One of the first things that most people ask their personal injury lawyer is "How long will it take to settle my case?" The answer is not a simple one, unfortunately. Every case is different, so there is no way to offer guarantees regarding the time it will take to settle. You can, however, get a general idea of whether it will be a very long time, or a fairly short one by observing a few key things about your case.
What Are The Negotiations Like?
One good way to gauge settlement time is by asking your lawyer how the negotiations are going. If your lawyer indicates that the insurance company representing the person who caused your injury is being fairly cooperative, that is an excellent sign. When an insurance company responds quickly to communications from your lawyer and is quick to submit counter–offers, these things are typically clear indicators that they are motivated to get your case settled. You may be looking at a fairly quick settlement in this case.
However, if your attorney tells you that the insurance company is ignoring communications, is very slow to respond, or is unwilling to negotiate reasonably, that is an indicator that the case is probably going to take some time. In fact, if the pattern continues, your attorney may recommend going to court to get a judge to decide the case. Both drawn–out negotiations and court proceedings take some time, so be prepared to wait quite a while to get your money.
Are There Major Disputes?
Another important thing to consider is whether there are major disputes in the case. If the other party has admitted that they were at fault, you're probably on track to get a fairly fast and easy settlement. However, things get complicated when there is a major dispute regarding fault.
The question of fault must be decided before negotiations can truly begin. Sometimes, the other party will admit partial fault, or will simply remain silent on the question of fault. This will usually allow your negotiations to proceed at a reasonable pace.
If the other party denies any fault in the accident, it is likely that the case will take some time to resolve. Your personal injury attorney will typically recommend that you pursue the case in court in that situation. As mentioned above, court cases take extra time.
Whether your case is on track to settle fast or it looks like it will be a long time, your injury lawyer (like those at McLaughlin & Lauricella, P.C.) is your most important point of contact. Ask your lawyer to keep you updated on every offer and communication to make sure that you know the very moment that your money is on the way!
What kind of injuries can you hold someone liable for? How severe do the injuries have to be? When my husband was injured by a faulty saw, we weren't sure what we were going to do. At that time, we didn't have any health insurance and had to try to come up with the money for emergency and long-term medial treatment. This created an impossible time for my family. My husband was out of work and we had medical bills piling up because a product that we paid a lot of money for malfunctioned and injured my husband. So, what can you do when this happens? Read through my blog.