Our clients often ask, “How long will my personal injury lawsuit take?” Lawsuits can be unpredictable, and so goes the timeline for settling your case. Many of our clients have spent weeks, months or even years recovering from their injury and want a just and timely settlement of medical bills and financial hardship from missed work.
Unfortunately, complex personal injury cases rarely close quickly. There are multiple variables that can lengthen the timeline of a lawsuit. Knowing this from the start can help our clients stay determined and focused.
What Affects The Length of a Lawsuit?
Each personal injury lawsuit is as unique as the client, the case, and the injuries sustained.No two are the same, but from our years of experience, we can offer a perspective on how each variable changes the timeline of the case.
No two are the same, but from our years of experience, we can offer a perspective on how each variable changes the timeline of the case.
Conservative offers: The first settlement offer from insurance company will often be much lower than desired. The insurance treats your case like a number, using a matrix of inputs to generate a proposal that can be personally demeaning.
Insurance Companies: Offering an unfair settlement is common. Insurance companies are a business, and their purpose is making money. Despite all of the advertising to convince you otherwise, insurance companies are looking out for their business, not yours.
Compliance with Needed Treatment: Clients who comply with appropriate medical treatment and who are meticulous in making sure to document the progression of their injury in the medical record will materially shorten time to settlement if the case is one that can settle without trial.
Willingness to Settle: Attorneys are legally required to relay all settlement offers to the client, and all offers received in the case. The client may accept or reject these offers, even if our team disagrees with the decision. Clients willing to accept an early offer will have shorter cases. The longer we negotiate, the longer a case will take, but very often it is necessary to achieve a fair settlement for personal injury compensation. Negotiation time and results are specific to each case.
Extent of Injury: If the injury to the client was serious or life-threatening, the case will sometimes take longer to complete. Time spent visiting rehabilitation centers and specialty doctors add to the complexity of the case. Long-term pain and injury treatment are important for the client’s long-term health, and these visits require a significant source of time and energy. Our attorneys need to be sure that each client has received the majority of medical treatment. Settling too soon may sacrifice funds for paying doctor bills.
The Client: The biggest player in a personal injury case is the client. There are client specific factors that influence the length of a lawsuit:
How Experienced or Fair your Adjuster is: Despite the widespread use of computer programs to adjust claims, who the adjuster is still makes a difference, especially in catastrophic cases in which there are millions of dollars on the line.
Litigation: If your case goes to court, expect a two to four-year process. When a personal injury case falls to the courts, we have little control over the court’s schedule. When a lawsuit is filed, insurance companies often ride the delay as long as they can, hoping that something will happen to make the claim worth less. As soon as we know that a case will not settle pre-filing, our lawyers do not delay in filing suit to start the clock. When litigation becomes necessary, we prepare our clients for the process and buckle in for the ride.
Your Personal Injury Lawyer: Your lawyers actions in preparing your case for trial and settlement can affect the length of time the process will take. Gathering evidence in admissible form before the lawsuit is filed, filing immediately when it is clear that pre-filing settlement is not possible and even potentially hiring necessary experts to help design discovery requests when the lawsuit is filed are actions that your lawyer can take to try and trim down the time between injury and completion of your claim. At the McCraw Law Group we do not sit on claims. We prepare them for trial to hopefully shorten the time between injury and claim resolution.
The insurance company’s defense attorneys will often deploy tactics that drag the case out longer. Our McKinney personal injury attorneys won’t allow unnecessary delays, but do prepare clients for a lengthy court battle should it become necessary. To discuss your case, please call us for a free personal injury consultation.