Each year in the United States, about 39.5 million people are injured in some way.
If you were one of these millions of people and have been wrongfully injured and the cause wasn’t entirely your fault, you might be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against whoever’s fault it was.
However, it’s not always an easy process. Are you wondering, “How long does it take to settle a personal injury claim?” We’ll break it down for you.
So How Long Does it Take to Settle a Personal Injury Claim?
There is no one true answer that will fit every solution for every personal injury case.
We can, however, give you an average time. Most lawsuits will take about two to three years to get settled, mainly because there are so many different phases and hoops to jump through to do it.
Some cases might be able to resolve themselves within six months. But it can take a long time to get from one end to the next, which is why it’s safe to set aside two or three years for the case.
When you file a personal injury claim, one period you’ll have to go through is the trial period. This is where the judge will look over all the evidence your lawyer has spent time gathering and also evaluate your injuries. You can also make your case, but the defendant will also have a chance to tell their story.
Depending on how all of this goes, the judge may take a while to make a decision. Even if they decide that you do earn a settlement, it can take a while for the company or person to actually send you the money.
What Factors Do Affect the Length of Time?
While two to three years is average, there are a few things that can affect how long your personal injury claim will take.
Being aware of these could help you prepare for problems or just know what to expect.
Issues With the Case
One reason it’s hard to decide how long it will take is that each case is different. And each different case presents its own unique problems.
Normally problems in the case will arise when you can’t find a way to prove that it was actually the defendant’s fault that you got injured.
If you can’t prove that someone was at fault, you’ll have a really difficult time winning a case. Your lawyer will have to make a good case that no one will be able to refute.
You might also have the problem where the doctor might see your injuries, but they aren’t exactly sure if the defendant was at fault for them or not. If you don’t have a doctor to testify on your behalf, your case may take a lot longer than anticipated.
How Patient You Are
The case will also depend on how patient you are. If you want a quick turnaround, you could get it, but you might not get as much money either.
If you settle too quickly, you could lose money. However, if you’re willing to wait and let the process work itself out, you could be entitled to an even larger settlement.
Severity of Injuries
Depending on how severe your injuries are, this could provide a delay in the proceedings.
For example, for severe injuries, like brain damage, the effects may not show up right away. It might take time, so you might have to wait for the results to come back before you can even file a claim.
You might also have injuries but no firm diagnosis or prognosis yet. It will take time to wait for this as well.
There is a Lot of Money Involved
If there’s a lot of money involved in the settlement, you’ll likely have a harder time winning. Which means that it’s going to take a lot longer than usual.
The defendant or insurance companies won’t want to pay that high of a price until they’re sure they’ve exhausted every option and there is no other choice but to pay it.
They’ll only pay a large sum if they don’t have a good defense, can’t make you look incredible, and if your injuries are actually severe.
Normally in these cases, the plaintiff gets impatient and decides to accept less money than they were asking for.
What do You Do if There are Delays?
Another important factor that could hinder your settlement is a delay in the case.
A delay can happen for any number of reasons, but there might even be a delay from you getting your own money.
If there is a delay and you haven’t heard anything about the progress of the case, make sure that you contact your lawyer. They should respond to you and let you know everything that’s going on. If you hired a good lawyer, they may even be able to fix the delay.
After you won your claim, it’s also important for them to let you know if there are going to be any delays in your payment as well.
Discover More About Filing a Personal Injury Claim
These are only a few answers and factors to the question of, “How long does it take to settle a personal injury claim?”
This process, or any lawsuit, can be stressful and overwhelming, especially if you’ve never done it before.
Thankfully, you don’t have to do it on your own. If you enjoyed this article, make sure you check out our website to find more articles just like this one!