How Long Does a Pedestrian Accident Claim Take to Settle?

AUTHOR: A.J. Bruning | February 6, 2024
How Long Does a Pedestrian Accident Claim Take to Settle?

Many factors contribute to the length of a pedestrian accident claim. The severity of the case, the availability of information and data, and the communication time frame between an insurance company and the claimant can all play a role in this length. In some situations, parties may settle a case within a few months; in others, it may take years to reach a final resolution.

By working with a pedestrian accident attorney in Creve Coeur, you can avoid some of the most common delays that can hold back a case like this. Timeline mistakes, missing information, or a lack of providing enough evidence to back up claims can all play a key role in delaying a case like this. An attorney can eliminate many of these mistakes and guide you through the legal process. There may be ways to speed up the long-term outcome without losing compensation.

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Key Factors That Impact the Length of Your Pedestrian Accident Claim

Numerous notable factors play a role in the length of your case and how long it takes to agree with the insurance company about the settlement owed to you. Handling this process does not adhere to a strict timeline. Consider the following factors that consistently contribute to the length of the case, recognizing the importance of understanding these elements for a more informed perspective on the duration of the settlement negotiation process.

The severity of the injuries you have

There are thousands of accidents each year involving cars striking pedestrians. However, the National Safety Council reports that 8,984 people die every year from such accidents. The complexities range widely between those with minor and moderate injuries and families dealing with the loss of their loved one.

How Long Does a Pedestrian Accident Claim Take to Settle

In a situation where a person may have minor injuries without any lost time at work, no long-term repercussions to their ability to work, and no substantial trauma, the case may take shorter to process and complete. By contrast, more severe injuries and permanent losses will mean more careful consideration of your right to compensation. The severity of injuries directly influences the complexity of the case, warranting a more thorough assessment and legal strategy to ensure fair and adequate compensation for the long-term consequences suffered by the victim.

In these cases, your attorney must prove that the incident occurred and your economic and non-economic losses. This can take time and may mean more money for you. That may mean more scrutiny by the insurance company, more back-and-forth conversation, and a higher likelihood that the case will wind up in court for a judge or jury to decide. The intricate nature of proving the incident and accurately quantifying losses adds complexity to the negotiation process, necessitating thorough documentation and compelling arguments to secure fair compensation. This increased scrutiny and potential for litigation emphasize the importance of a meticulous legal approach to maximize the chances of a favorable outcome for the victim.

The evidence on who is at fault

It may seem obvious who is at fault in a pedestrian accident. It is often simple enough to blame the vehicle driver that struck you. In those situations, seeking out the responsible party and filing a claim with the associated insurance company does not require as much time. Rather, the process is direct.

By contrast, if you are one of the over 1800 people involved in a hit-and-run car-pedestrian accident, it will take much longer to determine fault and seek out the right party to file a claim for your losses. Even if you know who is to blame, it may be difficult to prove. Another example is a truck driver who strikes you because they are fatigued and working too many hours in a row. That can be the fault, at least partially, of the company employing that person.

The more complex the case is in determining fault, the harder it is to prove. That does not mean it has to be easy. A qualified pedestrian accident attorney can determine fault and pursue claims associated with the right parties. It may take longer, emphasizing the importance of patience and thorough legal analysis in navigating intricate cases and ensuring a comprehensive pursuit of rightful compensation.

Negotiations with the insurance company

Another factor that commonly plays a role in the length of time it takes to pursue a pedestrian accident claim is the insurance company itself. Insurance companies must pay out compensation owed to you if you are the victim of a covered incident. However, they should not overpay more than their owed amount. It often comes down to negotiation strategies between you (and your attorney) and the insurance company.

Pedestrian Accident

The liable party's insurance company may need more time and in-depth information to verify that they are responsible for the losses. In some situations, they may want to verify more details or gather more evidence in the case. This is not wrong and does not mean the insurance company will not pay what they owe. It just may take some additional time.

In some situations, an insurance company may take steps to minimize what they pay out by denying the claim initially. They may cite a variety of factors for why they do this. Ultimately, the pedestrian accident attorney must provide additional information and negotiate with the insurance company.

Other times, they may propose an unfair settlement that falls significantly below the expected amount. Even in such situations, the initial settlement offer doesn't always reflect the final payout. Rather, the pedestrian accident lawyer will collaborate closely with the insurance company to demonstrate more compensation and provide the evidence to support that claim.

Sometimes, a victim may file a claim with an insurance company on their own and may receive a denial of the settlement outright. The insurance company may claim that the driver they covered is not responsible. This may require the victim to obtain documentation or other data to help prove their policyholder is responsible. This can slow down the process considerably.

What Happens If the Case Goes to Trial

Another incident where the pedestrian accident will take longer to settle occurs when the case must go to trial. It is never ideal for this to occur because it does slow down the process and tends to mean more investment in legal support. Most cases never go to court. Most are settled with the parties long before that occurs.

When the insurance company is unwilling to reach a fair settlement with the victim, it may be necessary to take legal action and file a lawsuit against the insurance company or the at-fault party. Remember to know that most states have a Statute of Limitations in place. This is a timeline that the victim must follow to file a claim against the at-fault party or their insurance company. For example, in one state, the Statute of Limitations for most car accidents like this is two years. That means you must file a claim within that time frame, or the insurance company may not be required to pay. In other states, however, you may have up to 3 years.

If you file a claim in a court of law within that time frame, it will still take some time for the case to go to trial. Typically, numerous motions and legal steps must be taken, including providing the other party with time to ask questions and gather evidence. This intricate process is essential for building a strong case and thoroughly examining all relevant information before reaching trial.

A court case can take a year or longer to manage, which means that during that time, you will need to remain patient while waiting for the disbursal of any settlement to you. This frustrates victims who likely need the funds to meet their financial obligations. That is why your pedestrian accident lawyer will likely do all they can to help avoid going to court.

They will handle the entire process of preparing the necessary forms and filing the complaint when necessary. They will establish a timeline for your case, handle deposition requirements, and answer any questions that may become available. The parties involved may settle this process, often after conducting depositions. If that occurs, it may speed up the case a bit for you.

Common Reasons Pedestrian Accident Claims Are Delayed

Distracted Driving

We have explored many factors that affect the time it takes to settle a pedestrian accident claim. Typically, many other reasons can play a role in your situation. The best way to learn how long your case will take is to speak to your pedestrian accident attorney, who can offer more guidance on what they have seen occurring within the local court system.

The following are some of the most common reasons for cases to face delays:

  • Lack of agreement on fault: Both sides must agree on who is at fault or to what degree each person is at fault. Until that happens, the case cannot move forward. Ultimately, this is a driving force behind why so many cases go to court.
  • The lack of insight on injury severity: For those with paralysis or significant disability, it may take months to fully understand the extensiveness of your injuries and how this will impact your future. There is a delay in many cases simply because your attorney needs to understand the full scope of your losses.
  • Mistakes in the filing process: If you are filing a claim for yourself, you may make small mistakes that can delay your claim. This may require additional information or documentation of losses. You can avoid these types of delays by having a pedestrian accident attorney who can use their experience to guide you.
  • The negotiation abilities of the parties involved: The reality is that a good negotiator in a case like this can close the process faster, helping you to get the settlement you owe sooner. An experienced attorney can provide skilled legal support in this area. 
  • Pedestrians sharing some fault: There are situations where you, as the victim, may realize some fault in the case. In these situations, insurance companies will try to prove that you are mostly at fault; therefore, compensation is not applicable. Depending on the laws in your state, you can file a claim for compensation if you are at partial fault, but the percentage may be questioned by the insurance company, creating delays.

A lack of oversight, skill, and experience in the legal system is a common reason pedestrian accident claims take a long time to settle. This is not due to the victim's fault but their lack of experience negotiating with and managing insurance companies and the court system. A great deal is involved in most of these cases, especially when injuries are substantial. Do not simply settle your claim. Hire an attorney who will prove its worth to you.

This may ultimately help to speed up your case. You cannot expedite certain factors. You cannot make the court process your claim sooner. You cannot rush to provide a detailed claim because your injuries are not fully understood. However, you can reduce the risk of delays by working with a pedestrian accident attorney who has the time, negotiation skills, and experience to provide a clear claim for you.

Set Up a Consultation to Discuss Your Claim with a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Now

Anthony Bruning
Pedestrian Accidents Lawyer, Anthony Bruning

To understand the anticipated timeline for your pedestrian accident claim, it is advisable to arrange a consultation with a local pedestrian accident attorney. During this meeting, openly share all relevant details about the incident. Your attorney will offer specific and transparent insights into what you can expect throughout the claims process based on the particulars of your case.

To initiate the process, consult a seasoned and knowledgeable attorney to discuss your case's specifics. This step can be pivotal in advancing your case and achieving a swift resolution for your claim. Contact our highly skilled pedestrian accident attorney today to gain valuable insights into your legal rights and explore potential avenues for efficiently settling your case.

A.J. Bruning


I was born and raised to represent individuals who have been needlessly injured. I mean that literally. At a young age my father would tell me about the clients he was representing. I would meet them and take pride in their admiration of my father. I always knew I wanted to be a lawyer and represent clients that needed my help.

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