If you’ve been wrongfully injured in Atlanta and are looking to take legal action, you may be wondering how long it will take to settle your personal injury claim. Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to estimate how long the process will take because every case is unique. While a settlement for one claim could come about in a matter of weeks, a different set of circumstances could result in a claim taking years to settle. The biggest factor in determining length often revolves around the severity of injuries and the treatments needed.
With years of experience, the lawyers from Bey & Associates will be able to evaluate your claim and estimate how long it could potentially go on for. The steps of the claim process and the factors that affect the length of time to settle will need to be taken into consideration.
Steps of a Personal Injury Case
After the accident has occurred, you’ve sought medical attention, and consulted the lawyer you wish to work with, the official claims process can begin. The first steps often involve investigating the accident and examining medical records. To investigate the accident, your attorney is likely to bring in a number of witnesses or experts, if they are available, to determine how and why the accident occurred. Your medical records, which will include your diagnosis and recommended course of treatment, can be used in conjunction with the accident investigation to work towards proving fault.
After the investigation has been conducted, you can file your claim or demand a settlement. It’s crucial to have a good lawyer at this stage. Depending on the accident, a claim will be filed with your insurance company or the insurance company of the party you believe to be at fault. An adjuster will be assigned to your case, and they will conduct their own investigation. It’s important to be careful of what you say to an adjuster, as they are likely to try to use your words against you. It’s often best to let your lawyer handle the conversations.
The adjuster will file a report that includes the theory of liability, your injuries, and the amount of compensation you are seeking. You will be offered a settlement, but in most cases the number will be low. Your attorney can work through negotiations to ensure you receive full and fair compensation. Most settlements conclude at this point.
In the event reaching a settlement did not happen, the next step is to file a lawsuit. Both parties will investigate each other’s claims. This is called the discovery process and it can take a significant amount of time. After this stage, the involved parties can agree to a settlement, enter mediation, or go through with arbitration. If a resolution still has not been reached, which is often unlikely, the case will go to trial.
Factors that Affect the Length of Time to Settle
While the process above may seem clear cut, there are a number of factors that can affect how long it takes. In some instances, factual problems could arise. Often times, the issues can be resolved with an investigation or by obtaining medical bills, diagnostic imaging results, accident reconstruction reports, or maximum recovery parameters. Those form of evidence can take time to gather; however, getting to the bottom of the factual problem will speed up the case.
Medical treatments can also affect how long a claim takes to settle. It’s best to file a claim once you know how long recovery will take or once you’ve already reached your maximum medical improvement (MMI). While filing a case prior to reaching your MMI can speed the process up, you’re likely to end up with reduced compensation. Waiting until your injuries have been completely treated to file your claim and determine what you are owed is crucial to getting a full monetary award. It’s also important to recognize that health status can dramatically change over the course of recovery.
Personal injury cases may also be extended in the event large amounts of money are due for medical bills. It can take an insurance company longer to settle a claim when a lot of money is at stake because they will likely want to find ways to reduce what you are owed. Again, hiring an experienced legal team is the best way to ensure you are not taken advantage of.
No matter what type of accident you’ve been in, if you believe someone else caused your accident and different actions could have prevented it, you may be eligible for compensation to aid in your recovery. The most efficient way to go about the process is to contact a reliable law firm. We can help you begin your legal journey today.