Getting a Response to Your Claim
Insurance companies often take as long as possible to respond to a claim. They hope they can “wait you out” so that you’ll accept less. If you need money now, it can be tempting to take the first offer.
The length of your case can depend on the insurer’s cooperation in some ways. If the insurer doesn’t respond at all, that is a bad faith practice. Talk to your lawyer immediately if the insurance company does not act as it should.
Talk to a Boat/Jet Ski Accident Lawyer for Free Today
How long your boat/jet ski accident claim takes to settle depends on several factors. Talking to a lawyer is the best way to know your case’s timeline.
John Foy & Associates can help you fight for the fullest settlement possible. With over 20 years of experience, we know what it takes to win. We can discuss your accident and what to expect.
To get a FREE, no-risk consultation, call (404) 400-4000, or contact us online. There is no fee unless we win you a settlement.