Finally, you have decided to take your personal injury case seriously. You gave decided to file for claims. That’s a good step. At least, you know your rights. However, filing and getting your claims isn’t a one-time process. Plus, there are several factors that come into play. This guide is going to take you through the factors that determine the time a personal injury claim takes to materialize. Understand these factors before pursuing a personal injury claim. Also, consider hiring the right lawyer if you want the best compensation.
Most personal injury claims will take between one and five years to conclude. But the length of the case usually varies depending on the complexity of your case, the court schedule, as well as, the severity of your injuries. It’ll also depend on your patience and willingness to wait for a better outcome.
Nature of the Case
Settling a case that’s straightforward is often easier and quicker. Settling a case involving a rear-end collision, for instance, is extremely fast. The necessary details and documents can be readily obtained. And perhaps there won’t be any disputes regarding what happened.
But when there’s a dispute about how the accident occurred and who was at fault, settling the case might take longer. Such cases usually involve extensive discovery reports from accident reconstruction specialists.
The extent of Your Injuries
Claims involving minor injuries can be resolved more swiftly than those involving severe injuries. A soft tissue injury claim, for instance, can take about 1 to two years to be resolved. But claims for disabling injuries like chronic pain, severe neurological injuries, and complex fractures can take longer to resolve.
It may take longer for you fully recover from severe injuries. And time is necessary to establish a long-term prognosis. For your doctor to conclude that you’re disabled. You must be off work for at least two years.
Amount of Damages
The more the damages, the longer the insurance company will take to pay you. In complicated cases, insurers don’t usually pay until trial dates are set. And the closer the trial date is, the more leverage you have. How long your personal injury claim will take to conclude will solely depend on the level of damages you incurred.
Insurance companies also play a significant role in determining the outcome of personal injury claims. Certain insurers might have policies in place to settle claims within a short period of time while others last longer. An insurance company’s working strategies usually impact the timing of settling a personal injury case.
Besides, insurance adjusters who’ve many cases to handle at once often take longer to resolve cases than those who don’t have too many cases. Thus, be sure to make a choice that suits your needs and preferences.
When liability isn’t an issue, your personal injury claim might be resolved quickly. But when there are complex aspects, it might take longer to resolve. If the defendant decides to contest liability, your case might even take longer or not settle at all. Both parties might have to wait for the jury to investigate the case and determine which side was at fault and responsible for the damages that occurred.
Willingness to Wait
Insurance companies usually offer low settlements in order to resolve the case swiftly. Nonetheless, accepting an offer too soon could limit how much compensation you receive. So, be sure to look for a personal injury lawyer who’ll move your case quickly without sacrificing your long-term interests. A quick settlement doesn’t usually make up for a desirable result. On the other hand, certain cases drag out too long and don’t end up bringing a good outcome.
Delay benefits the insurer. When you get desperate and frustrated, you’re more likely to accept a low settlement. If you accept an offer before you’ve fully recovered, you risk being inadequately compensated. That’s why it’s always important to have evidence about the long-term implications of your injuries before you settle for any amount. With such evidence, you can easily convince the jury that the other party’s negligence brought pain and suffering into your life.
In areas where there are numerous cases going on at once, it can take longer for your case to resolve. If you choose to go to court, it can actually take longer for your case to be processed in a jurisdiction with an overloaded docket than in a jurisdiction that has fewer cases.
What’s the Role of a Personal Injury Attorney?
Different attorneys handle cases differently. There are some that operate alone and some that delegate tasks to multiple representatives. An experienced attorney might handle your personal injury case quickly than an inexperienced lawyer. Likewise, an attorney who’s handling multiple cases at once might take longer to resolve your case than other lawyers.
Your personal injury attorney will start the evaluation of your case by collecting important details about the accident, as well as, the defendants. And once they’ve done that, they’ll go ahead and notify the defendant and their insurer of the claim. He or she can then assess the extent of your damages and advice you to get urgent medical treatment. The time it takes them to work through all these tasks will directly affect how long your case is going to last.
Filing of the Lawsuit
The litigation process typically starts when you and your attorney decide to file a personal injury claim in court. Every state has different pretrial procedures, but it will generally take about one to two years for your case to get to trial. Bear in mind that personal injury claims should be filed within specific timelines referred to as statute limitations. So, don’t wait too long to act. Be quick and vigilant. Otherwise, you might end up losing it all.
The Discovery Phase
In the discovery phase, each party is given a chance to investigate the other side’s legal claims. They send interrogatories, as well as, document requests to each other. Aside from that, they also take depositions of all the involved parties and witnesses. Essentially, the discovery process can last between six and twelve months depending on the complexity of your case.
Mediation and Negotiation
At the end of the discovery process, your attorney will start negotiating a fair settlement. At times, the lawyers can talk among themselves and agree on a certain amount. But sometimes, they might need to go to mediation. In this process, both parties and attorneys seek the input of a neutral third-party mediator, who’ll help them resolve the case.
Mediation usually works. But if it doesn’t work for you, go ahead and schedule the case for trial. As opposed to mediation, trials often take longer. The judge can schedule your trial for a particular date but due to their tight schedule, they might be forced to push it to a later date.
However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that something unfavorable is happening. Most trials are often delayed for innocuous reasons.
What’s the Timeline?
When it comes to personal injury claims, the unthinkable can usually. It’s hard to predict the outcome and when the case is going to conclude. At first, your injuries might seem mild, but as time progresses, you might realize that you were seriously injured. Plus, the injury might have appeared like a pure accident, but now it’s evident that someone else’s negligence is what caused all these.
If that’s the case, the at-fault party needs to take responsibility for their carelessness, the mounting bills, as well as the suffering they’ve instilled in you. But how do you get them to pay for their mistakes? The only way out is to file a claim.
Have you ever filed a personal injury case? Well, the process isn’t usually that easy. It’s complex and daunting. Here are the steps you should take:
Choosing an Attorney
The first thing you need to do is to choose a personal injury. Make sure that he or she has the right level of education, as well as, specialized experience in handling cases similar to yours. You’ll also want to make sure they have a great personality and have earned recognition from legal organizations. Hire a New Jersey car accident lawyer for the best legal services.
Consultation and Review
Once you have chosen an experienced lawyer, go ahead and schedule a meeting with him or her. Then, discuss your injuries and the manner in which they occurred. Sharing every detail is extremely important. Giving an honest account of the incident will make it easier for your personal injury attorney to build your case and initiate a strong investigation.
Aside from that, your lawyer will also gather your medical reports, as well as, injury-related expenses. Although this documentation might take longer, it could significantly increase your settlement amount.
Filing the Claim
If your personal injury lawyer believes that you have a strong case, he or she will file a claim with the appropriate court. But before trying to negotiate with the other party, your attorney will wait until you have fully recovered from your injuries. This will ensure that you get maximum compensation for your injuries. However, it’s important to note that this process might take longer, so be mindful of it when thinking about the timeline.
Negotiating a Settlement
If your attorney and the defendant’s lawyer come up with a fair resolution, then you won’t need to go to court. But if that doesn’t happen, your case will have to be resolved in court. In other words, you will need to file a personal injury claim.
The discovery process, for instance, will allow both parties to investigate each other’s legal claims, as well as, defenses. They’ll then take your depositions together with those of other witnesses.
Going For Trial
When the investigations are concluded, a trial date will be chosen. Depending on the complexity of your case, the trial can take a few days, weeks, months, or several years. Once the trial comes to an end, the judge will render a verdict. The members will either agree or disagree with your claims. If the jury rules in your favor, the court will establish how much the at-fault party owes you for all the damages you suffered as a result of the injuries.
As much as you may be tempted to settle your case quickly, the truth is that it isn’t usually the best way to go. It’s understandable how devastating your situation can be. You’re probably in need of so much money to settle your huge medical bills. However, settling for the first offer could deny you the chance to get maximum compensation for your damages.
That’s why it’s always better to work with a professional personal injury attorney. He or she knows how to move cases as swiftly as possible without sacrificing your long-term interests. Moreover, the attorney will fight hard to ensure that the discovery, as well as, the trial processes are completed as soon as possible. As opposed to insurance companies who’ve all the time to wait, most accident victims don’t have an alternative source of income between the time that the accident occurred and when they finally get compensated.
Delay typically benefits the insurance company. When you become frustrated and desperate, you’re more likely to accept a low settlement amount. By choosing to accept such an offer before you fully recover from your injuries, you risk being inadequately compensated. That’s why you need to gather evidence that can help you prove the long-term impacts of your injuries before you settle. Otherwise, you might not be able to recover your losses.
Filing for personal injury claims is one thing. Then getting the claims is another new thing. Remember, you don’t apply for your claims today and get them tomorrow. You need to be patient. Wait for the process to take place. Plus, certain factors come into play. The above factors will determine the amount of time it takes for your claims to materialize. Understanding these factors will help you stay calm while waiting for your claims.