Settling a personal injury is a complex exercise that is not understood by many people. How long will it take to get resolved? This question causes headaches to many citizens who have personal injury claims. If you think you have a personal injury claim, take a look at this article as it will detail out standard events and timelines that a personal injury claim can take.
Obtaining Medical Prognosis
In personal injury cases, the claimant should first prove that the said accident caused their injuries. This is done by obtaining a medical report. Depending on the type and intensity of the injuries, you may need more than just one report. Sometimes, personal injury attorneys will advise you to undergo treatments such as physiotherapy before a medical expert can give their opinions on the intensity and effects of the injuries suffered.
Many personal injury attorneys will advise the claimant to wait until they have recovered from the injury or until they have a convincing medical prognosis. The prognosis details out the extent of the injury and how it is likely to affect you in the future. Waiting for full prognosis is essential because personal injury compensation is done on ‘full and final’ basis, meaning no further payments can be paid in future. Therefore, applying for prognosis without complete recovery will be putting you at a risk of under-settlement. The report prepared by the medical expert will be used by your attorney to calculate the worth of your claim.
Complexity of the Claim
The time taken to get personal injury compensation varies with the complexity of your claim. Gathering medical evidence may be challenging especially in cases where your opponent wants to appoint their medical experts to assess your injuries.
Since severe injury cases take long, it is sometimes advisable to take interim payments to cover some of the expenses such as lost earnings as the case progresses. The idea here is to relieve the claimant from some of the financial obligations since they are off work. No formula clarifies how long a compensation claim will take. Each case is unique, and settlement may take weeks, months or even years depending on the intensity of the injuries and duration taken by the opponent to accept the liability.
Is the opponent accepts the liabilities straight away, the case proceeds and you get compensated within no time. However, if liability is denied, arguments are likely to arise between your legal representative and opponent’s lawyer. This will then call for an investigation of the event of the accident including interviewing witnesses and pulling CCTV footage. Liability arguments may take time further lengthening the amount of time taken.
Once the investigations are done and all damages established, the settlement negotiations begin. Sometimes, the insurance company doesn’t accept the offer given through negotiations alone. In a case of such situations, litigation becomes the next step. Moreover, if the compensation process takes longer that agreed, a law suit is filed. It is imperative to note that court proceedings must be issued within specified time limits depending on your state, meaning that negotiations should not take more than the specified time from the day of injury.
Although over 90 percent of all personal injury cases are settled in negotiations, sometimes the insurer fails to offer enough during negotiations. Pretrial procedures for each state are different, but most of them take less than two years to get to trial.
A personal injury case can take a day, a week, or even longer depending on the complexity of the claim. It is imperative to understand that trials can be rescheduled depending on the schedule of the judges. So if your trial is rescheduled, don’t think that the lawyers are conspiring against you. After the trial, the insurer is given a timeline by, which the compensation should be finalized.
As you can see, there is no conclusive answer on how long the case can take. There are several variables included, and therefore, it is advisable to seek services from experienced personal injury attorneys.