How Long Do Personal Injury Cases Take to Settle?
Posted on Thursday, September 1st, 2022 at 3:55 pm
If you were injured in a serious accident, you might feel overwhelmed and confused and probably in pain. You might wonder how you can move forward with your life. Unfortunately, many Americans are injured in accidents each year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that there were about 98 million visits to the emergency room for unintentional injuries in 2018.
If you have been injured in an accident caused by someone else, you may be entitled to compensation. You need to speak with a car accident lawyer about your situation. They can assess your case and let you know how long your case may take to settle.
Is There a Set Amount of Time a Case Takes to Settle?
Each situation is unique and depends on many factors. Cases in which someone else is clearly at fault and the injuries are straightforward and minor might settle in months. Other cases that are more complex or involve more parties can often take one to two years or more to settle.
Your injuries may be due to an accident like a car crash or a work injury. Each accident type has its own considerations that affect the overall timeline. Simple cases with minor injuries and little medical care and recovery time will likely take less time to settle than more complicated cases, such as medical malpractice or wrongful death.
What Are the Steps in Settling a Personal Injury Case?
The steps to pursue compensation after an accident are similar regardless of the accident type. These generally include:
- Receiving medical treatment
- Speaking with an attorney for an assessment of your case
- Performing an investigation of the accident
- Issuing a demand for compensation
- Settlement negotiations
Of the steps listed above, the ones that affect the timeline the most are medical treatment, investigation, and settlement negotiations.
Settlement negotiations are not always successful. Typically, this means that the total amount of compensation you may be entitled to is more than the other party is willing to pay. You have the option to file a lawsuit when this happens. If a case goes to trial, it can significantly extend the time it takes to reach a resolution.
How Does Medical Treatment Affect Settlement Timeline?
Medical treatment is a major component of the compensation you may be entitled to after an accident. For the cost of all treatment to be known, it’s necessary for you to either finish treatment or reach a level of recovery where your condition will not improve with additional treatment. This is called maximum medical improvement (MMI). When an accident causes severe injury, it can take a considerable amount of time to recover. This means that the amount of time it takes to settle the case is also longer as a result.
How Does the Investigation Affect the Settlement Timeline?
An investigation will be performed to determine what happened during the accident and who is at fault. All relevant documentation and evidence will be collected and analyzed during the investigation. These may include:
- A police report
- Dashcam video or security camera footage
- Photos from the accident scene
- Any eyewitness testimony
- Medical bills
When the details of the case are straightforward, this means the investigation may take less time. The opposite is also true. The investigation in complicated cases takes longer.
How Does Settlement Negotiation Affect Timeline?
Many personal injury cases involve insurance companies. They are often quick to make settlement offers, and they assume that you are eager to settle. When a case settles quickly, this usually means that the injured person settled for less than the maximum amount to which they may be entitled.
An experienced attorney will pursue all the compensation that you may be legally owed. This usually involves multiple rounds of negotiations. Insurance companies may intentionally try to extend the amount of time negotiations take as they look for ways to avoid paying you money. They may also be hoping that the longer negotiations take, the more willing you are to settle for less than you deserve.
Call Us Today
If you’ve been hurt in an accident in Texas that was not your fault, you may be entitled to receive financial compensation. You should call an experienced Beaumont personal injury attorney to discuss your case as soon as possible.
Contact us now at (409) 838-4444 to speak with a Portner Bond, PLLC lawyer. We can help you understand your options so you can make the best decision for your future. Call us today for a free consultation.