Personal injury cases can be complex. One of the most common questions that people who are involved in circumstances like these ask is, “How long will it take for my personal injury case to settle?”
The answer varies on a case-by-case basis. If your case can be settled through negotiations or mediation, it will be resolved much sooner than if you have to go to trial.
Due to the complexity of personal injury cases, you should always seek help from a personal injury lawyer.
Your lawyer can guide you through the entire process, in part by negotiating with the opposing party on your behalf to reach a fair settlement. Your lawyer can help give you the most accurate answer to the question of how long a claim takes to resolve, but here are some general guidelines.
What Is a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Personal injury claims can be brought for negligence, strict liability, and intentional torts. These claims can arise from both bodily and non-bodily harm.
They can include:
- Workplace accidents
- Automobile accidents
- Product defect accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing home abuse
- Intentional infliction of emotional distress
- Invasion of privacy
Tort law allows for personal injury recovery in the form of economic and non-economic damages. Damages are designed to compensate the party who is injured for their loss.
These damages are calculated based on a variety of factors that your attorney can help you determine. Most of these factors include the cost of injury and recovery, loss of income or wages, the cost of repairing damaged property, and other expenses.
In order for a plaintiff to recover in a personal injury case, their attorney needs to help them prove their damages.
How Long Does a Las Vegas Personal Injury Lawsuit Take?
One of the first questions most people ask about their personal injury case is, “How long does it take to settle a lawsuit?”
Unfortunately, the answer is that it depends on the case, the willingness of the parties involved to settle, and how long it takes to gather evidence.
There are a number of factors that impact the time it takes to settle a personal injury case. Here are some of the most significant:
Maximum Medical Improvement
In a personal injury case, one of the most important factors in the outcome of your case is the severity of your injuries. The length of time that it takes for you to recover from your injuries is directly tied to the length of time it takes to settle your case.
If your injuries are less severe, it will be much easier to determine the cost of your medical expenses and move the case forward. On the other hand, if your injuries are more severe and your recovery time is longer, the process can take longer.
This is because you need to know exactly what kinds of costs you have and will have incurred healing from your injuries. This will help you receive the appropriate amount of compensation.
Your doctor must make the determination that no further medical treatment is needed (or that can improve) your condition. This is referred to as your maximum medical improvement.
In some cases, this is the point where the victim has fully recovered; in other cases, where the victim is disabled, there is nothing more that the doctors can do to improve their condition.
The cost of ongoing medical bills, personal care costs, loss of wages or earning potential, and other factors go into determining the value of your personal injury claim.
Time Required for an Investigation
Part of the process of preparing for negotiations or trial is conducting a comprehensive investigation of the incident. This helps your personal injury determine who is liable for your injuries or damage and to gather evidence that can help prove fault.
These types of investigations can take months and even years to investigate. Some personal injury cases, such as those involving medical malpractice, can take longer to resolve because of the complexity involved.
How Long Does It Take To Settle a Lawsuit?
When a lawsuit reaches the stage where both sides begin settlement negotiations, the length of negotiations can vary. In fact, the negotiation process actually begins even before a lawsuit is filed in most cases.
Your personal injury attorney likely cannot tell you exactly how long it will take to settle your lawsuit. This timing depends on how agreeable both sides are.
First, your personal injury lawyer will put together a detailed settlement package for the insurance company. Usually, the insurance company will make a counteroffer to settle the claim. This begins the process of your personal injury lawyer and the insurance company going back and forth until they reach an agreement. This process takes place before filing a lawsuit.
Once they have negotiated a settlement agreement that both sides approve of, the claim will be settled.
In the event that both parties cannot reach an agreement, you will have to go to court by filing a lawsuit. Keep in mind that cases can still settle even after a lawsuit is filed.
A Las Vegas Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help From Start to Finish
Ultimately, the length of time your personal injury case will take to settle is based on many factors – most of which are specific to the facts and circumstances of your situation. Fortunately, any qualified Las Vegas personal injury lawyer will be able to assist you throughout the process and keep you apprised of your case’s progress.
Further, most personal injury attorneys in the area offer free initial consultations. If you’ve recently been injured in an accident, it’s likely worth your time to reach out for legal help at (702) 570-9000.