If you have been injured due to someone else’s fault, you may be thinking about filing a personal injury claim. However, you may also have concerns about the amount of time that a claim will take to settle, and be worried about dedicating months of your life to the claims process as such.
While it is very true that a claim can take months–or even up to a year or more–to settle, there are a variety of elements that can affect the settlement timeline. What’s more, when you hire a qualified personal injury lawyer, your lawyer can work on your claim on your behalf while you focus on your recovery and other facets of your life and wellbeing.
The Basic Timeline of a Personal Injury Claim
First, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the basic timeline and steps of a personal injury claim so that you know what to expect throughout the process.
- Get medical care and reach Maximum Medical Improvement;
- Find and hire a lawyer;
- Investigate your case and gather evidence;
- Issue a demand letter;
- Negotiate a settlement;
- Either accept a settlement or file a lawsuit;
- Discovery process;
In the majority of claims, the case will be resolved after step five – negotiating a settlement. If a claim cannot be settled out of court, the amount of time that is committed to its resolution will be extended, as the only options that the plaintiff will have left will be to either drop their case entirely or file a lawsuit.
Factors that Affect the Timeline of a Personal Injury Claim
There are numerous factors that can affect the timeline of your personal injury claim. Relative to the 10 steps listed above, factors that change a settlement date to a few months to more than a year after an accident include:
- The extent of injury – more serious injuries will require more time to heal, which can delay the process;
- Finding a lawyer – some people know exactly who they want to hire after an accident, others may take weeks or months to find one they trust;
- How complicated your case is, whether or not fault is disputed, how many parties were involved in the accident, and types of evidence available;
- The extent of your damages – a demand letter will take longer to construct if your damages are especially severe;
- The amount of money you’re asking for, the degree of each party’s fault, and the willingness of the insurance adjuster to negotiate.
More straightforward claims where damages are less severe and the at-fault party is clear are typically easier to resolve than are complex injury claims where a victim has sustained substantial harm and long-term disabilities.
Don’t Let Time Be a Bar to Recovery
While there is no doubt that it can be emotionally taxing and stressful to file a personal injury claim and wait for it to be settled, don’t let the amount of time that it takes to reach a settlement serve as a bar to recovery. You deserve to be compensated for your harm, no matter how long it takes.
When you choose our Rockford personal injury lawyers at Tuite Law, you can count on qualified representation and lawyers who will manage all elements of your case on your behalf. Reach us today for your free consultation to get started.