How Long Does it Take to Settle a Personal Injury Case?
Personal injury cases can seem to drag on forever. Between the document collection and the depositions with medical personnel and any additional necessary preparation for trial. There are a lot of moving parts when it comes to personal injury cases.
It can also be incredibly difficult to determine how quickly a personal injury case will settle. Each accident comes with a different set of facts. Starting with how and why an accident occurred in the first place. In addition to the physical and psychological impacts on the victim. Lastly and how quickly the parties are willing to settle when it comes to awarding damages.
One survey estimated that most victims can resolve their case within a year. Although 30% of victims waited over a year before their personal injury cases were resolved.
Why Does it Take So Long?
Personal injury cases can take a long time because the factors that increase the likelihood of successful outcomes (i.e. financial payouts) necessarily take more time.
Negotiating with an insurance company often requires some back and forth. This happens often especially when proof is required. This may involve tracking down medical bills or contacting a doctor’s office to request medical records. Additionally, often times, requesting supplemental documentation is required if an insurance company does not agree with a doctor’s assessment. However, negotiating with an insurance company may increase your financial award. Especially when compared to simply accepting their first offer.
If an accident resulted in severe harm (and by extension, the victim would be awarded a large sum of money), it may trigger a separate, mandatory investigation by the insurance company. An insurance company will want to perform their due diligence and investigate your claim to ensure that your injuries do, in fact, warrant the amount they would have to pay. If you are receiving ongoing medical care (like rehabilitative therapy), an insurance company may also be hesitant to offer a settlement amount until you have reached Maximum Medical Improvement. In other words, an insurance company wants to be certain that you will not need subsequent medical care for injuries incurred from an accident and that this case can be resolved quickly and easily.
Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
Hiring an attorney and filing a lawsuit also takes some time. An attorney will need to sit down with you and assess the facts or request additional proof to support your claims. They may advise that you should send a demand letter to the opposing party. But, that demand letter will need to give the opposing party an opportunity to respond. They may be involved in some back-and-forth negotiations with the opposing party. Like with the insurance company, negotiating with the other party may increase your financial award compared to accepting their first settlement offer.
Even after collecting evidence and negotiations, trial can take a long time. A trial can last anywhere from an afternoon to a week or longer. Also, trials are often rescheduled due to scheduling conflicts that may arise. Trials may also need to reschedule if new, relevant facts arise in a case – or if a doctor who needs to appear to testify is no longer able to appear.
Some personal injury cases take longer than others because the facts of the case are simply more complicated. Determining who is responsible for what damage (and how much that damage is worth) can be frustrating and time-consuming. For example If more than one person was responsible for the accident. Or, if your medical care related to a car accident was compromised by medical malpractice. Not all personal injury cases are complicated and some do resolve quickly, but this is not always the case.
Myth: Faster is Better
Although it is natural to feel that your case is open-and-shut case. Keep in mind a faster result doesn’t necessarily mean a better result.
Think of it this way: suppose you want to sell a dining table for $1,000. You know that the dining table is worth $1,000, but you also know that not everyone is willing to pay $1,000. If you wanted to sell the dining table today, you may need to decrease the sales price drastically for the table to sell quickly – maybe by half or even more. Instead of recouping the full amount of the cost of the dining table, you may be taking a loss by selling the table below its value. By waiting and presenting thorough documentation (like proof of purchase, or even high-resolution photos), you will eventually be able to sell the dining table for your asking price.
Similarly, a personal injury case can settle quickly – but this may mean taking a financial loss. In personal injury cases there are two ways to help recoup more of your financial loss even if it takes a little longer. By being thorough with the documentation of your injuries. Additionally, processing the impact an accident had on your life.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you are the victim of an accident, you should speak to an attorney who can help you navigate the complexities of your specific situation. This is especially true if you are injured or currently recovering from injuries. Spend your injury resting and recovering from your injuries. While doing so allow your attorney to handle your legal questions. The attorneys at B|B Law Group have expertise in personal injury and will answer your questions. Contact the B|B Law Group to schedule a consultation today.
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