To get your personal injury lawsuit to trial, it can take anywhere from a year to multiple years, depending on the complexity of your case and a host of other factors. Most cases, however, typically settle out of court. When you might be able to settle your personal injury case will again depend on a host of factors, the most significant being your treatment. A lawyer will need to know your treatment plan before he or she is able to fully evaluate and provide advice. As such, there is no straightforward answer to how long personal injury settlements take because each accident and injury is unique. With that said, most personal injury claims that settle typically take several months to a year to resolve.
Should You Settle Your Personal Injury Claim Early?
Initially, the answer will depend on two key factors:
- what is your past, present, and likely future treatment, and
- what insurance coverage is available to compensate you for your injuries and the damages you have incurred? If insurance funds are woefully insufficient to cover the harm done to you, it could be in your best interest to settle early.
If the insurance coverage is sufficient to pay for the harm done to you, then you will want to consider a host of factors before deciding whether to settle your claim. For example, to make sure you are fully compensated, you will want to know
- what your future medical needs are, if any,
- the permanency of your injuries, if at all, and
- any impact your injuries may have on your ability to work in the future.
Given this, our experienced Trial Team speaks with treating doctors very early in the investigation of each client’s claim. In doing so, the Trial Team learns, among other things, when the doctor believes you will get better and what it will take to get you there. Our Trial Team will meet and speak with your doctor to learn when the doctors expect you will get better or when you will reach your “new normal” (meaning, further medical treatment will not improve your situation). Once that information is gathered, our Trial Team can better assess and evaluate your claim.
Treatment plans can often be lengthy for our clients. Knowing this, some insurance companies will try to rush a settlement early before it is clear what future treatment will be required. If successful, this can save the insurance company money, but could cause you great financial hardship if you require medical treatment in the future. That is why you need a lawyer to make sure
- your rights are protected and
- that your decision to settle, or not settle, is a fully informed decision, based on what is best for you and your future needs.
Some Causes of Settlement Delays
You Need a Substantial Amount of Medical Treatment
We have established that it is often best to wait until you reach your maximum medical improvement to properly evaluate your needs. While we pray you experience a speedy recovery, if the injuries are serious, you may need multiple procedures and prolonged treatment to reach your “new normal.
Discrepancies, Disagreements or Legal Issues with the Case
Insurance companies will review your claim with a fine-toothed comb. Factual discrepancies, disagreements or legal issues can often be used to deny your claim, reduce your compensation or otherwise delay resolution of your case.
You Have No Lawyer
Going into a personal injury case without legal representation can leave you open to frustration and at the mercy of the insurance companies. Remember, their primary goal is to save the company money. To avoid the frustration, and to make sure your rights and future are protected, you will want to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer.
Lawyers in Gainesville, GA
If you are looking for wrongful death or car accident lawyers in Gainesville, GA, reach us at Stewart, Melvin & Frost for a free consultation to better understand your rights and options in your personal injury case.