Personal Injury Lawyer
After filing a personal injury claim, the last thing you need is a growing pile of unpaid medical bills. You’re stressed because you need the money from a settlement or judgment ASAP, but you have no control over when you can collect your damages. As you continue to wait for the legal process to run its course, you might wonder why there have been delays. Here are some reasons personal injury cases are drawn out and why you should expect to wait longer for an ideal compensation amount.
Average Timeline for a Personal Injury Case
Every personal injury lawsuit can be affected by several circumstances, so law experts admit that it’s difficult to pinpoint when a case will be settled. Most defendants want to minimize legal expenses, so they will likely offer you an out-of-court settlement within the first year. If you can’t reach an agreement with the other party, a personal injury lawyer like one at Greenspan & Greenspan P.C. may advise you to file a lawsuit and proceed to court. The trial process could add an additional year or more to the waiting period. Enjuris reports that most accident and injury cases are completed within one or two years.
Reasons for Delays
Insurance companies usually offer a low damages amount during first-round negotiations. They will take their time investigating your case in hopes you might get impatient and agree to settle rather than continue to fight. However, if convinced you are entitled to more money, you can refuse their last offer and proceed to trial. Ultimately, you and your attorney need to determine your goals and present a convincing argument for you to receive more compensation.
Also, expect delays if liability is questioned in your case. If the defendant’s insurance company denies that they are at fault, then your legal team will need more time to prove they are responsible. This could involve an extra court hearing for a judge to decide if you have a right to make a claim.
One beneficial reason to proceed slowly during your case is to make sure you have reached maximum medical improvement or MMI. Your primary doctor will determine your MMI once you reach your highest level of recovery with treatment. If you settle before you reach MMI, you won’t be able to include estimated future medical costs for ongoing therapy, medical equipment or other services you might need.
If you are struggling during your personal injury claim process, reach out to your attorney to discuss the status of your case. He or she can give you options on how to proceed if you might want to reconsider settling or filing a lawsuit.