A number of factors can influence the time it takes to settle a claim for whiplash injuries following a car accident. They include:

1. Severity of Injuries: The extent and severity of whiplash injuries play a crucial role. If the injuries are relatively minor and the medical treatment is straightforward, the claim may be resolved more quickly. However, if the injuries are severe and require extensive medical care or rehabilitation, the process may take longer.

2. Medical Treatment and Evaluation: The duration of medical treatment and the time it takes to fully assess the long-term effects of whiplash injuries can impact the settlement timeline. Insurance companies and legal teams may prefer to wait until a clear understanding of the long-term implications of the injuries is available before settling.

3. Disputed Liability: If there is a dispute regarding who is at fault for the accident, it can significantly prolong the settlement process. Investigations, gathering evidence, and determining liability can take time, especially if the parties involved have conflicting accounts of the incident.

4. Negotiations: The willingness of the insurance companies and legal representatives to negotiate can also affect the timeline. If both parties are open to settlement discussions and can reach an agreement promptly, the process may move more quickly. However, if negotiations are protracted, it can extend the time it takes to finalize a settlement.

5. Legal Processes: The legal processes and court procedures in the jurisdiction where the claim is filed can impact the timeline. Some jurisdictions have more congested court dockets, leading to delays in scheduling hearings or trials. Additionally, the legal requirements and processes for settling personal injury claims can vary, influencing how long it takes to reach a resolution.

6. Insurance Company Practices: Each insurance company may have its own internal processes and timelines for handling claims. Some insurers may prioritize quick resolutions, while others may take a more methodical approach. Understanding the practices of the involved insurance companies is crucial in estimating how long the settlement process might take.

7. Statute of Limitations: The statute of limitations, which is the time limit within which a legal action must be filed, can affect the timeline for settling a claim. If the injured party waits too long to initiate legal proceedings, it may impact their ability to pursue a claim. What is the timeframe is Alberta? Generally, the limitation period is 2 years for filing a claim. However, if you are under 18, it is two years from when you turn 18. There are some exceptions in the Limitations Act for a ‘persona under disability’:

  “person under disability” means

                                     (i)    a represented adult as defined in the Adult Guardianship and Trusteeship Act or a person in respect of whom a certificate of incapacity is in effect under the Public Trustee Act, or

                                    (ii)    an adult who is unable to make reasonable judgments in respect of matters relating to a claim;

In short, the time it takes to settle a whiplash injury claim is influenced by a combination of medical, legal, and procedural factors. Seeking legal advice early in the can help navigate the complexities and potentially expedite the resolution.

We have more information on WAD injuries here.