The severity of your injuries and the treatment dictates the time period of your case. Discover the average time to settle a personal injury case here.
If you were injured in a workplace or vehicle accident, you need your settlement claim to help cover your medical expenses. Although each case is unique, medical bills can quickly add up, so it feels you’re drowning in debt.
When this happens, it’s reasonable to wonder about the average time to settle a personal injury case. When can you expect your settlement? Continue reading to learn the answer.
Settlement Times Vary
It’s impossible to tell how long an individual personal injury case will take to settle. Some cases may take a few weeks, while others can take years. Each accident is unique, and there are many factors to consider.
Critical Considerations in Settlement Times
There are several key considerations when estimating settlement times. Some factors may prolong a case by days, while others could potentially extend a case by years. These considerations are discussed in detail below.
If you and the other party don’t agree on the details of what happened, this can cause the case to take longer. When there are factual conflicts, they can be resolved by obtaining official documents related to your accident and sustained injuries.
A few examples of documents you might need to resolve factual conflicts include:
- Medical bills and treatment notes from your doctor or hospital
- Diagnostic imaging results proving you sustained an injury
- Traffic accident reports from the police
- Witness interviews (if applicable)
- Pictures of your injuries from the night of the accident
- Photographs of the accident itself
- Accident reconstruction reports
- Anything from your place of employment proving lost wages
These are a few of the most common official documents that can prove your side of the story. There may be other documents you need based on your unique situation.
Length of Medical Treatment
The length of medical treatment is one of the most significant factors that can push your claim back. You should receive all necessary care before settling your claim, if possible. This ensures you receive all the money you’re entitled to.
In some circumstances, it isn’t possible to receive all medical treatment necessary before settling your claim. This is true in situations where your injury is permanent. In these unfortunate scenarios, however, it’s possible to receive additional compensation based on future treatment.
Amount of Money You’re Claiming
The amount of money claimed in a personal injury claim can affect how long it takes to settle. A smaller case worth a few hundred dollars may only take a few weeks to resolve. A larger case worth thousands of dollars may take longer.
Claims worth more substantial sums are also more likely to be contested. If your claim is contested, it will take a lot longer to receive your settlement because you have to go through the court process.
Filing a Lawsuit
Many personal injury cases settle out of court. The insurance company or, in some cases, the person who caused the accident, will often opt to negotiate outside court.
If the other party doesn’t want to pay a fair settlement, however, it can be necessary to file a lawsuit. If a claim is small, your lawyer may suggest not taking the case to court. They may recommend this if the legal fees outweigh the potential settlement amount.
If your lawyer does suggest taking the case to court, the process of doing so is significantly longer than settling initially. You’ll have to wait for your court date. You may have more than one court date, depending on what happens in the first.
Working With a Lawyer Helps Speed Your Settlement Along
The best way to ensure your case moves along as quickly as possible is to work with a personal injury lawyer. These legal professionals make the case go faster in a few different ways.
The most important thing a lawyer can do is understand the process of a personal injury claim. This allows them to move the case from one step of the process to the next seamlessly. If you go it alone, you run the risk of wasting time trying to figure things out.
Another way lawyers can help move your personal injury claim along is by doing a lot of the grunt work. They can gather essential documents, field phone calls, and more. Having someone to help with these matters can make things significantly more manageable.
Choosing the Right Lawyer for Your Case
You don’t want to choose just any lawyer to work with you on your personal injury case. When choosing the right attorney, ask these important questions:
- How much experience do you have with personal injury cases?
- What are your peer reviews?
- How will you accept payment? (Is it fee-based or a percentage of the settlement?)
- How confident do you feel about winning this specific personal injury case?
- How much time can you devote to my case?
- What happens if I don’t receive my settlement? Will I still be charged a fee?
It’s also suggested you look at online review websites to see what previous clients thought of the attorney you hope to hire. To find ratings, type the attorney’s name into your favorite search engine.
If most ratings given are positive, this is a good indicator you’ve found the right lawyer for your case. If most reviews are negative, this should be a red flag something isn’t quite right with what the lawyer is telling you.
It’s impossible to tell precisely how long a personal injury case will take to settle. The time it takes to receive a settlement varies based on many factors. The best way to ensure your case is resolved as quickly as possible is to work with an attorney.
Do you have more questions about the average time to settle a personal injury case? Comment below.