How Long Will My PI Claim Take to Settle?
When you pursue compensation for a costly injury, it is natural to wonder when you might expect to receive your settlement. However, each case is unique, and there is no one-size-fits-all timeline for a personal injury claim.
When you set up a consultation with our personal injury attorneys at Banks, Stubbs & McFarland, a team member can assess your situation and give you a better idea of what to expect for your timeline.
What Affects Settlement Time?
The duration of an injury claim's resolution can vary widely depending on several key factors. While some claims may settle relatively quickly, others may take months or even years to reach a resolution. Here are some main factors that influence the timeline:
Severity of Injuries
Claims involving severe or long-term injuries tend to take longer to settle. Because insurance adjusters will write one lump sum check to compensate you for all of your medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages, it is advisable to wait until the full extent of the injuries and their impact on the victim's life and finances are clear in order to receive full compensation.
Complexity of Liability
Determining fault for an accident can be straightforward in some cases, but in others, it may be more complex. Disputes over liability can lead to prolonged negotiations, mediation, or a trial, which can significantly lengthen the recovery process.
Investigation and Evidence Gathering
Thoroughly investigating the accident is essential for building a strong case. Evidence may involve collecting accident reports, obtaining witness statements, obtaining and analyzing physical evidence such as videos and photos, and consulting experts. The time required for this process can affect the overall duration of the claim.
Medical Treatment and Recovery
It's crucial for the injured party to receive appropriate medical treatment and reach maximum medical improvement before finalizing a settlement. Rushing the process can lead to inaccurate estimations of medical expenses, pain and suffering, and future care needs.
Disputes Over Damages
Disagreements over the value of the claim, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering, can lead to delays. These disputes may require additional negotiations, mediation, or other legal proceedings including a trial.
Negotiations with Insurance Companies
Negotiations with insurance adjusters can sometimes be prolonged, particularly if there are disputes over liability, the extent of injuries, or the value of the claim. Skilled negotiation can expedite the process, but if you have a difficult adjuster or insurance company, you will need to prepare your case for trial in order to reach a fair agreement.
If a settlement cannot be reached through negotiation, the case may go to court. This can significantly extend the timeline, as court proceedings can be lengthy, with pre-trial motions, discovery, and trial dates.
Overall, how long the settlement process takes is influenced by a combination of legal, medical, and procedural factors. The important thing is to never rush the process or accept a quick settlement.
An insurance company might call you right out of the gate and make a quick settlement offer to resolve the matter. This might seem attractive, but it is almost always too good to be true. These quick offers are usually much less than you need to cover your losses. Never accept anything without first seeking legal help.