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How Long Does it Take to Settle a Personal Injury Case?

Being injured in an accident can leave you fighting hard to recover physically and emotionally. However, the fight does not always end there. If you were injured due to another person’s negligence or wrongdoings, you will most likely want to pursue your financial recovery with a personal injury case.

The truth is that each personal injury case is different. This means that it is hard to put a timeline on how long it will take to settle any given personal injury case. There are, however, certain circumstances that may influence how long your case will take:

How long does it take to settle a personal injury lawsuit?

People with little or no experience in the world of litigation, legal claims, lawsuits, and attorneys often confuse terminology. Failing to recognize, for example, the difference between a legal settlement and a simple settlement, for example, can lead to all kinds of pitfalls, both financial and otherwise.

The question of how long it takes to settle a lawsuit sounds simple enough, but it’s very much like asking how much it will cost to make a movie. The answer is “a bag full of dollars” which is a nice way of saying “it depends.”

If you are in a situation where you aren’t certain how long legal action takes or what you should expect when it comes to the legal process, first you should consider contacting an Austin personal injury lawyer. In the meantime, here are some things you should consider.

Legal Settlements

Once a lawsuit is filed, there are two possibilities. Either the parties to the lawsuit will reach a settlement on their own or the court will issue a ruling which will render the settlement academic. At any time up to the moment the judge rules or a jury hands up a verdict, the parties can enter into an agreement to settle the case.

This can happen on day one of litigation. It could also happen before litigation. But the key principle is it will be a legal settlement because it must include an agreement on the part of the plaintiff to drop the lawsuit and an agreement by the defendant to abide by the terms.

Simple Settlements

When no litigation has commenced and no formal legal action has been taken, parties to a lawsuit can enter into pretty much any kind of agreement they like. Most disputes are either abandoned or settled in this manner. Since there is no lawsuit to drop, these kinds of settlements are only “legal” inasmuch as they are presumed to be enforceable by either party if a suit is filed at some later date. But they are rarely formally drafted or written by legal professionals.

Personal Injury Cases

How long a civil claim for personal injury lasts is another one of those “it depends” questions. Cases can be delayed for considerable terms by legal maneuvering. Discovery, motions for continuances, depositions, challenges to motions and various other kinds of day-to-day paperwork chases can drain the bank accounts and patience of all parties involved.

Among the many questions, any potential plaintiff should ask their attorney is whether the case is worth pursuing. Very often, personal injury cases are quickly settled in the interests of avoiding the potential of ever-rising expense exceeding the value of the settlement.Tips to Assist with Your Personal Injury Case & What Impacts the Time

Disputing Facts

In some accident cases, such as a car accident, it is obvious and undisputed who is at fault. However, there may be times when certain facts regarding fault are disputed. The insurance company, for instance, may try to claim that you were a certain percentage at fault for the accident and try to offer you a lower settlement offer.

Your attorney will then have to take time to look at each detail of your case, including witness statements, photos, and medical records, to prove that you were not at fault. While they may be successful at doing this, it can still mean your case takes longer to finally settle.

Negotiating Offers

The insurance company should offer you a settlement that covers full damage amounts, including compensation for:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages and lost earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering

Many times, however, the insurance company will offer you less than what you actually deserve. This means that your personal injury attorney will have to present evidence to the insurance company and negotiate on your behalf until you are offered what is fair. This negotiation process can also mean that your case takes longer to come finally close.

Purposefully Delaying the Process

The insurance company is legally obligated to act in good faith, which means that they take the necessary steps to ensure your case moves forward in a fair amount of time. Unfortunately, some insurance companies act in bad faith and purposefully attempt to delay the settlement process.

This is usually a means to make vulnerable injury victims settle quickly for less than what they deserve. While bad faith insurance practices can mean your case takes longer, an attorney on your side will fight hard to ensure the insurance company investigating your case acts in good faith throughout the entire process.

Fighting on Your Behalf

At Briggle & Polan, we understand that the injury claims process can seem complicated by yourself. We are here to make this time a little easier for you. Our attorneys will look at the details of your case, lay out your options, and fight hard for your full financial recovery, all while keeping you informed throughout the entire legal process.

If you are involved in a personal injury dispute, it is in your best interests to retain the services of a qualified and experienced attorney like those at Briggle & Polan, PLLC. The alternatives are far too risky and are only likely to prevent a just and equitable outcome.