How Long Should a Personal Injury Case Take to Settle?

As experienced personal injury lawyers, we have found that most cases settle in under a year. However, there are many factors that go into determining how quickly you can receive compensation. Below, we highlight some of the most common considerations.

Difficulty Gaining Access to Evidence

Many personal injury cases are straightforward. But in some cases, we need to work with experts to review key pieces of evidence.

For example, you might have been involved in a tractor-trailer accident. The truck driver claims that the brakes failed even though he was driving safely. To confirm this, we will need to inspect the truck, along with any electronic logging data. To review the brake line and brake pads, we usually work with a mechanic or engineer who knows what to look for.

This type of inspection might not take long—maybe an hour or two. But it can take months to finally arrange a time and place with the truck owner, so you have to factor this type of delay into your settlement timeline.

Disagreement Over Fault

An insurance company isn’t about to pay a settlement unless they are convinced their insured was at fault for the accident. Often, the fault is clear, but there are always cases where neither side can agree.

For example, you might have tripped and fallen in someone’s driveway. The owner claims they told you to be careful about a pothole. You don’t remember being warned, and there were no other markers warning you about the pothole.

In this situation, it can take both sides months of reviewing all evidence before they can agree on fault. And sometimes two sides can never agree, in which case you will probably end up in court.

You Suffer Serious Injuries

There are a couple of reasons why serious injuries can delay a settlement. First, you probably need extensive medical care, and you can request compensation for all medical bills. But you won’t know the full cost of your injuries until you reach maximum improvement—and that could be a while. It’s strategically beneficial to sometimes wait until your legal team fully understands the cost of your medical care.

Second, the insurer might disagree that you suffered serious injuries. For that reason, they want to offer a very small settlement that doesn’t cover your pain and suffering, income loss, and other expenses. We often find ourselves in extensive negotiations regarding the severity of injuries.

You Don’t Have a Lawyer

Some insurers drag their feet simply because they can. They think you might be desperate for money, especially when injuries prevent you from working. They delay any investigation to put pressure on you, in the hopes that you’ll accept a skimpy settlement.

You should hire an attorney. We know how to remind insurers of their obligations under the law to investigate and handle claims fairly and in good faith.

Call Groth Law to Schedule a Meeting

We will gladly review the evidence, identify whether you have a claim, and estimate the settlement value of your injuries. Please contact us to get started.