Most new clients want to know: how long will this take? That's a fair question. As much as we would like to provide certainty to you at a time when you are likely dealing with chaos in the aftermath of an accident, the length of time for personal injury cases to resolve can vary greatly.
The time length is generally determined by how long you receive medical treatment. Once you are done treating, we send a "settlement demand letter," which includes all of your medical records and bills, to the at-fault party's insurance company. They usually respond with a settlement offer within about 30 days. We negotiate back and forth with the insurance company and get them to their highest number. Then you tell us whether you want to accept the offer, in which case your claim is resolved, or have us file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. We of course give you our recommendation for the best course of action. If a lawsuit is filed, the case could take another six months or year to settle, on average.
Catastrophic Injury Claims. The length of time for a catastrophic injury claim to resolve is subject to more variables. If the negligent party has an insufficient policy limit to cover the value of the claim, the claim could settle right away (after we have verified that the negligent party has no other insurance which could apply to your claim). If the negligent party is a company, a governmental entity, or someone who was in the course and scope of employment at the time of the accident, then generally, there may not be a "policy limit issue," i.e., there is no cap on what you can make a claim for. If there is no policy limit issue, then we want to make sure that you receive all of the medical care you need for your injuries, in which case it may take longer to resolve your claim. It is possible to settle the claim, even if our client is still treating, as long as we have a reasonable idea about the cost of future medical care.
In your initial call to our office, after we hear the facts of your case, we will be able to give you a better idea of the how long it could take to settle your claim.