How long does a case take to settle?
Settling a personal injury case is complex work. It’s not something that many people understand. Some think it’s an instant process, and others think it takes 5 years, or some outrageous amount of time. If you think you’ve got a claim, here’s a great article discussing some of the things that go into settling a case.
In personal injury claims, the plaintiff has to prove that the accident and defendant caused the injuries. This is harder than it sounds. It begins with detailed medical records, and also requires witness statements, and more. Depending on the type of injury, it might even require experts to testify on your behalf. Often, you’ll have to get ongoing medical treatments in order to memorialize the extent of your injuries and to show evidence your injuries are real.
Many San Diego personal injury attorneys will advise their clients to wait until they have recovered from their injuries before settling their case. It’s recommended that you have a medical prognosis in place that explains what happened, your current medical condition, and what ongoing treatments you need. This can help an attorney fight for medical damages you’ve incurred, and will incur in the future. It also means you won’t end up settling for less than what you are owed. Personal injury claims are complex, and the time it takes to settle your claim will depend on the complexity of the claim. Gathering medical evidence can be challenging, especially when the opposing insurance company wants to appoint their own medical experts to assess your injuries. Most severe personal injury cases take a long time to litigate and settle. It’s advisable that in situations like this, you opt for some form of lawsuit financing in order to help you cover your short term bills.
When it comes time to settle there’s no straight forward formula. Each case is unique, and settlement offers often take weeks, or months, to finalize. It all depends on the extent of your injuries, how they are treated, and what long term implications the injuries have. One of the biggest problems when it comes to personal injuries is the time it takes for the other party to accept responsibility. Often, many insurance companies will refuse to accept liability right away. In some cases, the other insurance company will refuse liability – which means you’ll need to hire an attorney to represent you and investigate on your behalf. The investigation itself can take time, and you won’t get a settlement offer until the investigation is done, and damages are established. Sometimes, the insurance company won’t give you an offer until they are forced to negotiate under threat of litigation by an attorney. Bottom line, it’s imperative that you hire a personal injury attorney who can work with you. Even though 90% of personal injury cases are settled during the “negotiation,” phase – sometimes the insurer will fail to negotiate in good faith. For situations like this, you’ll need a personal injury lawyer to help. Many cases take anywhere from a few days, to a few weeks, depending on the complexity of the claim. It’s important to remember this is “extra time,” where you don’t have compensation and have to keep paying bills.