How long do most personal injury cases take to settle?

You have been injured in an accident. Your medical bills are piling up. We know how difficult this situation can be for accident victims and their families. That’s why our objective is to resolve every case as efficiently as possible so our clients can go on with their lives.


The Timeline for Settlement Negotiations

Typically, your case will be resolved in a couple of ways: Through a settlement with the at-fault party’s insurer or by a verdict rendered by a judge or jury.

The amount of time it will take to settle your case out of court will often depend on the willingness of the insurance company to make a reasonable settlement offer.

If you have severe injuries and a really solid case, your case could be resolved in days or weeks. The insurance company may be prepared to make a settlement offer that pays the maximum policy limits. If you take this deal, you can sign a release of liability and get your compensation right away.

But, if the insurance company thinks you have a weak case, believes you are exaggerating your injuries or thinks they can get you to settle for less, you might be in settlement negotiations for a longer time. In some cases, a mediator may be needed to help resolve the case through settlement.

You should never accept a settlement offer that is too low or that does not cover your losses in full. You can not go back and change your mind and ask for more funds after you settle. Do not let an insurance company pressure you into surrendering your rights too soon.

You also need to ensure that the full extent of your injuries and damages are known prior to settling. Never accept an offer until you have a definitive medical diagnosis.


The Timeline for Court Action

If your case isn’t resolved via settlement, then it will be resolved via a court case. When you have filed your claim, the defendant will need to be notified and provided time to reply. Preliminary hearings will be scheduled with the court. A trial date will be scheduled. There will be a “discovery” process where each side collects evidence and builds a case. You can also expect that your lawyer and the defense attorney will make motions that a court must rule on. All of this can take a long time to happen– especially if the court is busy as well as can not schedule your claim to be heard for several months.

The essential point when trying to move your court action forward is to reply quickly to court actions, to always obey deadlines and to show up when expected. Your lawyer will take care of doing everything possible to push your claim forward so the delays are kept to a minimum.


The Importance of Being Patient

It might feel tempting to agree to a lower settlement to have the case over with and pay your medical expenses right away. However, accepting a lowball offer will likely hurt you down the road. You might not know the extent of your injuries immediately. Medical care may last longer and be a lot more expensive than you imagined. By being patient, you will have time to receive quality medical care now. You might be more likely to get sufficient compensation to cover comprehensive medical care for as long as you need it when you are patient.

A personal injury attorney in San Francisco can discuss all of your options to you, help you to resolve your case as efficiently as possible and seek complete and fair compensation for you and your loved ones at the end of the process.

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