How Long Do Personal Injury Cases Take?

Last updated on: November 4, 2022

It can be an uncertain time when you have been hurt by someone else, and you will want to know how long it will take to seek compensation for your injuries and losses. It is important to contact an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your potential options and to get an idea of how long your case will take to settle.

Every case is going to be unique, so an attorney will not be able to give you a definitive answer on how long your case will take. The attorney can draw on their experience dealing with similar cases to give you an estimate of the amount of time your case could potentially take. The details of your case will influence how long the process will be.

Thus, it is very important to contact a personal injury attorney so that you can begin the process of settling your claim and pursuing maximum compensation for your injuries and losses. The earlier that you speak to an attorney, the earlier the attorney can discuss your options with you and potentially reach a settlement for your personal injury or accident.

What Is the Personal Injury Claim Process?

Addressing Your Injury

Attend all your medical appointments and follow all your physician’s instructions. Be sure to reschedule any doctor visits that you have to miss. Preserve all the evidence you have of the accident, including photographs, medical records, police reports, and any other relevant documents.

Hiring an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

If you have been injured, a personal injury attorney can help you before you even hire him or her. The attorneys at Zinda Law Group offer a free consultation. During the consultation, you can describe how you were injured, and the lawyer can let you know whether your claim is worth the time and effort to pursue.

Even if the attorney discourages you from suing because your claim is not strong enough, you still will have saved precious time and quashed any “what if?” questions about whether to sue. However, if the lawyer encourages you to file your claim against the person who caused your injury, you should consider hiring an attorney.

A personal injury attorney can help you navigate the complicated and often frustrating legal process. He or she can help you at every stage of litigation, from filing your claim to accepting a settlement or even going to trial.

Filing Your Claim

When you file your claim, you must meet all of the substantive and procedural requirements in your state. Perhaps most importantly, you should ensure that the deadline for filing has not already passed.

Each state has a statute of limitations that limits the amount of time you have to file a personal injury claim. The time limit to file starts from the day of the accident and, for most states, ends after two or three years.

You should also ensure that your claim meets all the appropriate substantive standards. You must detail how the defendant harmed you, typically by showing how the defendant was negligent. Then, describe the amount of compensation you are seeking.

An attorney can help you meet all these deadlines and formal details while filing your claim. The lawyer also has experience calculating the appropriate amount of compensation to request in personal injury cases.

Gathering Evidence

Next, you and your attorney will gather evidence regarding the fault of the person who caused your injury and the amount of damages you suffered. Be patient during the evidence-gathering stage. Your attorney will be diligently investigating the accident or determining whether an expert is needed to help with the case.

However, you must let your lawyer know if your financial situation deteriorates and you need help. They might have the opportunity to settle the case for you.

Ask your attorney how the process is going and whether there is anything you can do to assist. Helping might be as simple as signing medical releases for your treatment or going to the local police department to get a copy of your accident report. Just asking reminds your attorney that you are interested in your case.

Negotiating a Settlement

Once your attorney has gathered information sufficient to prove the fault of the other party and the cost of your injuries, it is time to negotiate a settlement. Your lawyer will negotiate with the defendant to try to receive a fair settlement offer on your behalf.

The defendant’s lawyer and insurance company will likely try to poke holes in your arguments, but an experienced lawyer will be prepared for this. Avoid talking to the defendant’s lawyer or insurance company without first speaking with your attorney.

Preparing for Trial

Trial is relatively rare, and most cases will settle outside of court. Both parties typically favor settlements because they are predictable compared to trial.

However, if you are unable to reach a settlement agreement with the defendant, you might need to take your case to trial. Your attorney can help you prepare by gathering witnesses as needed and answering any questions you have about going to trial.

Why Does Your Personal Injury Case Take So Long?

You have a serious injury

Several factors can delay your claim being settled. 

For instance, the more serious your injury, the longer it may take to be fully aware of the extent of your injuries and the accompanying medical costs. In these cases, your attorney may advise you to wait before settling your personal injury case until you are fully aware of the extent of your injuries and how they may affect your life moving forward so that you are able to pursue maximum compensation.

There are disputed facts in your case

Other factors that may delay your case being settled include if there are disputes over facts about your accident or injuries. Disputes may require your attorney to conduct an investigation and gather all of the necessary facts to ensure that you can seek the compensation you are entitled to.

You are waiting on a settlement offer from the insurance company

Insurance companies like to play the waiting game, hoping a claimant eventually makes a decision that is not in their own best interest. The larger the sum of the money that is entitled, the longer it may take insurance companies and other parties to settle your claim. 

While agreeing to a smaller settlement will bring a quicker resolution and may help alleviate your immediate needs, you could end up regretting your decision.

Once you settle your claim, your rights in the case are gone forever, as the insurance company will require you to sign a contract known as a release before you receive your settlement check. However, agreeing to a settlement is ultimately your choice, one you should make in close consultation with an attorney who will help you weigh the costs and benefits of your decision.

Need Help? Contact Zinda Law Group Today

The length of time needed to reach a personal injury settlement varies with each situation. The facts of how your injury occurred, the recovery period for your injury, and the insurance company’s willingness—or lack thereof—to negotiate in good faith are all variables that affect the time needed to resolve your case.

Waiting can be very frustrating. It may even be unjust, especially when you are not at fault for your injuries yet you still must deal with medical bills, property damage, missed work, and pain and suffering.

The earlier that you contact an attorney about your personal injury claim, the sooner that an attorney can go to work for you by dealing with insurance companies and other parties on your behalf to pursue the compensation for your injuries and losses that you may be entitled to. 

The personal injury lawyers at Zinda Law Group have the knowledge, experience, and resources to help you seek the full compensation you deserve. Contact us today at 888-560-4726 to schedule a free consultation.