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April 24, 2020 | Personal Injury
If someone is injured due to the careless or negligent actions of another person, they need a way to recover compensation for their losses. Injuries can lead to two tremendous medical bills, as well as significant pain and emotional scarring that can last a lifetime. There are various ways that a person can secure compensation in these situations.
Sometimes, injury claims will be settled through insurance carriers. Other times, it may be necessary for an injury victim to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation. Regardless of what method a person uses to secure compensation after an injury, it is important to know how long a settlement may take.
Despite what you see in the media, most personal injury claims are settled out of court, and often before a personal injury lawsuit is even filed. Soon after an injury occurs, the insurance company of an at-fault party will contact an injury victim and offer a quick settlement. Usually, the initial amount offered will be much lower than expected, and it may not cover a victim’s total injury costs or damages.
It is important to understand that insurance carriers are “for-profit” entities that do what they can to lower any amount of money they payout in a settlement. Injured victims do not have to accept an initial settlement offer. Instead, they should work with a skilled personal injury attorney to negotiate a fair price that covers all medical bills, lost wages, additional out-of-pocket expenses, as well as pain and suffering damages.
This negotiation process can take some time, but will usually be well worth it if it means obtaining significantly more money. The total insurance negotiation process can take a few months or even a year to resolve. The length of time a case takes will revolve around how much medical care a victim needs, how much investigation it takes to prove liability in the case, and how long the negotiation process takes.
If the insurance carrier of the at-fault party refuses to offer a fair settlement or denies a claim, it may be necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit. If a lawsuit must be filed, this still does not mean that the case will end up in front of a jury. Throughout the entire personal injury litigation process, both sides will be in continual negotiation to reach a fair settlement. A settlement could be reached soon after a lawsuit is filed with the court. However, a settlement may not be reached until right before the case is presented to a jury.
Cases that are not settled out of court and go to a jury trial will take the longest to resolve. In these instances, a personal injury case could take a year or more to reach a conclusion.
The most important thing for an injury victim to keep in mind is that insurance carriers do not have their best interests in mind. Early settlement offers should be met with skepticism, and victims should rely on help from skilled personal injury lawyers who have experience standing up to aggressive insurance carriers. An accident attorney will advise you throughout the entirety of the case, and help make decisions about whether a settlement offer is fair. Sometimes, taking more time to settle a case is the best route forward.