If you’ve suffered a personal injury in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you probably have many questions running through your mind.
A major question most accident victims have is how long it will take to settle once the legal process begins.
There is no clear answer to that question.
Various factors, like the length of your medical treatment and how cooperative the insurance adjuster is, will influence the length of your injury claim.
Some personal injury cases can be resolved directly with the at-fault driver’s insurance company and settled rather quickly.
However, other cases must proceed to litigation so victims can recover full and fair compensation, which will lengthen the settlement process.
In the article below, we will discuss several factors that determine how long a personal injury lawsuit could take to reach a settlement.
How Does A Personal Injury Lawsuit Work?
Every personal injury case will have four main components that have to be proven.
The first is the duty of care.
Every person, business, or other entity owes a certain duty of care to another person.
That means everyone should behave reasonably to protect the well-being of everyone around them.
The next thing to prove is that the duty of care was breached.
To win your claim, you must prove the at-fault party acted recklessly or negligently, violating the duty of care.
Now you must prove causation or that the negligent behavior caused your injuries.
And finally, you have to prove that you suffered losses, like medical bills or lost wages, due to the breach of the duty of care.
If you suffer a severe injury in an accident due to someone else’s recklessness or negligent behavior, you should be able to recover compensation for your damages and suffering.
But the “burden of proof” falls on you as the injured victim.
This means you and your injury lawyer have to prove all four elements of negligence by presenting supporting evidence.
More often than not, personal injury claims settle before going to court, but sometimes lawsuits are necessary to pursue the actual value of your claim.
People with attorneys have a lot of needed help with all the legal business involved in this process.
With a lawyer, you will be able to focus on your injuries.
Your lawyer will handle things like writing the personal injury demand letter, compiling evidence, and negotiating with insurance adjusters.
What Factors Affect How Long It Will Take to Settle A Personal Injury Claim?
Unfortunately, there is no average time it takes to settle a personal injury claim.
The timing of accident settlements depends on several factors, including:
- The insurance companies that are involved.
- How long it takes the insurance company to receive the relevant documents like medical records, lost wage forms, etc.
- Whether or not there is a liability dispute
- The severity of injuries sustained.
- The available medical testimony and medical records to support injuries.
- Degree of permanency related to the injury.
- Whether or not the insurance company believes the claim was made in bad faith.
High-stakes cases involving severe accidents that cause catastrophic injuries and damages usually take much longer to settle.
If you can resolve your case with your auto insurance company, you might be able to reach a settlement within 90 days of discharge from medical care.
An accident with no injuries or severe damage could take just a couple of weeks.
But if your case goes to court, it could take a year or more to make its way through the litigation process.
Damages That Can Be Won In A Personal Injury Claim
If you are injured in an accident due to apparent negligence, you are eligible for financial compensation to cover your various damages.
If you win your case, the negligent party is responsible for paying your damages.
The most common type of damage is compensatory damage.
These damages compensate you for loss, injury, or damages sustained from a third party’s carelessness.
Personal injury damages are divided into special damages and general damages.
With general damages, you are compensated for injuries that don’t have a specific dollar amount.
General damages include:
- Physical Pain
- Emotional Pain and Suffering
- Disability or disfigurement
- Mental or physical impairment
- Emotional distress
You must prove that these damages happened as a direct result of the injury.
Special damages are monetary losses due to an injury caused by a third party.
The injured party could be awarded monetary compensation for numerous reasons.
Here are a few examples of special damages:
- Lost earnings
- Medical bills
- Repairing or replacing property
You must also prove your special damages were caused by the accident.
Choosing The Right Personal Injury Attorney
Choosing the right personal injury attorney may have the most significant impact on how long your personal injury claim takes.
A good injury attorney will know when a quick settlement is okay, and they will know when you need more time.
To find the right personal injury lawyer, you need to ask the right questions:
- Do you practice personal injury law?
- Have you worked on this type of personal injury case before?
- How many personal injury cases have you won?
- Do you represent plaintiffs or defendants?
- Have you had success negotiating with insurance companies?
- What’s your cost for personal injury representation?
Most personal injury lawyers operate on a contingency fee basis.
This means there are no upfront fees and your lawyer will take a percentage of your settlement.
This encourages your lawyer to get you maximum compensation.
You also want to work with an attorney who will return your emails, phone calls, and text messages.
Get a Free Consultation With a Personal Injury Lawyer
Car Accidents can be traumatizing.
They will often leave you with many issues to handle, but you don’t have to face them on your own.
Reaching out to our experienced personal injury law firm is the first step in getting your life back.
If another party’s negligence has led to your injuries, you deserve to be compensated.
With decades of trial experience, the legal team at Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys is well-equipped to be your guiding light in this time.
With Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys, personal injury victims will get lawyers with decades of experience in personal injury law.
This allows them to ensure exceptional compensation settlements for their clients.
Schedule a free consultation today to have your case reviewed by an experienced personal injury lawyer.