One of things that concerns plaintiffs when filing a personal injury lawsuit is how long it will take before they know the outcome of their lawsuit. No one wants to be involved in a case that goes on and on for years. For that reason, it is not surprising that many plaintiffs opt to settle with the insurance company instead of pursuing the case.
The problem with this is that many insurance companies make plaintiffs lowball offers in an attempt to save money and pressure the clients into quick settlements. Some victims accept these offers, as they don’t want to be involved in a long term fight with an insurance company. In many cases, however, it is in your best interest to reject the initial low ball offer as it probably will not provide adequate compensation for the losses and injuries suffered.
Should you choose to reject a settlement offer, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your case will go all the way to trial. Settlement negotiations often happen over time as evidence is produced which indicates that one party or another is responsible or further demonstrates the extent of the injuries and expenses suffered. Every personal injury case is unique. The length of time it takes to reach a decision will depend on several factors along the process of the lawsuit. These include the following:
Medical Prognosis or Full Recovery
When a personal injury lawsuit is filed, the claimant must first prove the cause and extent of the injuries. A medical report from an independent medical expert is required for this. The report should confirm the cause and extent of the injuries. It should also indicate if and when you have fully recovered as well as the long term effects of the injuries.
In order to avoid settling for less than the full value of your claim, you should wait to settle until after full recovery or a firm prognosis has been given. This is because once the claim has been settled, there can be no further payment in compensation in relation to the claim.
The Complexity of the Claim
In general, the more complex or severe the injuries, the longer it takes to settle the claim. This is because getting a medical prognosis on the extent of the injuries and their effects on your life for the long term will take longer. It will also take longer for you to recover from the injuries.
Admitting Responsibility and Proof of Liability
If the defendant in the case admits liability early on, the claim will progress much more quickly. If they deny liability, then you are burdened with proving that they are responsible for or contributed to the accident that resulted in the injuries.
Claims can take anything from a few months to years depending on the issues in the case. Be sure to have an experienced lawyer to assist you for the best results.