How Long Does It Take to Reach a Settlement Agreement?

In their pursuit of financial compensation for damages caused by another person’s negligence, most personal injury victims prefer to reach a settlement rather than go to court. Settlements come with multiple advantages; they are cost-effective, less risky, and offer a faster resolution to the case. How long it takes for settlement negotiations to play out, however, will vary based on the unique facts of each case. Although every situation is different, some common factors can influence the negotiation timeline. By familiarizing yourself with these variables, you will be in a better position to gauge the potential duration of the negotiation process, making the experience more expeditious and less stressful. If you have questions about the negotiation process in relation to a personal injury claim, contact the experienced Hampton personal injury lawyers at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp to schedule your free consultation today.  

What Factors Can Affect My Settlement Timeline?  

The time it takes to negotiate a settlement will vary considerably based on numerous factors, such as the exact circumstances surrounding the incident, the willingness of both sides to resolve the issue, and the complexity of the case. Settlement negotiations could take a couple of weeks, several months, or longer. Some factors that will impact the length of negotiations are:

  • Case complexity: Cases involving complicated legal issues, extensive damages, or multiple defendants often take longer to settle. Complicated cases tend to have numerous points of contention that must be addressed before a settlement can be reached.
  • Evidence strength: The strength of the evidence presented by each side can also influence the settlement timeline. If one party has very strong evidence supporting their claim, it often leads to a faster resolution. 
  • Willingness to negotiate: The settlement process is more likely to be efficient when both sides are amenable to settling. Unfortunately, if the other party is uncooperative, the negotiation timeline can be significantly prolonged. 
  • Cooperation and communication: Cooperation and effective communication between both sides can also reduce the time it takes to settle. Productive discussions, timely responses, and a willingness to work together can greatly speed up progress.
  • Complexity of terms: If a settlement agreement includes complex terms, like performance obligations, non-disclosure agreements, and structured payments, it will likely take longer to finalize.  

Settlement negotiations are often unpredictable. There is no predetermined timeline for reaching an agreement. Every case is different, and how long negotiations take will hinge on the specifics as well as the dynamics and attitudes of everyone involved. By consulting with a skilled Hampton personal injury lawyer, you can develop a better understanding of this timeline as it relates to your specific case.  

Is There a Deadline on Settlement Negotiations in Virginia?

Insurance companies in Virginia have 30 days to acknowledge your claim and render a payment decision. Once your claim has been acknowledged, the insurance company is required to perform an investigation, review all relevant evidence and paperwork, and make a decision within a reasonable amount of time.

If you feel that your insurance carrier is acting in bad faith, you are entitled to file a bad faith lawsuit, which could lead to further compensation, including penalties and interest.  

Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

Virginia law does not mandate how much time an insurance carrier has to settle a claim. They are, however, expected to resolve their claims in a reasonable and timely fashion. If you feel your claim is not being handled promptly or fairly by the insurance company, consult a knowledgeable Hampton personal injury lawyer from Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp right away. We can review your case and determine the best course of action for your situation. That is how we secured a $235,000 settlement for a client who was injured by a negligent motorist. To schedule a free consultation with a member of our legal team, call (833) 997-1774 or fill out our quick contact form. We have offices in Hampton, Portsmouth, Norfolk, and Virginia Beach.