How Long Will My Personal Injury Case Take?
If you have suffered a serious injury and decided to file a personal injury claim, you’re probably wondering when you can expect to see your settlement or your court win. In many cases, you require the settlement money to pay for bills, medical costs and other expenses. You may not be able to work due to your injury and may be worried about supporting your family.
Unfortunately, personal injury cases can take months or even many years. How long your case will take depends on several factors:
1) The complexity of the case.
Some cases rely on very precise technical information and may require extensive investigation or consultations with experts. In some cases, witnesses may be difficult to contact. It may be difficult to prove liability or to prove certain parts of the case. The more challenges there are and the more complicated the case, the more time it may take.
Sometimes the complexity of the case stems from problems or issues that need to be resolved. If the defendant’s liability or role in your injury cannot be proved without a reasonable doubt, there may be investigations and complex due diligence needed to ensure all the evidence is in place.
2) The size of the claim.
Larger claims will generally take more time, since the defendants will work harder to avoid having to pay a large settlement. In cases involving large amounts of money, defendants will usually use every legal avenue open to them to reduce the size of the settlement or the claim amount.
They may conduct lengthy investigations to determine whether you have a strong claim, whether there is compelling evidence the defendant caused your injuries, and whether you have unassailable credibility. It is only if these pieces are in place that the insurer will generally deign to move forward. In some cases, defendants will even purposely use delay tactics to put more pressure on the plaintiff to drop the case or to accept a lower offer.
3) Your injuries.
In general, it is best to wait until your injuries have completely healed or have reached the maximum improvement possible for your condition before you launch a claim. This way, your attorney can take into account the total cost of your care, including any potential complications and added expenses occurring in your case. Unfortunately, sometimes it can take many years for an injury to reach the state where maximum improvement has been achieved. For example, if you have suffered a spinal cord injury or head injury, you may be getting surgeries and rehabilitation for years and continuing to improve very slowly.
Your injuries can also affect the length of your case another way. If your injuries are subjective and difficult to predict, it may be more challenging to prove the extent of them, meaning your case may take longer. Injuries that are straightforward and more obviously severe may mean less time is needed to prove the extent of the injury. An amputation may be simpler to prove than chronic back pain, soft tissue injury or post-traumatic stress disorder, in other words.
4) How long you’re willing to wait.
Ultimately, plaintiffs make decisions about how long they are willing to wait for a settlement. Some plaintiffs who feel financial pressure are able to settle sooner simply by accepting a lower settlement amount from the defendants. Only you can decide whether you are willing to wait for the full settlement in your case or whether you want to accept a lower offer. Your attorney can help you decide if you are unsure how to proceed.
5) How compelling the evidence is.
If there is strong evidence conclusively proving serious injuries and showing the defendant caused the injuries through negligent or wrongful action, the case may be shorter. If there evidence is not as strong, the case may be longer because defendants may try to uncover additional data to undermine the case and reduce liability.
The attorneys at Irpino, Avin & Hawkins Law Firm understand the financial stress plaintiffs face. Our personal injury attorneys understand that in many cases, our clients are under immense pressure because they cannot work or are struggling to pay medical bills. It’s why we do more to take care of our clients. We offer sound advice and listen to concerns about finances and other issues. We offer support and keep clients advised about the status of the case so they always know what is happening.
How Long Will My Personal Injury Case Take?
You may be concerned and wondering how long your personal injury case will take for a number of reasons. You may be healing from your injuries and be ready to move forward with the next stage of your life. You may want answers and justice for your injuries. If you are like many plaintiffs, you may also have concerns about the medical bills and other costs you may be facing as a result of your injuries.
You are not alone. “How long will my personal injury case take?” is one of the most common questions asked of personal injury attorneys. If you are asking yourself this question, you need to keep in mind you are firmly in the driver’s seat. You can always resolve the claim immediately by accepting the settlement offer made to you.
Just keep in mind this settlement offer is likely not the total cost of your injuries, and you have other options for securing fair compensation. Just because you can resolve your claim more quickly does not mean that is a good idea.
In fact, if you are concerned about how long your case may take, consider the risks of settling too early. If you settle before the full extent of your injuries is known and you encounter further complications or additional need for treatment after the settlement, these costs will come out of your pocket.
If you have suffered a traumatic injury, you may be entitled to the maximum amount possible on your policy. By accepting too soon, you may not explore all your policy options, including receiving the full amount or having your claim covered by multiple insurance policies. You may settle for tens of thousands of dollars less than you might have.
Why You Should Hire A Personal Injury Attorney
Mistakes made during your personal injury case can be costly, which is one reason why a personal injury attorney is important. A personal injury attorney is familiar with cases similar to yours and can tell you how much your case may be worth. If your case is eligible for the full amount of your insurance policy, your attorney can explain this to you so you have this information when an insurance provider offers you a low settlement offer.
A personal injury attorney can also:
- Subpoena medical records
- Work with medical consultants
- Build the evidence needed in your case
Faced with strong evidence, defendants may be less willing to fight all the way to court, knowing they may lose if the evidence is compelling.
Simply having a personal injury attorney can prove an advantage, as it shows defendants you have someone working on your behalf who understands the insurance industry and the relevant rules. If a defendant sees a plaintiff working with an attorney who has a reputation for taking cases all the way to trial when necessary, the defendant may be more likely to avoid a trial, even if it means offering a better settlement for the plaintiff.
If you are concerned about the timeframe of your personal injury case, an attorney can also discuss these issues with you. If you are facing financial distress because of your injuries, for example, an attorney can explain any benefits or any resources you can secure quickly without jeopardizing your case.
The Advantages of Hiring A Personal Injury Attorney
Working with a personal injury attorney will not speed up your case, but it can serve you by ensuring someone is fighting for the fairest compensation possible to pay for your medical bills, lost time at work, incidental costs and other expenses related to your injuries. Whether you hire an attorney or not, a personal injury case can be solved very quickly if you accept the first offer.
Resolving a personal injury case can take months or years if you pursue a better settlement. No two cases are the same, so the exact time will vary. By working with a qualified personal injury attorney, you can ensure your interests are protected while you seek a better settlement to pay for more of your costs.
If you are concerned about the timeline, your attorney can help you understand how long your case may take and how factors such as complexity may have an impact on the timeline of your case. An attorney can also keep you aware of developments in your case, so you know where you stand while you wait. Finally, an attorney can help you explore options such as waiting or settling early, so you know which options are the most advantageous for you.
If you would like advice about the value of your claim or the advantages and disadvantages of accepting a lower offer, our attorneys are always standing by to give you their thorough legal advice. If you’d like an honest and client-focused approach to your case that centers around your needs, contact Irpino, Avin & Hawkins Law Firm for a consultation.