How Long Does It Normally Take To Settle A Personal Injury Case?
Personal injury claims are made for damages caused by the at-fault party to a person. The time limit of settling a personal injury case varies from case to case. It could take from a few months to several years to settle a personal injury case. The time frame of settling a personal injury case depends on a lot of different factors.
From the very beginning of a claim, your personal injury attorney will notify the other party's insurance company that you are represented as well as request the insurance coverage disclosure. In Florida, the insurance companies are required to comply with the request for insurance information within 30 (thirty) days. Letters of representation are also sent to any other parties to the case. Any police officers who may have been involved may be interviewed, witnesses will be contacted and photographs of the accident scene will be taken. If necessary, an investigator will be hired by the personal injury attorney to assist in this initial investigation.
Once you have completed your medical treatment and have attained maximum medical improvement (MMI), your personal injury attorney will obtain your complete medical records and bills and will send a demand letter to the insurance company which will explain how the other party is at fault and how much the injured claimant has suffered in damages. The insurance company will be given thirty days to review the documentation provided to support the case and make a settlement offer. The thirty day limit is a standard amount of time given to the insurance company to evaluate the case. The insurance company will usually respond to the injury lawyer with an offer. If the offer is not acceptable to you, then your personal injury lawyer will have to negotiate for a higher offer. Negotiation process could take a few months if there are disputes over the causation of the injuries, extent of the damages sustained and/or issues with liability. If the case cannot be settled in pre-suit for a fair amount, your personal injury attorney may recommend that you proceed with the case further in court.
After a lawsuit is filed, the majority of the delays take place due to simple scheduling issues. The discovery period alone could take six months to a year so that both parties can exchange and gather the necessary information. If the case cannot be settled at a pre-trial settlement conference, the case will likely go to trial. Then, it could take an additional six months to a year before the actual trial date. There may also be appeals from either party's lawyer with motions and hearings to deal with.
It is therefore important that you retain an attorney that has substantial experience in handling personal injury cases in pre-suit as well as well in court to avoid unnecessary delays in settling your case. Value your case by letting Joe Horrox Law represent you in your personal injury case.