When you’re hurt in an accident and someone else is at fault, you deserve compensation for your injuries. It’s not fair that you are facing increasing bills from doctors and healthcare facilities, you’re dealing with damage to your quality of life and even personal relationships, you can’t work anymore, and the person who hurt you is going about their life as though nothing happened.
Getting compensation for your injuries is possible, but it requires help pursuing the legal avenues to get it. It’s rare that the responsible party is willing to own up to what they’ve done and paid out what you deserve. One of the biggest questions people ask is how long a personal injury case will take. Let’s look at the process of settling a personal injury case, how long it takes and why patience and help from a personal injury lawyer is vital to getting you the money you deserve.
The Lowball Offer
Settling your personal injury case can be very fast, but only if you’re willing to accept a horrible, low-ball offer that often won’t cover a fraction of your expenses. When you first get hurt, you’ll likely get a call from an insurance company adjuster who will pretend to be compassionate and friendly. They’ll offer you a very low settlement for your case.
If you refuse this settlement, they’ll try anything to convince you. They’ll claim that if you press the case, you’ll lose. They’ll say you’re not as hurt as you claim. They might even claim the accident was really your fault. This bullying is standard practice from companies who don’t make a profit by paying settlements. You don’t have to take it, but you have to be willing to stand up for yourself.
Maximum Medical Improvement
One of the key factors in resolving your case is getting to the point of maximum medical improvement. This means that you’ve completely recovered from your injury, or you are at a point where you won’t get any better. This can take a long time, but it’s important. By waiting for MMI, you have a solid grasp on the full value of your case, and it can be more difficult for the defendant to challenge your claim.
The Settlement Process
After you and your attorney begin pursuing your case, a process of negotiation follows. This is a sort of back-and-forth dance between you and the defendant in which you make a demand, they make a counteroffer, and so on. The end goal, of course, is to come to a middle ground where both parties end up satisfied.
For this reason, you usually make a very high initial demand, and they counter with a very low counteroffer. Eventually, just like with any negotiation process, the numbers will come to a middle ground. This process, unfortunately, can take a number of months.
Most cases get settled without going to court, but when the parties can’t reach a settlement, things have to proceed to trial. In general, going to court isn’t the best approach for anyone. In some cases, a trial can result in you getting the full amount you demand. The problem is, it’s also an all-or-nothing affair—if you lose the case, you won’t get anything, and you might be stuck with the legal and court fees that accrue.
That’s why it’s so important to carefully consider the settlement offers. At the same time, getting the settlement requires patience that can be hard to maintain. The right ally in your corner can be a boon to that patience, help to guide you through the process and let you see that things are moving forward, even if not as fast as you’d like.
Working with a Personal Injury Lawyer
The right personal injury lawyer is essential to getting the settlement you deserve. Resolving your personal injury case can take months, even years, and can be a difficult process. In the end, however, it’s entirely worth it. You’ll be able to pay your medical bills, and you’ll have the income you need to make ends meet and live a productive life.
An injury settlement won’t make things all better, but it can be the key to regaining a semblance of control over your life. At the Law Offices of Peter N. Davis and Associates, LLC, we’ve got nearly three decades of experience with injury lawsuits. Whether you’ve had a work accident, slip and fall or vehicular accident, we’re here to help. Give us a call for a consultation today.