How Much Time Will It Take to Get a Settlement?
As you can imagine, the answer is: it varies. Typically, in a run-of-the-mill auto accident case, we would expect to try to obtain a personal injury settlement somewhere between 12 months and 20 months after you sign the contract. However, in more complicated cases, and death cases, it could take longer. What takes so long? First, we need to make sure that you are finished with your medical treatment. There is nothing worse than settling, and then finding out you needed an expensive surgery down the road that we did not know about and never sought compensation for. It is often prudent to wait a bit to find out from the doctors exactly what treatments you will need in the future and what your physical condition is. The next thing we have to do is to collect all your medical records and bills, and obtain custodian affidavits from each. This seems straightforward, but you would be surprised at how long this takes. Once your records are collected, then we may need to seek the advice of experts. This is especially true in medical malpractice cases. Once we know what your physical condition is, and what the amount of your bills are, and the likelihood of establishing the liability of the other party, then we are ready to send a demand letter to the opponent asking for a settlement. Frequently, however, the adjusters take a long time to get back to us, and when they do, they often come out of the blocks with a very lowball offer. Negotiations with them can take time. If we cannot reach a compromise, then we have to file in court. Once that happens, there are a lot of procedural events which occur which take time. The other lawyer may ask for continuances. And even if your case gets to trial, there can be an appeal. So the bottom line is the wheels of justice turn very slowly. But rest assured, your attorney is working hard to get you what you deserve in the shortest time possible. If you have a question about how long things are taking, or want to know the status, do not hesitate to give us a call. That is what we are here for.