How Long It Will Take To Get That Personal Injury Settlement
No two personal injury cases are alike. Each case is determined based on the unique factors and circumstances surrounding it. It is therefore difficult to determine exactly how long any case will take before reaching a settlement. Some cases take months while others take years.
While personal injury claims differ in the details, the process of obtaining a settlement is the same.
1.Making the demand
The first thing to do after the accident is to seek treatment. Keep all records of any treatments, appointments and billing. Be sure to keep documents detailing your symptoms too.
You should then proceed to make your claim. It is advisable to seek an experienced personal injury attorney to assist you. Your attorney will investigate your claim and will compose and send your demand letter. The demand letter explains all the details of your claim is about and asks the other party to compensate you for your injuries. It is important for your attorney to be clear that you will file a lawsuit if they don’t respond to the demand letter.
Your attorney will determine the best time to send the demand letter. One factor to consider is whether you have fully recovered from the injuries. At a minimum you should have received a detailed diagnosis and prognosis from your doctor. Without this, you will not be able to communicate your immediate and long-term costs of your injuries.
The insurance company may request time to evaluate the validity of your claim. The insurance adjuster will want to pick your claim apart as well as the extent of your injuries. The adjuster may question whether the insurer is liable in the first place and may also question the extent and value of your injuries and losses. The insurance company may provide you with a counter offer based on those objections. This is when the negotiations can begin.
Your attorney will represent you in the negotiations. He will address fault, coverage, the extent of the injuries as well as the cost of medical treatments.
Negotiations can go on for months. If you’re not able to get a good settlement from the negotiations, you should proceed to filing a lawsuit. Many attorneys use this tactic to show the insurance company that they are serious about the claim.
Insurance companies prefer to settle rather than go to court in most cases. However, they may play hardball and see if you will call their bluff. Trials can take years to resolve. They can also be expensive. If you’re offered a better settlement for the claim, discuss this with your lawyer and decide whether to proceed to trial.
Should you accept the settlement, your lawyer will guide you in the paperwork required. Once you have signed a release, you can no longer pursue additional payments for the same claim.