Q: How long will my personal injury lawsuit take to reach a conclusion?
Before committing to filing an injury claim, you’ll most likely want to know how long it’s going to take to resolve. Unfortunately, injury claims do not have a set time limit. Every claim has its own set of factors that will determine how long it will take for you to see a financial recovery. Some attorneys will try to guarantee a fast trial, but don’t be fooled. If it’s a major case and the two sides can’t settle without a trial, it may take several years before damages are awarded. When an attorney promises he can get you compensation quickly—even before he reviews your case—then you need to find a new attorney.
Quick Settlements Are Rarely a Good Thing
Personal injury claims are complicated and involve a great deal of negotiation, investigation, and time to obtain a just settlement. However, insurance companies will do their best to manipulate these factors to lower your settlement options. Some of their techniques include:
- Offering a quick settlement. One way they often succeed in their scheming is by offering you a quick and easy settlement that is woefully less than what you truly deserve.
- Frustrating you with additional delays. The other side may attempt to delay the case in order to pressure you to settle for a lower amount to cover your mounting medical bills. After all, you can put off your bills only for so long.
- Distracting you to settle early. If you decide to take a quick settlement because it seems easier and the insurance company threatens long delays if you don’t, you could be giving up a fortune. When you settle without the aid and guidance of a skilled personal injury lawyer, the insurance company can and will distract you from what is rightfully yours to accept. Allow your attorney to investigate the injury, study the accident, and review your claim before making any decisions.
Why Claims Take Time to Settle
Although you may feel that your injuries deserve a speedy settlement, the truth of the matter is that most personal injury claims take months or years to be fully mature. The claim itself takes a while to investigate. Furthermore, throughout the investigation, each side (the insurance company and your party) may encounter their own delays, such as:
- Insurance delays. Sometimes insurers delay settlements on big cases simply to see if the plaintiff will give up and accept less money. Other situations force insurance companies to delay pre-trial negotiations because they don’t have a good defense to the case, they can’t refute your injuries and need time to re-strategize, or they’re unable to attack your credibility and must come up with a new plan to discredit your claim.
- Pre-trial delays. Prior to a personal injury case going to trial, a process known as discovery must take place. Discovery is when opposing parties obtain evidence from each another. The discovery process includes interviews, depositions, and requests for documents. The discovery process can be lengthy, as it takes time to gather, process, and understand the documents and evidence acquired.
- Claim factor delays. There are three main reasons why your personal injury claim itself can cause delays: there are legal or factual problems with the case, the case involves a lot of money (an insurer will investigate every aspect of the liability and damages surrounding a high profile or big money case), or you have not reached a point of maximum medical improvement. That last item can be the most important one: if you don’t know what it will take to make you whole again, you don’t really know the value of your claim.
Hiring an Attorney Can Provide Peace of Mind
It’s important to know that hiring a personal injury lawyer will not necessarily speed up the settlement process of your personal injury claim. However, it will provide you with the peace of mind needed to know that the time that goes by is not being wasted. When the insurance company learns that you have hired an attorney, its tactics will most likely change. It will shift its focus away from you and toward your claim—where it belongs.
Contact us online or call us directly for your FREE consultation. Attorney Steve Lee is here to help. With over 25 years of experience with personal injury claims, liability disputes, and insurance games, Steve Lee has the resources to help you receive the settlement your injuries deserve. Contact us today to set up a no-obligation case review. Remember, it may take time, but you’ll know that with us, you’ll get what you’re owed.