An experienced personal injury lawyer can only estimate how long it will take to complete a case either by settlement or by some court proceeding. It is sometimes possible to resolve a personal injury claim in as little as two or three months. Or, in other cases, it may take many months of witness depositions, document exchanges, court motions, or even a jury trial to resolve a very complicated claim.
Generally, an experienced personal injury lawyer can finish a case with a fair and just settlement within 7 to 12 months. In some rare circumstances, with exceptionally serious injuries, a year or two may be required. Contact the Clauson Law Firm, the best personal injury lawyer near you, to get a free case evaluation and to answer all your questions.
The general process of handling a personal injury case involves these steps:
Investigation & Record Collection
Immediately after the personal injury lawyers at the Clauson Law Firm is formally retained to represent an injury victim, the attorney needs to gather all the detailed information available. That includes getting a clear picture of the accident scene’s condition, including what physical site factors may have played a role in the incident. Is there a functioning traffic light or visible stop sign? Was there sun glare at that time of day? Are there any security cameras on nearby storefronts or homes? Are there witnesses who will give statements about what they saw and heard?
As the investigation is being conducted, we file requests for copies of all accident-related medical records with every doctor and healthcare provider who treated our client’s disability. We might also obtain earlier medical records to demonstrate that the injury was the result of the accident.
Document exchange with responsible party’s representative or insurer
The insurance company performs its assessment of our client’s injury, the circumstances of the accident, and the chances of our client’s recovering a judgment for compensation. Serious injuries can lead to wider differences between an insurer’s assessment of the case value and your personal injury lawyer’s valuation. Your personal injury attorney is focused on getting you the largest financial settlement possible.
Cases in which there is a wide variation between the two values typically take longer to resolve. But remember, the time is required to persuade the insurance company it needs to offer a higher settlement amount or to fight it out in court.
Determining the final condition of your injury
It’s not wise to settle any personal injury claim until you and your lawyer learn the full nature and extent of your injury. What may appear to be a good settlement early in the process may be grossly insufficient if you later learn you need additional surgery. Only with a clear picture of the entire injury and its continuing impact on your life are you able to set a total settlement value on your case. This takes time as it depends on your recovery speed.
Negotiating and advocating for your maximum settlement
Some cases present facts in which the negligent party’s liability is clear, the victim’s injury and time of recovery are well understood, and the pain and suffering experienced is undeniable. In such a case, resolving the case by an agreed settlement amount may be relatively easy.
However, in other cases, both sides blame the other for the accident causing the injury. In North Carolina, if the insurer can successfully argue that the victim’s negligence contributed to the accident, the injury victim may be barred from recovering any compensation. So, in these cases, the insurer is highly motivated not to offer a large settlement.
Accepting a settlement or continuing to fight is the client’s decision
Only the client can decide whether to accept a settlement offer. Your lawyer can advise you about what might be likely to happen if you reject the offer, but the decision is yours.
Francis Babet loves pursuing excellence through writing and has a passion for Legal. He currently writes for The Clauson law Firm, a USA Based Law Firm that provides SSD, SSI, SSDI, Personal Injury, and Drugs and Devices. His work has been published on various sites related to Social Security Disability, Supplemental Security Income and more.