Experts Speak

How long does personal injury take to settle?

Every personal injury case is different, and every accident happens under different circumstances. For this reason, it’s hard to determine how long it will take to settle a case. Personal injury lawyers Wattel & York say that this is the reason why it is so important to call to speak to an attorney and schedule your free case evaluation with them so that you can learn what your case is worth and the general timeline that your attorney believes it will take to settle your case. They also recommend that you ask the specific law firm how long they have taken to settle cases similar to yours and what obstacles those former clients faced. In general, though, you can expect your personal injury claim to take anywhere from 6 months to 18 months to settle. 

What must I prove to receive my settlement?

All personal injury cases require the plaintiff to provide medical records from the emergency room physician, their primary physician, a physical therapist if they have one, and records of which prescription medications they are taking. Many accidents will also require the victim to provide photographic or video evidence from the scene of the accident. Motor vehicle accidents encompassing bus, car, bicycle, truck, and motorcycle accidents will require a police report. Premises liability claims will require an incident report from the property owner or manager in cases of:

  • Elevator and escalator accidents
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Swimming pool accidents
  • Construction accidents

Product liability cases require not only images of the damage that the product caused, but the actual product itself in the condition it was in when the accident or injury occurred. If the product led to a fire or explosion, then photos help to show the extent of the damage it caused.

These documents are used to prove liability, the legal responsibility an individual or entity has for causing an accident. Generally, for personal injury cases, you must prove:

  • The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care or the duty to reasonably in different situations. For example, drivers owe each other their sobriety behind the wheel. Property owners have a duty of care to guests to their property, from customers to employees to contractors.
  • The defendant breached this duty, for example, by getting behind the wheel after having too many drinks.
  • This breach led to an accident. For example, when a property owner fails to keep their property safe from fires and a fire started as a result of the breach.
  • The accident led to injuries and financial losses that the victim is suffering from.

What can an attorney do for me?

You need your money as soon as possible, especially if your accident prevents you from being able to work for the foreseeable future. Unfortunately, the insurance company may deny your claim or offer you a settlement that is much less than your claim is worth. When you work with a personal injury attorney with several years of experience successfully settling claims, however, then you not only improve your chances of getting a higher settlement, you’re also more likely to settle sooner. If you have medical bills piling up and want to move past this difficult part of your life, then call an attorney now.

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by Sushree Swagatika

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