Personal injury cases can vary significantly in terms of how long they take to settle. While some may be resolved relatively quickly, others may take several months or even years.  Others might go all the way to trial which can longer.  Here are some factors that might influence how long it takes to resolve your personal injury case:

Medical Treatment

A case is usually not ready for settlement until we have a clear understanding of your injuries and how long they will take to resolve. Some injuries may take a few weeks to show improvement, while other injuries may require several months or even years of treatment.  Other injuries might be permanent with recommendations for future treatment or surgery later in life.  However, there is usually a point in your medical treatment where we have a clear picture of your injuries and what your future medical treatment might look like. This is called “maximum medical improvement.” Most cases are ready for settlement at that time since we can then persuasively argue for the costs of future treatment, future income loss, as well as future pain and suffering.

Legal Disputes

If there are disputes regarding liability (who is at fault) or the extent of damages, it can prolong the settlement process.  Resolving these disputes may require investigation, gathering evidence, witness testimony, and potentially filing a lawsuit and using the court process to prove your case.  The legal process can move slowly, but may be a necessary tool to prove your case.  

Amount of Potential Settlement

Insurance companies may be more resistant to offering fair settlements when large sums are involved, and they may engage in negotiations for an extended period of time.  Insurance companies require more proof of your damages and injuries over a longer period of time before they are willing to consider a larger settlement offer.  

Patience is the Key

Accident victims often come to our office for their first consult saying that the insurance company has already offered them a small amount of money to settle the case quickly.  Insurance companies use this tactic to get you to settle for a small amount before you have a chance to speak to an attorney or even have the opportunity to investigate how serious your injuries really are.  It’s unfortunate to hear of people who settled too quickly and then learn months later that they have a more serious injury then they thought which might require months or years of treatment. Sadly for those people, once they settle, they cannot go back and make any more claims against the defendant.

Personal injury victims tend to get better outcomes when the legal process and their medical treatment is allowed to unfold to make sure they receive fair compensation for their injuries and losses.  

Having an experienced and aggressive personal injury attorney can help speed up the process by persuasively presenting your case and negotiating effectively with the insurance company.

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