Your personal injury lawsuit could take months or even years to reach its conclusion. There is no set timeline because the details of each case vary significantly. While one injured person may have a settlement in a matter of weeks, another case may take much longer. When it comes to this process, either of these situations is within the realm of normal.
How long a personal injury claim will take will depend on a variety of factors, but one of the biggest of these is whether or not your evidence is compelling enough to warrant an out-of-court settlement. If an insurer believes they have a shot in court because your evidence is weak, they may draw the process out to try to get out of payment or to pay you less.
In this video, personal injury attorney Luis Scott explains how long a personal injury claim might take.
Factors That Will Affect Your Personal Injury Claim’s Timeline
Aside from settlements and jury trials, there are other factors that can make the personal injury claims process take longer. How long your personal injury claim will take to settle may depend on:
- The insurance company’s cooperation
- The cost of your economic losses
- The severity and extent of your injuries
- Whether fault and liability are easily determined
Insurance companies want to draw this process out so they’ll wear you down and get you to give in. There are steps your attorney can take to make sure that doesn’t happen.
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Measures That Can Move Your Case Forward
Understandably, you likely want your case to progress as smoothly as possible so that you can move forward with your life. While your personal injury attorney handles your case, there are many measures that you can employ to help your case move forward. You should consider:
Following Through With Your Doctor’s Orders
If you do not follow through with your doctor’s recommendations, the claims adjuster may say that you did not take care of yourself. They may say that they should not be responsible for all of your medical bills. By following through with your doctor’s orders, you can solidify your claim.
While attending car accident physical therapy, taking medication, and going to check-ups, you should also keep records of these tasks. Ultimately, they can be used to show the insurance company how badly you were injured and how much effort it took to recover.
Keeping a Running Record of Your Accident-Related Losses
To seek fair compensation in your personal injury claim, you may want to consider what a fair settlement would look like in your case. You should keep tabs on the cost of your accident-related losses as they develop. For instance, if you were injured in a car accident, you should keep copies of your property damage receipts and medical bills.
This will help your personal injury lawyer determine how much you may be owed by the liable party. If you do not keep records of your financial losses, this could hinder the negotiation process.
Refusing to Give a Recorded Statement
The claims adjuster may ask to record your statement to reduce your settlement. They may even claim that giving a recorded statement could help you. By giving a recorded statement, however, you give the insurance company control over your words.
The insurance company may edit the recording and turn your words into something you did not mean. Even saying, “I’m okay now” could downplay the extent of your injuries. You are under no obligation to give the insurance company a recorded statement––no matter what they tell you.
Setbacks that Could Make Your Personal Injury Claim Take Longer
Just like how there are things that could help your case, there are things that could hurt your case. Not only can these mistakes make your claim take longer, they can lessen your settlement’s value.
You have more control over how long it takes for your personal injury claim to settle than you realize. You should be aware that the following things could hinder your case’s progression:
Posting to Social Media
Some may want to use social media to connect with family and update them on the progress of their case or their injuries after the accident. There are measures you can take to control who sees what, but keep in mind that even if your social media account is private, however, your accounts could still be viewed by the insurance adjuster.
Just like how a recorded statement could be taken out of context during a personal injury lawsuit, so can your social media postings. You do not necessarily need to delete your pages, but you should refrain from actively posting to them.
Talking Directly to the At-Fault Party
The at-fault party may try to convince you to forgo the claims process. They may even try to pay you cash for your losses. This may not work to your advantage––especially if you do not fully understand the cost of your losses. If you accept any amount of money from the at-fault party, you jeopardize your chance of pursuing additional funds in the future.
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Why Insurance Companies Want to Settle Quickly
After you’ve been injured in an accident, chances are one of the main concerns you have is how long your personal injury claim is going to take to settle. Naturally, your health is your first concern, but it’s hard to focus on your recovery when the bills won’t stop coming. This is especially true if you are missing work while you heal.
Many victims of accidents are in desperate need of a settlement, and the insurance companies count on this so they can offer you less to pay you off quickly. Although it will likely be incredibly tempting to sign a quick settlement agreement to try to keep your head above water, the truth is there is no faster way to drown in the costs associated with your injury.
Bader Scott Injury Lawyers Can Help Resolve Your Case
Our team understands that you want your personal injury claim settled as soon as possible. Right now, you may be dealing with lost wages, medical bills, and property damage costs. We want to guide you through the claims process. We can help you by:
- Determining who holds liability for your losses
- Estimating the cost of your ongoing and future losses
- Investigating the cause of your accident
- Gathering evidence
- Negotiating for a settlement
- Explaining how long a personal injury claim takes
Per Georgia’s statute of limitations (also known as the Official Code of Georgia Annotated [OCGA] §9-3-33), claimants have a two-year window to file a lawsuit for a personal injury case. To keep the statute of limitations from expiring on your case, we encourage you to reach out to the team at Bader Scott today to learn more about your options.