How Long Should My Personal Injury Claim Take?
Many people feel the financial stress of a serious injury within a few weeks of an accident, as medical bills pile up and they run out of paid sick leave at work. While they may still be struggling to recover — perhaps even still in the hospital or a rehabilitation facility — they also begin to worry about how to pay for their recovery.
Luckily, if someone else’s negligence caused your personal injury accident, you are likely eligible to file an insurance claim or lawsuit to collect compensation for your damages. Many call Levy Law Offices wondering just how long they have to wait before they see this compensation. The answer, however, is rarely clear-cut.
What To Expect In The Personal Injury Process
Understanding how long a personal injury case could last requires understanding what the process entails. Once you choose a lawyer, you will share all the details of the accident and your injuries with the firm.
Based on this, the lawyer can determine if you have a case worth pursuing. If so, the lawyer and other investigators will gather evidence to support your claim:
- Medical records
- Medical bills
- Any pictures or video of the accident scene
From there, your lawyer typically files an insurance claim and begins to negotiate a fair settlement. If this is not possible, mediation or filing a lawsuit may follow. Once you file a lawsuit in your case, the process of discovery begins, where each side can:
- Question witnesses
- Share evidence
- Ask questions of the other side
In many cases, negotiations continue throughout this process. In others, the case is only settled by the judge’s verdict.
Potential Variables Affecting When You Recover Damages
Several things can shorten or lengthen the time it takes to settle your case. In most cases, these are entirely out of your control.
Common variables include:
- Settling out of court: Most personal injury claims never make it to the courtroom. Instead, the lawyer is able to negotiate a settlement with the insurer before filing or before the trial.
- Not recovering as quickly as expected: In most cases, your lawyer will want you to reach a point in your recovery known as maximum medical improvement (MMI) before settling your claim. Until you reach MMI, your doctor cannot give you an accurate prognosis or predict future medical needs.
- Trial scheduling issues: It is not uncommon for judges to delay, reschedule and even cancel trial dates. In some cases, judges delay trials over and over because of their full schedules. This can easily extend a trial for months.
So How Long Should My Personal Injury Case Take?
As you have probably gathered, it is impossible to predict how long a personal injury case might last. While some can resolve quickly thanks to an insurance company that understands your needs, many will offer ridiculously low settlements at first, forcing you to take them to trial to get what you deserve.
In some cases, your lawyer can negotiate these offers up to a reasonable amount. In others, though, the offer is so unreasonable that the need for litigation is obvious.
Get Started Today – Call Levy Law Offices
It pays to talk to a Cincinnati personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. Levy Law Offices represent clients who suffered injuries in accidents in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. Email us or call us today at 513-655-5089 for a free case evaluation or to learn more about the damages you can recover after a personal injury.