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How Long Does a Personal Injury Case Take?

How Long Does a Personal Injury Case Take?

Shapiro Law Team April 11, 2023 Personal injury

When pursuing financial compensation in a personal injury case, it’s important to set realistic expectations. Part of setting these expectations is anticipating how long the case will take to resolve. Keep reading to learn more about how long the average personal injury claims process lasts.

Common Types of Personal Injuries

Here is a list of the most common types of personal injury cases:

  • Car accidents
  • Truck accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Bicycle and pedestrian accidents
  • Medical malpractice
  • Surgical mistakes
  • Premises liability
  • Gas explosions
  • Fire and burn injuries
  • Product liability
  • Wrongful death

What Is the Personal Injury Claims Process?

When one party in a personal injury case incurs losses due to another party’s negligence, both parties can reach a financial settlement in lieu of pursuing litigation. The negligent party—also known as the defendant—pays damages (i.e. compensation) to the victim.  Both parties, along with their respective attorneys and insurance adjusters, negotiate a favorable settlement. One or both parties may refuse offers and present alternative counteroffers until they can reach an agreed amount.
When an agreement can’t be reached, the settlement is either revisited at a later date—known as an impasse—or litigation is pursued, in which case a trial will be scheduled. More often than not, the injured party would rather pursue a settlement than file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent party. That’s because settlements are typically faster, less costly, and less risky than trials.

How Long Does a Personal Injury Case Take to Settle?

The settlement process for a personal injury case can take as little as a few weeks, or it can take up to a few years. At the end of the day, the length of a personal injury case settlement depends on various factors, including the following:

1. The Type of Case
Different personal injury case types take different amounts of time to settle. For example, the settlement process for an auto accident may take longer than it does for a medical malpractice case.

2. How Strong Your Case Is
The stronger the case, the less time it will take to reach a settlement. Before pursuing a settlement, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you have corroborating witness statements?
  • Do you have adequate evidence to prove that the other party was negligent?
  • Was fault clearly established?

The best way to strengthen your case is to engage a personal injury attorney to help mediate the settlement process. Your attorney will advocate for your best interest throughout the claims and settlement process as well as help you determine when to accept an offer. Your attorney will also answer any questions or concerns you have.

3. How Quickly You Wish to Settle
Which factor is more important to you: the speed of the settlement process or the settlement amount? If you value speed over the settlement amount, the process will be shorter. If you’re willing to wait longer to receive your desired settlement amount, the process will take longer.

4. How Much You’re Willing to Settle For
Know what settlement amount you desire before starting the negotiation process. You should also decide how willing or unwilling you are to pursue a potential trial if a settlement can’t be reached.

5. The Case’s Complexity
The more complex the case, the more time it will likely take to reach a settlement.

6. The Extent of the Damages
More severe injuries and more extensive property damage typically result in a longer settlement process.

 

Albuquerque car accident lawyer

 

Why Is My Personal Injury Case Taking So Long?

Some personal injury cases can drag on for one or more of several reasons:

  • Your case is weak
  • Your case is complex
  • Fault is difficult to determine
  • Supportive evidence is lacking
  • Injuries are severe
  • One or both parties don’t meet established deadlines
  • One or both parties don’t respond to communications promptly
  • The insurance adjusters aren’t willing to settle for the requested amount
  • The defendant is unwilling to settle
  • There are unforeseen legal issues with your case

4 Ways to Accelerate the Settlement Process

If you want to speed up the settlement process, follow these four steps:

  1. Prepare Your Claim
    Gather all the evidence you’ll need to present a strong case. Keep a record of all relevant documents regarding your case. Know what offer you plan to request along with the lowest offer you’re willing to accept.
  2. Be Persistent
    Show the negligent party that you mean business. Stand firm in your refusal of offers and presentation of counteroffers.
  3. Keep Your Emotions in Check
    Don’t let your emotions get the best of you, and don’t take things personally. Stay professional throughout the process.
  4. Be Patient
    The stresses of suffering a personal injury can weigh heavily on you. You may be tempted to rush the settlement process for the sake of putting the accident behind you rather than waiting to reach your desired compensation. Hold off on paying medical and other bills if at all possible. If you know what amount of compensation you want, don’t settle for a lower offer. At the very least, the offer should cover your primary losses in full (property damage, medical bills, etc.).

Deadlines in a Personal Injury Case

You and your attorney must meet all deadlines established during the settlement process if you want to receive maximum compensation. Be proactive by responding to offers and counteroffers from the other party as quickly as possible.

What Does Settling for Short Money Mean?

Settling for short money—also called a short settlement—occurs when your attorney says that your case deserves a higher settlement amount than what the defendant offered, but you need the money more quickly to pay for property damage, medical bills, and to account for lost wages due to injury. A short settlement also shortens the settlement process.

How Do You Choose the Right Personal Injury Attorney?

Choose an experienced personal injury attorney who has your best interest in mind. Consider the attorney’s track record in achieving compensation for former clients in similar personal injury cases. You also want an attorney who is skilled in negotiating with other attorneys as well as insurance adjusters in personal injury cases.

The #1 Personal Injury Lawyer in New Mexico

If you need to hire a personal injury attorney in Albuquerque, look no further than Shapiro Law Team. Our commitment to providing Superior Representation for every client means we will hold the responsible party accountable, handle all insurance claim negotiations, and help you achieve maximum financial compensation. Request a free consultation now to start the process.

 

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