One of the most often-asked questions centers on the time frame for settling a personal injury case. And as you might guess, the answer is as individual as the client. The reality is that there is no set time frame for these cases. For those who are eager to settle the case (which, by the way is generally not advisable), you can find a resolution quickly. Unfortunately, it is very rare that a client has no regrets a year later. If, however, you are interested in obtaining fair compensation, it will likely take a bit longer, depending on the circumstances of the case – and it will always be worth the wait.
The Factors that Affect the Time
Here are a few of the typical reasons for delays associated with personal injury cases. Keep in mind that these are delays that happen not because anyone has dropped the ball or failed to meet a deadline of some type, but usually because there are so many dynamics at play and coordinating it all can be challenging.
Your case has some issues: If it is difficult to determine liability or damages, this can and will impact how long your personal injury case takes to resolve. Additionally, an insurer might not make any settlement offers until your attorney is able to show that the defendant was at fault for your injuries and that you have a legal right to sue. If the treating physicians in your case are unable to determine whether or not the defendant caused your injuries, this can also affect your case. Rest assured: none of these parties are as interested in a fast conclusion as they have nothing at stake.
Your case involves a substantial sum of money: If the damages are significantly large in your case, you can bet an insurer will do everything possible to avoid having to pay you the amount you deserve. They will attempt to poke holes in your case by conducting a thorough investigation and will only be prepared to propose a reasonable settlement once they believe they do not have a solid defense or accept that they cannot impugn your reputation or credibility. It is in their benefit to drag it out since the longer they can successfully withhold payment, the greater the odds of you becoming frustrated and settling.
You did not reach maximum medical improvement: If you have yet to reach maximum medical improvement, this could also prolong your case. It is in your best interest, however, that you wait to reach this point since, if you are still in treatment, it might be unclear if you will reach a full recovery or not, which can greatly impact the amount of compensation you are able to recover.
Keep in mind that if you do decide to settle quickly, you will not be able to reopen your case if you realize that it is not enough to compensate you for your injuries and other costs associated with the accident. This is the one caution we ensure each client is aware of should he or she decide to “just settle with them and get it over with.”
If you were injured due to someone else’s negligence, it is crucial that you seek the skilled and experienced legal guidance of a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. At Cossé Law Firm, our New Orleans product liability attorneys have obtained millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements on behalf of our clients and we would be honored to do the same for you. Contact our office today at (504) 588-9500 for a free consultation with our product liability lawyers.