You’re hurting and you’ve been hurting for a long time. You want to pursue, or you’ve already been pursuing, a personal injury claim because you can’t handle the costs on your own and you deserve compensation. You may be impatient and frustrated by the process and confused by how long it seems to be taking.
Unfortunately, getting your just reward for your case will take a lot of patience. As urgent of an issue as this is to you, everyone else involved in the case may have no reason to hurry. Judges have lots of cases to see and the liable party in your case may want to draw out the case and delay paying you for as long as possible.
Finding an experienced attorney to push for you and help you explore your options and speed the case along if possible. They’ll also be able to explain each of the steps in the long process that leads to a personal injury settlement and forces it to take so long.
Filing with Insurance
Before you can even consider starting your personal injury claim, you need to try to go through the conventional channels for recompense after your accident. Depending on the types of insurance coverage you have, you may need to apply both to your own insurance and the liable party’s insurance and see what they offer you.
Then you need to get regular treatment for your injury. This can be difficult and stressful, as you may have to go in for treatment without knowing for sure how you’ll be able to pay the bills later. Whether or not your injury was caused by a car accident, you’ll still need to go through this process and file with your health insurance if possible.
Even if you have no health insurance and you don’t have the money to pay the medical bills, you should never delay getting the treatment you need, and you will need the record of treatment to prove your injury anyway. Speak to a lawyer if you’re worried about the cost.
Filing the Injury Claim
After you’ve gone through the time-consuming insurance process and received all your initial treatment, you can start to assess the overall costs you’re facing as a result of your injury. While this may be months or a year after your accident, it’s important for your case.
Allowing this time to pass can also give you a better sense of what your medical expenses are going to be over time. A precise and professional estimate of your past and future costs from the injury is crucial for getting a good settlement in your case.
Now, if the costs you’re dealing with still make it worth the time and effort, you will file your personal injury claim against the liable party. This usually has to happen within two years of the incident. At this point, you will work with your lawyer to build your case and gather evidence to represent the accident and your injury to the court.
Settling in or Out of Court
Unfortunately, filing your claim in court doesn’t mean your wait is over. Especially complex personal injury cases can take years to make it through court and come to a final verdict. Courts move slow and depend on a lot of moving pieces, although a good attorney may be able to help move things along or find a way to help you pay your bills as you wait.
The amount of time it takes to reach a settlement will also depend on whether you accept a settlement out of court or insist on going through an entire trial. In order to avoid court costs, the other party in the case may offer you a specific amount of compensation for you to close the case. This means less waiting, naturally, but the settlement amount might be less than what it would’ve ended up as if the judge were to decide it at the end of the trial.
Find a Lawyer
Whatever you decide to do with your case, an experienced attorney is the best possible resource to help you make the right decisions. A lawyer can help you directly negotiate for a better settlement or take on the work of advocating for the maximum possible amount in court. Every personal injury claim is unique, so the only way to get accurate information about possible time frames and results for your case is to speak to a professional.