If you have suffered a personal injury and are dealing with the consequences, you may be experiencing pain while also worrying about the damage to your personal property. Once you have engaged the services of a personal injury attorney and filed a lawsuit against the responsible party, you may be wondering how long it will take for your claim to be resolved. Your financial situation might not be as solid as it was before the accident and you may need the damages that you know you deserve.
What are the most important factors affecting your claims’ timeline?
Among others, there are five factors that may play a crucial role in personal injury cases:
The Severity of Your Injuries
In some cases, the insurance company may not be willing to discuss your claim until you have either fully recovered or reached the maximum expected recovery. This could delay your claim, particularly if a doctor has determined there is nothing else to be done. Your lawyer would have to get a permanency rating from the doctor and their opinions on future treatments you might need.
Obtaining all Medical Records and Bills
Although healthcare providers tend to respond in a timely manner to these requests either from you or from your attorney, in some cases several attempts must be made to get them. If it happens, your case cannot move forward.
Insurance Company Delays
You may be lucky to be working with an insurance company that evaluates your claim and determines potential liability issues or makes you a settlement offer in a timely manner. Or you may face delays and low-ball offers to settle. Your attorney can help this move along and if no settlement can be reached, they will help you with the lawsuit.
The Complexity of Your Case
If there are several liable parties involved your case may be more drawn out. Paperwork and scheduling can make logistical matters more complicated and lengthier. Simply put, this puzzle has too many pieces.
The Legal Process
If you cannot settle and need to go to trial, your case will take longer. Just filing the paperwork and serving the defendant could take months. By the time pre-trial motions are scheduled once all the evidence has been gathered, setting a court date can also bring more delays. A settlement might be reached at any point or the lawsuit may continue, going through mediation or arbitration.
Is there anything you can do to help this timeline get shorter?
Working with an experienced personal injury lawyer is an important first step. You want someone who has successfully dealt with other cases similar to yours. Also, making sure that every time you go to the doctor you get the bill, and gathering all that information and paperwork in an organized manner will help. And if you have further evidence to contribute, such as the police report, pictures of the accident when it happened, and testimonies of witnesses at the scene, all of this will help your lawyer put together a stronger case.