How Long Do Personal Injury Claims Take?
By Administrator | | Personal Injury
A personal injury settlement allows accident victims to finally move on with their lives. After suffering serious injuries, our clients have massive medical expenses and need to make regular trips to the pharmacy to pick up prescriptions. These expenses add up.
A common question many clients have is, “How long will my personal injury claim take?” Unfortunately, there is no single answer. Everything will depend on the facts of your case. We can sometimes settle a claim in a matter of weeks. In other situations, we might spend 9 months or more negotiating a settlement. And if your case goes to trial, you will probably wait more than a year before you receive money.
In this post, our Virginia personal injury lawyers look at the most important factors which will determine the duration of your claim.
Is Liability in Dispute?
A person doesn’t need to pay compensation unless they were liable (“at fault”) for an accident. Imagine you hit someone because you ran a red light. The person you hit doesn’t have to pay you a thing since you are at fault for the wreck. They are only legally obligated to pay if they are at fault.
Liability is sometimes clear. If not, then each side can spend several months gathering facts—interviewing witnesses, inspecting the accident scene, reviewing the relevant law. If liability is in dispute, it will take longer to resolve a personal injury claim.
Are Your Injuries Severe?
The more serious your injuries, the longer it will take to resolve a personal injury claim. There are a few reasons for this:
It can be to your advantage to wait to settle until you reach maximum improvement. This way, we know how much compensation to request.
Insurers will more closely analyze fault when more money is in play. And serious injuries typically involve larger sums of money.
Insurers are more likely to blame you for the accident when more money is in play. Consequently, we could end up in court.
If you suffered minor injuries which heal in a month, you could settle a claim quickly. If you need surgery and rehab, you will probably wait much longer.
Is the Defendant Motivated to Settle?
Some defendants might be motivated to settle. For example, if the case garners negative media attention, then they might try to make negative headlines disappear by offering fair compensation. Other businesses might be trying to be bought in a merger, which means moving liabilities off the books.
How Badly Do You Need Compensation?
Many accident victims need money now. They are too hurt to work, yet medical bills continue to pile up on the kitchen table. They are very motivated to accept whatever settlement the defendant offers.
Nevertheless, you should never settle for too little money. Once you sign a settlement, you release the defendant from further liability. That means you won’t get to come back for more money.
We Can Handle Your Personal Injury Case from Start to Finish
The Jackson Law Group has represented many accident victims in their personal injury claims. Let us get to work on your behalf. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.