How Long Should a Personal Injury Case Take to Settle?

how long should a personal injury case take to settle

Injuries can happen at the drop of a hat. The time it takes to resolve them may feel agonizingly slow by comparison. Some personal injury lawsuits are resolved very quickly. Other times, it can take a lot longer to work things out. The ultimate determination of how long settlement negotiations take will depend on the complexity of the case.

However, even a straightforward personal injury claim can get caught up in the slow-moving wheels of the court system—particularly when the claim is contested. Having strong legal assistance can help keep things on track while ultimately maximizing your settlement amount.

In this blog, our personal injury lawyers take a look at how long a personal injury case takes to settle.

How Long Does it Take A Personal Injury Case to Settle?

The time it takes for a personal injury case to settle can vary a lot. If the case is simple and the facts are clear, it might be sorted out in a few months. But if it’s more complicated, involving serious injuries or disagreements, it could take much longer—maybe several months or even years.

How quickly things move depends on how willing both sides are to work things out, how complicated the legal stuff is, the court’s schedule, and if there’s a need for experts or medical assessments.

The overall process includes negotiations, exchanging information, and, if needed, going to court. Below, we take a look at everything that typically needs to happen before your payment is issued.

Personal Injury Settlement Timeline

Below, we have included a breakdown of what happens during a claim. While every case is unique, these factors will pertain to many or most situations:

  • Incident & Medical Treatment: The timeline starts the moment you are injured. The typical next step is an assessment of your injuries and medical treatment. Most claims do not settle until your medical treatment is finished because the claim needs to account for the total cost of your injuries.
  • Consulting Attorney & Filing Claim: During treatment, you will usually begin working with an attorney. They will organize and open your claim with the insurance company.
  • Negotiation & Mediation: Once the claim has been filed, your case will proceed into the negotiation and mediation phase. Sometimes, the case is settled quickly. Other times, it escalates.
  • Discovery & Trial Preparation: If negotiations fail, a lawsuit is filed, and the case enters the discovery process. Preparation can take several months and oftentimes much longer.
  • Trial & Verdict: The trial takes place. This can last for several days or even weeks, depending on the complexity of the claim.

While it can be frustrating to navigate these stages, they are ultimately designed to ensure fairness.

Variables That Influence Injury Case Length

Sometimes, a settlement offer will come within weeks of the accident. The majority of personal injury cases are settled within a year.

However, many variables can influence the amount of time it takes to reach a settlement, including:

  • Case Complexity: The more straightforward the case, with clear facts and less legal complexity, the quicker it may settle.
  • Injury Severity: Cases involving serious injuries take longer due to the need for thorough medical assessments, treatment evaluations, and ongoing medical developments.
  • Liability Disputes: If there’s disagreement on who is at fault, resolving the liability issues can prolong the settlement process.
  • Willingness to Negotiate: Parties willing to negotiate and reach an agreement can expedite the settlement, while stubbornness or lack of cooperation can lead to delays.
  • Legal Proceedings: The extent of court involvement, including pre-trial motions, discovery processes, and potential trials, impacts the overall timeline.
  • Expert Involvement: Cases requiring expert opinions, such as medical or accident reconstruction experts, may take longer to gather and present necessary evidence.
  • Insurance Company Processes: Delays may occur if insurance companies need time for assessments, approvals, or internal processes before settling.
  • Negotiation Dynamics: Successful negotiations depend on the effectiveness of communication and the ability of both parties to find common ground, affecting the overall settlement pace.

It’s hard to be patient. While you probably want to wrap things up and move on with your life, the most important thing is getting a fair settlement. Sometimes, that takes longer than you would like.

When the chips are down, it helps to have an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side. They will help you strategize while potentially influencing the variables that influence the length of the claim or lawsuit.

How Long Does it Take to Receive Payment?

The good news is that once your case has been settled, your payment will usually be issued quickly. Sometimes, checks may be issued in as little as a few days. Your attorney will help monitor the process and make sure that payments are issued as promptly as possible.

Have Questions About Your Personal Injury Case Timeline?

At Benjamin Durham Law Firm, our personal injury attorneys understand the importance of timely settlements. We work to keep your case on track and moving forward efficiently. Our lawyers will advocate on your behalf, handle all communication with insurance companies, and leverage our knowledge of the legal process to help expedite a fair resolution.

Don’t let your personal injury case drag on unnecessarily. Contact the Benjamin Durham Law Firm today for a FREE consultation. We’ll review the details of your situation and explain how we can put our resources to work, ensuring your case is resolved as quickly as the law allows. Call now to get started.

Author Bio

Benjamin Durham is the principal attorney and founder of Benjamin Durham Law Firm, a criminal defense law firm based in Las Vegas, NV. With over 20 years of experience in the legal field, he represents clients in both injury and criminal cases. Over his career, he has secured favorable verdicts for clients in both state and federal courts and successfully defended numerous high-profile prosecutions.

Ben’s exceptional legal skills and dedication to his clients have earned him recognition as a life member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. He also has been honored as one of the Top 100 trial lawyers by the National Trial Lawyers Association, further solidifying his reputation as a top-notch legal practitioner.

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