How Long Does it Take to Settle a Personal Injury Claim?
When people consider filing a lawsuit, they often imagine that their case will culminate with a trial being held in a courthouse. But when it comes to personal injury lawsuits, the majority of cases end up being settled out of court. It’s very common for cases to be settled after a lawsuit has been filed. In many situations, cases are settled before a lawsuit is even officially filed. Even if a case does make it to trial, it’s still possible that it could end up being settled before a verdict is reached.
Whether a case goes to trial or is settled out of court, each path has its own advantages and disadvantages. If a case goes to trial, it’s possible that the plaintiff could be awarded a higher amount of damages, but that’s far from being guaranteed. Going to trial can also be a very long and stressful process for both parties involved — and it can become even more so if appeals are involved. On the other hand, one of the biggest benefits to reaching a settlement is that everything can be resolved sooner.
Exactly how long it takes to settle a personal injury case depends on many different factors. Every case is unique and even if a settlement is a faster option than a trial, it can still take some time for a settlement to be reached.
One very common reason why it can take a while to settle a case is because the point of maximum medical improvement (MMI) hasn’t been reached yet. MMI is the point when a person has recovered as much as possible. In some cases, MMI might be a complete recovery, but in other cases, a person could still experience some long-term issues even after reaching MMI. By waiting until MMI has been reached, it’s easier to have a better understanding of what exactly your damages are. Settling before MMI has been reached can mean you might end up not being compensated for more long-term problems.
A case can also take longer to settle if aspects of a case are being disputed. For example, an insurer might not be willing to offer a settlement if they’re not entirely convinced a person’s injuries were a direct result of the defendant’s negligence. If liability is unclear, they may also try to argue that you have no right to make a claim against them in the first place.
In cases involving a large amount of money, insurance companies can be particularly slow to settle a case. Because of the amount of money involved, they won’t want to pay anything unless they absolutely have to, so they take some time to investigate the matter.
Whether your case goes to trial or is settled out of court, having a personal injury lawyer on your side can help make sure your case is handled correctly. At Goodwin & Scieszka, our lawyers are highly experienced in handling a wide range of personal injury cases, from car accidents to medical malpractice and slip and falls. Contact us today for help with your case.