The length of time that a personal injury case takes is dependent on many factors. For example, you will most likely receive a settlement much more quickly than if your case goes to court. The length of time it takes can also be affected by the type of personal injury and who is responsible. Let’s look at the factors involved in how long your case can take a little closer.
Types of Personal Injury Cases
Most likely, the type of personal injury case you have will determine just how long it can take to receive compensation. Car accident cases where the other person was clearly at fault will most likely result in a quick settlement because that person’s insurance company is aware of who is at fault and will want to prevent going to court. Other types of personal injury cases recognized by the American Bar Association may be handled differently.
- Medical Malpractice: If the insurance company is well aware of the medical professional’s wrongdoing, they will want to keep the case out of court and will most likely offer a settlement quickly.
- Slips & Falls: Because slip and fall personal injury claims can sometimes be hard to prove definitively, the other party may be hesitant to offer a settlement and may take the case to trial.
- Product Liability: If a company’s product caused an injury for one person it most likely caused injuries to others which can result in a class-action lawsuit that can take time to process through the courts.
- Workplace Accidents: Whether these cases are settled or go to court often rely on the size of the company, the type of injury, and what evidence is available to prove the case.
Personal Injury Settlements
It will usually always be much quicker to receive compensation if you accept a settlement offer from the other party, whether it is an employer, the manufacturer of a product, or a car insurance company. The amount they offer you to settle out of court is often determined by what evidence is available and the extent of the injuries sustained.
Hiring a personal injury lawyer may still be a good idea if you plan on accepting a settlement offer and this is usually because of their ability to negotiate. Not only can your lawyer help to negotiate a better settlement offer but they may also be able to negotiate your medical bills down so they don’t take as much of the settlement you agree to.
Many will accept a settlement offer because they need the funds quickly because they’ve been out of work and may be behind on their mortgage, they need to replace their car that was involved in the accident or other reasons.
Personal Injury Cases That Go to Trial
Because so many personal injury cases that go to trial and result in large settlements are advertised in the news, many believe that going to trial with their claims will also result in large awards. However, this isn’t usually the case. In fact, only 4 to 5% of all personal injury cases in the US actually go to trial and the majority of them result in only average financial awards. This can make going to trial a cumbersome option.
One of the biggest reasons is that taking a personal injury case to court can greatly increase the amount of time it can take to receive any compensation. If you have important expenses or are behind on bills, taking the extra time to go to trial usually isn’t worth it. Just the “discovery phase” of a trial case can last 6 months or more.
Because so many of those with personal injury claims are now accepting a settlement offer, the number of civil trials has been steadily declining over the last several decades.
Hiring an Experienced Personal Injury Trial Lawyer
Having experienced representation for your personal injury case is important whether you intend to settle or take the person or company to court. Speaking to a lawyer about your case and what may be the best option for you, as well as about how long it may take to receive compensation, can help you determine what your course of action to be. If you are in the Visalia, Merced, Bakersfield, or Fresno area then that experienced personal injury lawyer is Martin Gasparian. Email him personally today to schedule your free consultation regarding your personal injury claim.