We are frequently asked by prospective clients how long it will take to reach a settlement.
Most personal injury claims do end in settlements, but they vary greatly in the length of time required to reach a resolution. The circumstances surrounding every accident are different. The length of time to settle will depend on a number of factors. They include the details of the accident, the type of injuries and medical care involved, and the other party’s willingness to admit liability. You should understand the various factors involved in the settlement process.
This article will provide information about the settlement process and explain the factors that will likely determine how long it will take to settle your injury claim.
Types of Settlements After a Personal Injury
Typically, there are a couple of ways that you may settle a personal injury claim:
- Insurance claim settlements before litigation
- Claim settlements after the start of litigation
Insurance companies often want to settle personal injury claims as soon as possible. They make quick settlement offers to limit their liability. A quick settlement may be tempting. However, a quick settlement is not necessarily to the advantage of the accident victim. Accepting an initial settlement could be a costly mistake.
A quick settlement may fail to reflect the full extent of your injuries and the cost of your medical expenses. The recovery from a serious injury can take months of treatment and rehabilitation. How long it will take to settle the case depends in part on how long it takes for the patient to reach a full recovery. As we advise clients, any settlement of a personal injury claim should take into account the following factors:
- The severity of your injury
- The cost of present and future medical expenses
- Lost wages and the impact on your ability to work again
- Changes to your quality of life
It takes time to understand the full effects of a serious injury. Before agreeing to settle a claim, it is important to know the extent of your injuries, the present and future costs of your medical care and whether the injury will limit your ability to return to work. This information should be presented to insurers to negotiate a fair settlement. If you agree to settle without an understanding of your future medical costs and income losses related to the injury, then you could be left picking up the tab for these expenses.
You do not have to accept a lowball offer just because the insurance company acts like it is the best deal possible. Your injuries could require treatment long after the accident, and you deserve compensation for the full extent of your suffering. Consulting an attorney will help you make sure that you receive trusted advice before making an unwise settlement decision.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
If the evidence is clear that the other driver or party was at fault, it may lead to a quicker resolution of a case. But in some cases, the liability may be in dispute.
If the insurance company denies liability or is unwilling to make a fair settlement offer, at David Blackwell Law, we generally file a lawsuit on our client’s behalf. We do so recognizing that it will take at least a year after the lawsuit is filed for a South Carolina court to hear the case.
Even after a lawsuit is filed, our attorneys will continue to try to negotiate a fair settlement. Your case is most likely to be resolved through a settlement. As we explain in our video on personal injury claims, only about 3% of litigation ever makes it to a trial.
The insurance company will have attorneys defending its interests, and you should have an attorney advocating on your behalf.
An experienced personal injury attorney will understand the tactics that insurance companies use and will gather evidence needed to support the lawsuit. At this point, you should have a knowledgeable legal team on your side, negotiating on your behalf.
Personal Injury Claim Investigations
At David Blackwell Law, we understand the many factors that affect the settlement of a personal injury claim. Focusing on your recovery is of paramount importance. Regardless of whether you decide to file a lawsuit, having a complete record of your medical treatment will make a significant impact on your claim. You won’t know how much money it would take to be fairly compensated until you have this information.
During your recovery period, it is important to be careful about how you communicate with insurance companies. They will use any misstatements you make to deny your claim, reduce their settlement offer, or lengthen the settlement process.
An attorney can assist you in tracking all of your medical documentation. Every case is unique, and it is hard to predict when a case will settle. However, having a skilled legal team at your side will help make sure that insurance companies don’t extend the claims process longer than necessary.
Contact Us for Help With Your Personal Injury Claim
If you have been hurt in an accident, the experienced attorneys at David Blackwell Law will help you pursue a fair settlement. We will see your case through from beginning to end. This includes making sure that the insurance company pays you promptly after your claim is settled.
Our firm is committed to representing the right people for the right reasons and to making our community a better place to live. This means we will advocate for the legal rights of citizens throughout Lancaster, Indian Land, Heath Springs, Kershaw, Fort Mill, and surrounding communities. Contact us through our online contact form, live chat, or call us at (803) 232-7274 to schedule a free consultation with a member of our team.