When you have a personal injury claim in the works, it usually takes a significant amount of time to receive compensation. However, the last thing you want is for it to take months or even years for the case to settle.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a standard answer as to how long it takes, but in this guide we’ll the obstacles that could hold things up and how to potentially speed things up.
The Timeline of a Personal Injury Claim
There are three primary stages to a personal injury lawsuit, including:
Prelitigation: The first step is prelitigation. This time frame is when your injury lawyer investigates your claim and starts the negotiation process with the insurance adjuster.
Litigation: Next, your attorney files a complaint with the court to begin the lawsuit. During this phase, you will participate in what’s known as discovery. It’s a formal process that lets you share your information with the opposing side.
Trial and appeals: If a settlement cannot be reached, the case could go before a judge, and if either side disagrees with the final verdict, a series of appeals might be filed.
Factors That Stall a Settlement
Your personal injury claim could take a few months to a year to settle, or it could take a very short amount of time. In most cases, if the accident is very complex or you endured substantial injuries, your claim could take a long time.
Here are a few reasons why your personal injury settlement could stall:
It’s a High-Dollar Claim
Claims that are small and involve minor injuries usually settle quickly. On the contrary, when you have an expensive claim, the insurance company uses stall tactics to slow the claim down.
It’s unfortunate, but it happens. The insurance provider does everything possible to avoid paying out the proper amount owed to the accident victim.
The majority of big injury claims settle just before going to trial or during the trial.
When you file a personal injury claim, the insurance company goes through the case with a fine-tooth comb. They usually look for cracks in your claim to counter your allegations or point out weak evidence.
Usually, they’ll offer a small settlement amount or deny the claim altogether. Furthermore, they may question your credibility by claiming that you weren’t as injured as you claimed. They might even hire a private investigator to track your activities.
There are many tactics that insurance companies use to get out of paying the big bucks. But having an experienced attorney on your side is the best way to combat their schemes.
You Require Extensive Medical Treatment
If you sustained severe injuries, chances are you require extensive medical treatment or multiple surgeries. If your body needs time to recover, that could mean long rehabilitation or surgeries scheduled over an extended period of time.
In this situation, it could take longer to determine the value of your injuries. Not to mention, if you suffer complications from your treatments, like infections or a failed operation, that too could add to the recovery time.
But it’s not a good idea to settle while you’re still receiving medical attention. The reason being is because you could get an amount that’s severely under what you need to take care of all of your expenses once treatment is complete.
However, you could always have your attorney take a look at your medical care records and speak with your doctor about ways to speed up your healing process. They can also do a rough estimate of what your injuries might require. They’ll calculate your damages to try and get an estimate of what settlement amount would cover your medical expenses.
No Legal Representation
Without a personal injury lawyer on your side, the insurance company will take advantage of you. When you’ve endured injuries, you never want to fight alone. Sometimes the insurance provider will extend the timeframe of a claim settlement by ordering numerous medical records and sending you to multiple medical examinations.
They may also avoid your phone calls and take a long time to respond back in hopes that you’ll take a small settlement or give up completely.
Settling a Personal Injury Claim
When it comes to personal injury cases, you have to decide when it’s time to settle. Go over your case with your lawyer and decide if it’s worth it to continue to fight. A lot of times it is, other times it isn’t.
If you don’t have a substantial case, then waiting months or years for a small settlement isn’t worth it.
Let Us Handle Your Personal Injury Claim
If you’ve endured injuries and are looking to file a personal injury claim, the John Fagan Accident Lawyer Team can help. Not only do we specialize in personal injury claims, but we’re also experts in car accidents, dog bites, cruise ship accidents, slip and falls, and more.
If you have any questions, call us at 904-364-1641 or contact us online for a free case review.
We’ll be here for you when you need us!