How Long Does It Take To Settle My Charleston, SC and Summerville, SC Car Accident Claim?

Posted by Jay McMillian | Mar 08, 2018 | 0 Comments


The hardest part of dealing with clients who have suffered injuries in car accidents is balancing the need for just compensation with the need to provide financial relief to the client as soon as possible. Though I know as an attorney that the true value of an injury claim can only be achieved with some exercise of patience, it is also a harsh reality that many clients are placed into a very desperate financial situation due to the negligence of another driver. It is under these circumstances that clients could be tempted to take that initial low-ball offer from the insurance company over the advice of legal counsel and against all logic. The client can only see the band-aid fix to the financial situation and is all to eager to "put the whole thing behind them." Often times, auto accident victims in Charleston and Summerville end up accepting initial settlement offers that do not even cover all of their medical expenses. In addition, the offer will not even address the pain and suffering, the lost wages, and the loss of quality of life that often comes with auto accidents. 

Despite the temptation that will come with accepting a quick offer from the insurance company, I can only implore you in the strongest terms that you consult with a car accident attorney prior to accepting any settlement offer from an insurance company. 

Exercising patience will indeed be difficult, but even with just a modest amount of patience and the help of an experienced personal injury attorney, you can exponentially increase the settlement that you receive for your injuries and truly place yourself in a position where the financial relief of a settlement serves as a springboard and not as a temporary band-aid!


The McMillian Law Firm is known for compassionate and effective legal representation. Call us now at (843) 900-1306 or use the online form to schedule your free no-obligation case evaluation today.


I am of course about to give that most lawyerly answer again . . . IT DEPENDS . . . The amount of time to resolve and settle a personal injury claim stemming from an auto accident can happen in a little as a month, take 3-6 months, or in some cases over a year. The factors that go into the length of time to resolve a claim stemming from a car accident will depend upon the level of liability (is liability clear or disputed), the amount and length of time for medical treatments, the total costs of medical treatments, and the amount of insurance available to cover your injuries. 

As an experienced car accident attorney, I will take the time to review the specific facts of each case and provided a very detailed and specific opinion concerning the complexity of the claim and the length of time needed to resolve it. 


Each and every car accident settlement claim seems to follow the same basic path. Though the timing of each step and the amount time needed to complete each step may vary (again probably due to the complexity of the case or the severity of the injuries), all claims will more or less follow this work flow:

  • Medical Treatments Must Be Completed Before Starting Any Negotiation:You should never start a negotiation with the insurance company until you have received all of the necessary medical treatments to cure or stabilize your condition. This is an absolute rule that I never ever ever let a client violate. The premise behind this principle is simple, you can have no idea how much money you need to demand for your claim if you have not finished accruing medical costs.. In addition, you will not know how much to demand from the insurer if doctor's conclude that you will need ongoing medical treatments for many months or years following the car accident. The first exercise of patience in dealing with the insurance company is that you must finish your treatments and have solid medical conclusions concerning future treatments in order to even think about beginning a negotiation
  • Negotiations: Once your medical service providers feel that your condition has stabilized, and that there is a fair conclusion to be documented concerning any future medical costs, then it is time to start the negotiations with the insurance company. As your car accident attorney, the claim for damages that I make to the insurer not only includes medical bills, but also would include any lost wages, expense related to travel for medical treatments, loss of quality of life, and of course pain and suffering. Generally, the vast majority of cases do settle and from my personal experience, these agreements can take any where from a few months to about six months to achieve.


If the insurance company doesn't agree to your terms and continually makes low-ball offers on the claim that do not even pass the smell test, your car accident attorney can file a lawsuit on your behalf. My job is to be your counselor at law and exercise my professional judgment to help you achieve a personal result. My experience dictates that once a lawsuit is filed, two things do generally happen. The good . . . the value of the claim goes up and the next offer by the insurer, when given, is always noticeably larger that the pre-suit offers. The bad . . . filing a lawsuit will again demand patience as the natural flow of lawsuits through the civil court system and the timing mechanisms of filings in court will naturally slow down the progression of the case. The filing of the lawsuit should not be taken lightly and I always advise clients of the patience needed when filing a lawsuit, but the flip side of that is the claim usually increases in value. In conclusion, I can also say in my experience that the vast majority of cases filed still settle prior to any trial.

In conclusion, there really is no way to be for sure how long it will take to settle your car accident claim. Now, with my experience I can pretty much accurately detail where I think the claim is going but long story short is that it will depend on many factors, the most important being how much you, the client, want to pursue the fair value of the claim. 


As a Car Accident and Personal Injury lawyer in my solo practice, I will take all necessary steps to protect your rights and earn just compensation for you as a result of your auto accident or injury. Through my efforts, I can bring about much needed financial relief to a victim who may be suffering from serious injuries and permanent disability. Being a small firm allows you to have direct access to your lawyer during this entire process, with open lines of communication as we work together towards a viable solution to your specific case. 

Being an experienced personal injury attorney, I have experience dealing with insurance companies. I also know where the courthouse is and will not be afraid to call the insurance company to the mat in front of a judge and jury if necessary.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident or due to the negligent or reckless acts of another in Charleston, Summerville, Mount Pleasant, James Island, West Ashley, Goose Creek, Moncks Corner, North Charleston, or any of the other fine communities of the Low Country, and need to meet with an experienced personal injury lawyer, please contact me to set up your free case evaluation today. Let me help prevent you from being taken advantage of by the insurance company. I am serious and I am here for you! Contact The McMillian Law Firm today @ 843-900-1306

About the Author

Jay McMillian

Background I chose to build my law practice in the areas of Car Accident and Personal Injury because these areas of the law are the most accurate reflection of my values and my upbringing. Being the son of a breakfast hostess and a retired US Army Sargent turned construction worker, the values instilled upon me by my par...


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The McMillian Law Firm

Attorney Jay McMillian operates a solo practice with an emphasis on two core principles. First, to provide competent legal advice in the areas of Auto Accident and Personal Injury Law to the people he is proudest to serve, the people of the South Carolina Low Country. Second, to provide the most personal and intimate service to each and every client and give them the attention and compassion that they deserve while going through the stress and strain of negotiating or litigating an injury claim. If you live in Charleston, Summerville, Mount Pleasant, Goose Creek, James Island, Walterboro, Moncks Corner, and you or someone you love has been injured by the negligence of another, please call Jay at The McMillian Law Firm today.

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