After a car accident, most people want to get back to normal as quickly as possible. However, the responsible party must take steps to make amends through paying a settlement. 

Every situation is different, so it is not possible to give an exact answer about how long it will take to settle a car accident claim. There are many factors that affect how long the process takes. 

Who pays?

If the at-fault driver does not have insurance, it can take longer to settle. Instead of the insurance company handling the process, the individual must handle it. If he or she cannot pay, then it might mean going to court, which takes more time. Collecting on a judgment from the court could cause further delay. Receiving the final payout from a private party can take months or even years. 

Severity of the accident

Severe accidents that result in high repair and medical costs often take much longer to settle than a simple accident. The insurance company does everything it can to limit what it pays. In addition, if the insurer is investigating its customer, it may have to build a case against the other driver, which takes time. 

Amount of damage

Accidents that only involve property damage generally take far less time to settle. When medical costs and other expenses come into the picture, it lengthens the time it will take to reach a settlement.