The time it takes before you receive a settlement from a personal injury or time it takes for your case goes to trial will depend on several factors like what type of case you are involved in and the facts surrounding your case. For instance, in an auto accident case, factors like the type of accident, the specific injuries experienced, and the extent of those injuries will influence how long your case will take. A “fender-bender” with minimal injuries will not take as much time as a multi-car accident with injuries that require hospitalization.
The length of time will also depend on what type of settlement you want. If you want to settle the case quickly, you can likely do so if you are willing to take less money. Insurance companies will typically make a “low-ball” offer within a few weeks of the accident and/or claim. If you take the “low ball” offer, then the case may be completed rather quickly. However, most people that are injured in accidents do not immediately know the extent and duration of their injuries, so it is typically more prudent to not accept the quick check from the insurance company.
Before a good settlement is reached, the insurance company may ask for all of the injured party’s medical records and bills which would include ones before the accident and not relating to the accident in question. The reason for this is to determine if there were any prior accidents or injuries which would minimize the damages from the current accident. They will want to make sure your injuries were in fact caused from this accident and not a previous one. For the current injuries, they will want to determine whether these injuries will have any residual problems and what medical treatments you might need in the future. It may take some time to get the correct authorizations and to request and receive these medical records and bills. Some healthcare providers may take a while to process the requests for records made by the attorneys.
In order to assess your claim, the insurance company will likely require that you reach maximum medical improvement. This will usually take months or in some cases over a year to reach maximum medical improvement. After you reached full improvement, it will likely take at least a month or two for the insurance company to evaluate the claim. After the insurance company internally discusses the claim, it could take a couple of weeks to negotiate the claim and a couple more to draw up the settlement papers and cut the checks. Having said that, you may be able to receive a good settlement within a few months from the time you have reached maximum medical improvement. However, the best possible settlement may take even longer, perhaps a year or two after reaching maximum medical improvement.
It may take years to arrive at the best possible settlement, but of course this depends on the individual case. A particular case may reach its maximum settlement early on, but this is not the norm. To receive the best settlement, you may need to hire an attorney who can help you with the negotiations and advise you of your options. Some cases can be resolved after lengthy negotiations, some cases can be resolved during mediation, and others go to trial. Some parties may not like going to trial because trials themselves are expensive and the outcomes are uncertain. Sometimes, the case will settle right before trial. Other times, going to trial offers you the best way for your case to proceed and get a judgment that is fair.
The time it takes to resolve your personal injury case varies because each case has different factors, and there is no exact method for determining how long your case will take and how much you will receive. That being said, if you have the time to wait and let the claim progress, then you are more likely to receive a fair settlement that will consider all of the elements of your case such as your future medical needs. An attorney can help you make good decisions, negotiate on your behalf and make sure that you meet all of the deadlines required by the court system, such as timely filing a lawsuit with the court before your ability to do so expires and you will no longer be able to make or sustain a claim (i.e., the statute of limitations expires).
Contact an Experienced Attorney Today
If you have been involved in an accident and you are considering filing a personal injury claim, contact an experienced injury lawyer first. The attorneys at Herman, Herman & Katz, LLC can advise you of your legal rights and work closely with you to develop a strategy for your claim. Our clients benefit from our years of combined experience, and so can you. Schedule a consultation now at 844-285-0267 or fill out our online contact form with your questions.