One of the most common questions in any personal injury lawsuit is: “How long will this take!?” The simple, yet deeply unsatisfying, answer is: It depends. Below is a brief exploration of the different phases of a personal injury claim set in the context of temporal phases. Although each case brings with it a unique set of facts and circumstances, here are some of the phases that must be considered when determining the length of a case.
If you are injured in an accident, your firm will most likely not start negotiating a settlement until you have sufficiently recovered from all of your injuries. This does not mean that you have to completely return to the same person you were before the injury, it merely means that you have to reach a point where no further improvement in your physical ability is expected. If any residual problems, in the opinion of your physician, are permanent, then you have reached your maximum medical improvement. Reaching this level of recovery can take time. For example, a car crash that has caused a severe brain injury may take years to reach that point. Law firms wait until you are released from care so that they can have the fullest understanding possible of the extent of your injuries, your future medical bills, and your loss of wages. If they act prematurely, it may be too late to seek recovery for additional issues.
Preparing and Submitting Settlement Demand to Insurance Company
After you have discharged from medical care, your settlement demand will be prepared by the law firm and submitted to the insurance company. A lot of information is contained in this submission packet, including medical bills, loss of wages and days missed from work, and limitations because of injuries. The firm will then provide a range of compensation that would need to be provided in order to settle the claim. How long this takes depends on the complexity of the case.
The insurance company will review all of the documents submitted by the law firm and may conduct its own investigation. After this, the insurance company will provide its first offer for settlement. All offers are discussed with the client. Ultimately, it is the client’s decision whether or not to accept or reject an offer. Of course, however, your attorney will provide opinion, analysis, and support. If the insurance company provides inadequate offers, you may choose to litigate.
Filing a lawsuit does not necessarily meant that the case will go to court. It does mean that there will be some disclosures and discovery. In addition, most all courts require the parties to go through mediation (i.e., a settlement conference) before the parties are allowed to go to trial. These activities do take time. Most cases get set for trial within 8-12 months of the filing of the lawsuit.
As is evident, the complexities of the personal injury case and the settlement negotiations can have a huge impact on the length of time required for receiving compensation. Although each case is different, you may now have some idea as to what goes into reaching an agreement. If you have been injured and would like to seek compensation, or if you would like additional details regarding the process for receiving compensation, contact a Colorado personal injury attorney today.