If you suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligence, you can file a claim for your medical care costs and other damages. But how long does it take to settle a personal injury case? Let’s find out!
Personal injury claims can seem similar, but every case is unique, which makes it hard to figure out how long it takes to settle a claim without knowing the specifics. Some personal injury claims are settled very fast. While others, like those involving serious personal injury, can take over several years and even end in court.
While you may want to settle the matter quickly, insurance companies want to do something else: if you accept a low settlement offer, you will waive your ability to gain any additional compensation. This can result in victims having a hard time long after the initial settlement.
A New Orleans injury attorney can help you with settlement negotiations for all costs leading to total medical improvement in your case (and non-economic damages too).
Factors Affecting the Settlement Time of a Personal Injury Case
Many cases take around one to three years to conclude the negligence and amount for compensation. The length of the case differs according to several factors like the severity of the injuries, the involvedness of the case, the number of damages, the Court schedule, the patience of a person to wait for a better result, and the willingness of an insurance company to be reasonable. As described every personal injury claim is different, and as such, there is no defined timeline for resolving and settling claims. The total period of your case will ultimately base on a diversity of factors, which you and your attorney can confer on during the consultation.
It can take anywhere from a few weeks to more than a few years to settle an injury claim. Getting a check with the proper amount shortly after the accident sounds like an ideal scenario, but in general, it is not a decent idea to admit the initial offer of an insurance claim adjuster. The important thing is to get thorough compensation for your medical expenses, reimbursement for any permanent injuries, and cover all other expenses (and non-economic damages) in your settlement agreement, which is not possible with quick settlements.
For one, you may not know the full range of your injuries in duration less than a month after you sustained them. Since future medical costs can be involved in the calculations when determining damages, you must be thorough in considering the kind of care you will need before accepting a settlement for medical malpractice, personal injury, motor vehicle accident, etc.
Following are some of the factors that impact the time a personal injury case typically takes:
Type of Injury
The type of injury sustained can speed up or slow down a personal injury case, for instance, a broken leg will make a case go faster as it’s worth a lot of money, and the injury is identified instantly while a back injury will take several months or even years of treatment. At the commencement of a claim process your attorney will help arrange for you to attend an independent medical assessment. If your injuries are minor, you will be able to attend a medical assessment within a few weeks after the date of the accident, however, if you have experienced serious injuries you have to wait several months until you have recovered to attend a medical assessment. However, this does not mean that the insurance adjuster can stall the personal injury claim process, and if that appears to be the problem, you can always pursue legal claims via courts, i.e., personal injury trials.
The Complexity of the Case
Some personal injury cases are much more difficult to conclude who was negligent and by how much. A case including several defendants can make it more complicated.
Severity of Injuries
Claims for whiplash that is not markedly disabling resolve more quickly than claims involving more severe injuries. Many restrained whiplashes or soft tissue injury cases can be settled within 1 to 2 years.
Claims for disabling injuries such as complex fractures, chronic pain, or severe neurological or psychiatric damages take longer to resolve. Recovery from more serious injuries is slower, and time is necessary to determine a long-term prognosis. Someone usually must be off work for two years before a doctor can say they are disabled. People generally improve and recover for two years and after that their condition will plateau.
- Lost wages and time missed from work
- Amount of damages
- Number of at-fault parties
- Your state’s comparative fault rules
- Availability of evidence
- Availability of expert witnesses
- Liability disputes and mediation
Some of these things can’t be controlled. However, there’s one critical step you can take to set yourself up for success: speak with a New Orleans injury attorney as soon as possible after an accident.
If you suffered minor injuries with clear proof, and the other side does not clash with your claims, the case could be settled in a few weeks. However, in the event the insurance company does not offer you a fair reimbursement offer, you may need to file a lawsuit and turn up the heat. A case that goes to trial can last a year or more, but patience pays.
Investigations Can Take Time
In some cases, particularly when injuries are comparatively minor, you can reach your full medical recovery before the law firm can complete its investigation regarding your accident. This is because certain parts of the investigation process can take time. This could include:
- Obtaining police reports and medical records
- Signing and meeting with experts
- Examining medical records
- Getting access to evidence that other parties hold
Accusations of Shared Fault Can Slow Down a Case
If the at-fault party or others involved accuse you of being responsible for your accident and injuries, it can also slow down the case. This serious claim must be handled sensibly, or it could damage the claim. Under LA. Civ. Code Art. 2323, the amount you can recover in your injury case will go down by the percentage of fault allocated to you.
This means that if you have $10,000 in expenditures and losses but were 20 percent responsible for causing the accident injuries, you will receive only $8,000 in your financial compensation. This could leave you holding thousands in medical bills and other accident-related expenses.
How Does A Personal Injury Lawsuit Work?
All personal injury cases have four main constituents that must be proven:
Duty of Care
A person, business, or other unit allocated a duty of care to another person. This signifies they were anticipated to act reasonably and realistically to defend the well-being of those around them.
Breach of Duty
The at-fault party breached the duty of care by acting recklessly or negligently.
The negligent conduct caused someone else to get hurt.
The injured victim suffered a financial loss as a result of the breach of the duty of care.
When a person suffers injuries in an accident because of someone else’s irresponsibility or negligent behavior, they can recuperate compensation for their suffering. However, the “burden of proof” is on the injured victim, also considered the plaintiff. This means it’s up to the victim (and their hired lawyer) to verify all four elements of carelessness by exhibiting the supporting evidence.
Most of the time these affairs are resolved out of court, but in some cases, it’s essential to file a lawsuit to pursue the true value of your claim. A New Orleans injury attorney can be a huge help by handling all the painstaking legal business involved in the process, such as writing a personal injury request letter, accumulating evidence, and negotiating with insurance adjusters.
What is the Court Procedure?
The court process is characteristically slow and disciplined. Various factors stretch the length of a claim because of the elements that must be cautiously investigated and examined for a proper settlement to be reached. But you can always count on your lawyer to put your perspective to light and let the other parties see how much you had to suffer and how it affected your life after.
Some elements of a court case that cause interruptions are:
- Accident severity
- Number of parties involved
- Level of injuries endured
- Financial amount demanded
If negotiations for a settlement fail, the ultimate remedy for you is a trial in front of a judge or jury. Reaching that court date takes a long time and increases the legal costs. Then, even if either side disputes the verdict, an appeal may occur. Appeals take even longer. Even in a “fast” situation, a trial and appeal could take years to settle.
Louisiana Statute of Limitations
Personal injury claims are subject to a time limit known as the statute of limitations. The extent of this time limit differs by state, but the Louisiana statute of limitations for personal injury claims is one year from the date of the accident. A year may appear like a lengthy time, but bear in mind your attorney requires time to systematically investigate, collect evidence, and build a strong case.
If the deadline is impending soon or if it starts to feel like it will take longer than a year to settle, your New Orleans injury attorney can file a lawsuit to meet the statute of limitations in Louisiana accident cases. This confirms you won’t miss your chance to attain compensation for the injuries you suffered. To learn more about your legal options, contact an experienced New Orleans injury attorney as soon as possible.
According to the Louisiana Civil Code, accident victims have one year from the date of the accident to file a claim against the at-fault party for their injuries. Considering how fast the costs of recuperating from serious injuries can add up, however, many plaintiffs aim to resolve their claim quickly so they can settle their case as soon as possible and recover compensation before the increasing medical bills endanger their financial security.
Unfortunately, a rapid settlement is rarely a fair one, and the dealings for fortifying sufficient compensation after a preventable accident are characteristically extensive. But you don’t have to go through the process alone. An experienced New Orleans injury attorney can help you evade making errors along the way that could suspend your settlement or compromise your ability to recuperate fair compensation.
Exceptions to the Louisiana Personal Injury Statute of Limitations
One of the most frequent situations that could be an exception to the statute of limitations is found right in section 3492, where it says that the prescription period “does not run against minors,” meaning a person who was under the age of 18 at the time of the underlying accident or incident.
Also, with injuries resulting from a defective product, where the plaintiff doesn’t know the true nature or cause of the injury, the statute of limitations “clock” might not begin to run until that information is “reasonably discoverable.”
If you have questions about how the Louisiana statute of limitations applies to your injury case — especially if the deadline is fast-approaching or has already passed — it may be time to discuss your situation with an experienced New Orleans injury attorney.
Get In Touch With a New Orleans Injury Attorney
If you have been injured in an accident in Louisiana, consider getting in touch with an accident attorney from Wright & Gray after your accident. The negligent party is responsible for your medical bills and various other damages like lost wages, pain, and suffering.
Hiring a lawyer for legal representation will make it more likely for you to attain fair monetary compensation for your losses. After the initial consultation, your attorney will put together all the evidence in your case to make sure that you get the reimbursement you deserve. A competent New Orleans injury attorney from Wright & Gray will fight to get you fairly compensated for all your injuries.
Get in touch now for our legal services without any upfront fees!