How Long Does a Personal Injury Lawsuit Take to Get a Settlement?
You must have lost a lot in wages because of the dog bite on your paper route. The medical bills add to the woe, and so do the pain and suffering.
You are thinking of filing a personal injury lawsuit but wonder if it’s worth it. You don’t want to spend more time heading to court every day. And wonder how long, and if it’s worth waiting that long for a settlement.
Well, you should file a case if the dog bite was no fault of yours.
The dog owner is usually considered financially responsible for all dog bites and injuries caused by the dog. And yes, it may seem reasonable to settle your case quickly, even if it means accepting a lower compensation.
However, this is not always a good strategy.
There are a few things to consider deciding, like how much you will be giving up. You should also know why your settlement takes so long and why it’s better to think twice before making quick settlements.
Why Do Personal Injury Cases Take So Long to Settle?
There are three main reasons for a personal injury claim to take so long to settle. They are:
- Some legal or factual problems
- The involvement of a large amount of money
- You haven’t entirely recovered or medically improved
Here’s a closer look at these three factors.
1. The Case Has Some Legal or Factual Problems
A personal injury case’s value usually depends on liability (the at-fault p
arty) and damages (damages incurred by the plaintiff).
Sometimes it’s difficult to prove liability because witnesses and the parties have different stores.
In this case, the insurance adjuster won’t be ready to make a reasonable settlement until the plaintiff’s attorney decides to fight. The plaintiff’s lawyer will file a personal injury lawsuit and hire experts to prove how the defendant was at fault.
The insurer may also not make a significant offer if there are legal issues. They may feel you have no legal right to sue. So they won’t make a substantial offer until the judge rules on your right to sue.
Sometimes there may be damages that are not clearly proven. For example, sometimes the treating physicians aren’t sure that the defendant’s negligence triggered your injury.
In this case, the insurer won’t make a quick or reasonable sentiment offer. They will want your lawyer to produce a doctor who can testify that your injuries were a consequence of the defendant’s action.
2. Lots of Money Involved
Insurers do not pay big settlement amounts without investigating everything and getting convinced that:
- There’s no good defense against your claim
- Your credibility is difficult to attack
- Your injuries are genuinely severe
Some insurers delay making large settlements hoping the plaintiff will give up and accept a lower payment. They know that some claimants don’t have the time and opt to wait it out.
3. You Haven’t Reached Maximum Medical Improvement
If you can afford to wait, it’s better to settle your personal injury case only after reaching the point of maximum medical improvement (MMI) from your injuries.
This is when you are as good as you can get, and that’s when your lawyer knows your case’s exact value. It’s difficult for your personal injury lawyer in Glendale to ascertain the precise value of your case if you are under treatment. They won’t know the whole nature and extent of the injuries and their total repercussions on your life.
In short, there are no fixed rules about quick settlements. But, you should know that you will receive a low settlement offer from the insurer. It’s usually 30-40% lesser than the total compensation you will receive if the case continues to the eve of the court trial.
That’s why it’s better to consult a Glendale personal injury attorney for tailored advice if you have a personal injury case. And want to settle it quickly instead of going through a lengthy legal process.