After an accident, medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses can start to pile up quickly.
It’s completely understandable to wonder how long it will take for your case to settle and for you to receive the compensation that you are owed for your injuries.
Unfortunately, it is impossible to be able to tell at the onset of a claim exactly how long it will take to settle your personal injury case, but there are some factors that can help your lawyer estimate how long it will take to finalize your claim with the insurance companies.
At Kapuza Lighty, we have helped many personal injury victims throughout the Yakima area secure compensation for their claims, and our dedicated personal injury attorneys are here to help you understand what can affect the time it takes to settle your case.
Factors Affecting Your Settlement Time
The average time to settle a personal injury case can vary from as little as a couple of months for a simple case to years for a complex or particularly litigious claim. The easiest way to expedite your claims process is to hire an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible after the accident to handle your case.
A lawyer can manage your legal claims effectively and efficiently with the insurance companies, while ensuring that you receive the full and fair value of your injury claims.
When injury victims try to settle claims on their own, they often accept compensation before their treatment for their injuries is complete and often for far less than what they are owed.
As a result, victims that handle their own cases end up with additional financial burdens on top of their health concerns because they didn’t settle for the full value of their case.
One major factor that affects settlement time for a personal injury case are the legal and factual issues of the claim. If the parties involved in the accident blame each other for fault or questions arise as to the extent of your injuries, these legal and factual questions can extend the amount of time it takes to settle a personal injury case.
An experienced attorney can overcome these questions by securing photos and videos of the scene, eyewitness reports, police reports, medical records, treatment notes, receipts for damages, employment records, wage loss statements, and more to answer any legal or factual inquiries.
Another significant factor affecting the amount of time it takes to settle a personal injury claim is the medical treatment necessary to fully recover from your injuries. Getting full treatment for your injuries is important for a couple of different reasons.
First, getting full medical treatment for your injuries is the only way to get you back to your normal life the way it was prior to the accident. If full recovery is not possible after the accident, your lawyer will be able to factor in additional damages to your compensation claim to accommodate your disability.
Second, finishing medical treatment prior to settling ensures that all of your medical costs are accounted for in your settlement.
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In some cases, an injury victim may need to see a specialist or have complications with their injuries, which end up taking additional money and time to treat. If you accept a settlement prior to finishing medical treatment, you could be on the hook for paying for any additional medical bills that come from your injuries.
The third factor affecting settlement time in a personal injury case is the amount of money asked for in the settlement. Typically speaking, claims that involve smaller settlement amounts are resolved faster than larger monetary claims. Insurance companies will be more invested in negotiating large settlements, which in turn can lengthen the amount of time it takes to settle.
However, with extensive medical bills or third-party claims, it may be necessary to wait for the larger settlement to cover all of the costs of the accident.
One final factor that can affect the time it takes to settle a personal injury claim is whether your attorney needs to file a lawsuit to settle the case. If the insurance companies are unwilling to offer a fair settlement for a claim or cannot resolve an outstanding issue in the case, the claim will have to go to trial.
Taking a case to trial will extend the time it takes to settle the claim; however, in some situations it can mean the difference between getting the compensation a victim deserves for their injuries or walking away with nothing.
Call Us Today
To learn more about how long it could take to settle a personal injury case, call or contact the office of Kapuza Lighty today to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney about your case.