Severe accidents can generate thousands of dollars of medical bills. It’s no wonder that people who have sustained major injuries often experience financial stress and hope for a quick settlement. However, the desire to reach a quick settlement sometimes backfires and leaves injury victims financially liable for thousands of dollars in accident-related medical expenses that they didn’t anticipate.
The way to give yourself the best chance of pursuing maximum compensation – while protecting your rights – is to work with an experienced personal injury lawyer who has handle cases similar to your case. Keep reading to learn more about how long personal injury settlements take and how a knowledgeable attorney can help.
How Long Does a Personal Injury Settlement Take?
The resolution of a personal injury case can range from a few months to more than a year. The final amount of time it takes to settle your case will depend on many factors, including the severity of your injuries, how long it takes you to heal, whether liability is disputed, and whether multiple parties were involved in the accident. The basic timeline of a personal injury case is:
- The initial investigation – Once you have hired a personal injury attorney, the lawyer will investigate the accident or incident that led to your injuries. Your attorney will gather evidence, such as police accident reports, medical records, photos of the accident scene, eyewitness accounts, expert testimony, and other evidence. Your attorney will use the evidence to determine who is liable for your injuries. The attorney will also calculate your accident-related losses and how much compensation you should seek.
- Filing an insurance claim –Your attorney can file an insurance claim on your behalf seeking compensation for your injuries. After your attorney has finished the initial investigation, the attorney will submit a demand letter to the insurance company outlining what caused the accident, who is responsible for your injuries, and how much you are seeking in compensation. Your lawyer will identify all possible sources of compensation and file claims with all available insurance coverages. Your attorney will also estimate the cost of your current and future medical expenses and other costs to help you pursue the total compensation you need.
- Insurance settlement negotiations – While you focus on healing from your injuries, your lawyer will negotiate with the insurance companies on your behalf to help you pursue maximum compensation. It is crucial to let your attorney handle all communications with the insurance companies. Talking to the insurance companies on your own or rushing through negotiations could cost you the money you need for medical bills and other expenses related to your injuries.
- Settlement agreement – If your personal injury lawyer and the insurance companies can reach a fair settlement, you’ll sign it and bring your case to an end. It may take a few weeks for your lawyer to receive your settlement check. Most personal injury cases end in insurance settlements.
- Preparing your case for trial – If the insurance company refuses to agree to a reasonable settlement, your attorney may prepare your case for trial. Trials can take a year or more to schedule. Both sides will typically try to avoid a trial if possible. However, sometimes litigation is the only way to try to compel an insurance company pay out the compensation that an injury victim deserves.
How Much Money Will I Take Home from My Settlement?
The amount of a settlement depends on many factors. An experienced personal injury lawyer can offer some estimate after reviewing the facts of the case and the extent of your injuries. However, your compensation in a personal injury settlement may include money for:
- Medical expenses, including hospital stays, doctor’s appointments, lab work, prescription drugs, physical therapy, diagnostic tests, and medical equipment
- Lost wages if you cannot work while healing from your injuries
- Loss of future earning capacity and benefits if your injuries result in permanent disabilities or impairment that prevent you from returning to work
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life if you can no longer perform daily tasks or participate in hobbies
- Diminished quality of life due to permanent impairments, disfigurement, or scarring
- Damaged personal property
While estimating the amount of compensation for a personal injury case depends on many factors, our firm has a track record of recovering significant personal injury settlements for our clients. Our results include nearly $500,000 for a man injured in an on-the-job car accident, $1.2 million for a truck driver whose leg was seriously injured at work, and $6.75 million for a delivery driver who was paralyzed when a load fell on him. We cannot guarantee any specific outcome or settlement amount for our clients. But our results reflect our experience handling significant cases. we will fight to recover as much compensation as possible for your injuries.
How Are Personal Injury Settlements Paid Out?
Lump-sum payments and structured settlements are the two most common ways personal injury settlements are paid. A lump-sum payment means you get all your compensation at once. On the other hand, a structured settlement provides you with compensation in regular installments over a certain period of time. Lump-sum payments are more popular, as injury victims receive a one-time payment.
You should consider carefully before deciding on a lump-sum payment or a structured settlement. Receiving all your money at once may sound convenient. But structured settlement provides additional security over the long term and can be used to limit tax consequences. Talk to your attorney before you decide on a lump-sum payment or structured settlement in your personal injury case.
Contact Our Personal Injury Lawyers If You’ve Been Injured
If you were injured through no fault of your own, the injury attorneys at Hardison & Cochran want to help you pursue the full compensation you need. We know how disruptive serious injuries can be. We will do everything we can to help you pursue compensation to rebuild your life and move forward. Call us today or visit our contact page for a free consultation.