When filing a personal injury claim, many clients have the same question: how long is this going to take? There is no concrete answer to this question, as the time it takes to resolve a personal injury claim depends on several factors, including how complicated the case is, how much medical treatment is needed, and how much money the case involves.
Some are reluctant to file a personal injury claim because they fear it will take too long to resolve. On the flip side, others file claims believing they will be compensated for their damages almost immediately, which is rarely true.
In order to estimate how long it will take to resolve your personal injury case, several things need to be considered. Broadly speaking, here is what you can expect your personal injury claim process to look like when you work with Curcio Law.
A Brief Overview of the Personal Injury Claim Process
If you are injured in an accident, the first thing you should do is seek medical treatment. Not only is this the obvious best course of action when it comes to protecting your health, but it actually protects you legally, too.
If you are injured in an accident but don’t seek medical treatment promptly, your insurance company and/or a jury might assume that your injuries were not caused by the negligence of the defendant in your case. This is a common defense in a personal injury case with the basis being that if the negligence of the defendant caused the injury, then the injured would have sought medical treatment immediately after the accident.
A personal injury case cannot be resolved until the injured party is done with related medical treatment. This is simply because the extent of your injuries is unknown until your treatment is complete. In cases where the injury is permanent, and future treatment is necessary for the rest of the injured person’s life, the case cannot be resolved until the injured, and medical providers reach a point where there is a concrete understanding of what the required future treatment will be.
Even though a personal injury case cannot be resolved until the injured party is done treating, if you are injured, you should consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer before treatment is complete. Reaching out to a lawyer early, whether or not your case can be resolved quickly, is highly recommended. If an attorney is handling the case as the injured party is receiving medical treatment, it will help the attorney better understand the injuries, and the treatment needed.
If you choose any of the personal injury lawyers here at Curcio Law to represent you, the following paperwork will need to be completed including,
We will then let the other party know you intend to file a personal injury claim, and we will begin an investigation of your case. The investigation phase includes calling all witnesses/officers that were at the scene of the incident, requesting police reports, searching for criminal case information on the defendant, and obtaining all photos related to the incident. We will also periodically ask for updates on your treatment and will request medical bills and records from your providers as you finish treatment with each provider.
Once you are done treating, your attorney will create a demand package. A demand package is a letter sent to the negligent party’s insurance company that states the facts of the case, explains why the defendant is legally liable, describes the injuries suffered, and the medical treatment received, and itemizes the cost of that treatment. The demand letter concludes with your attorney demanding a monetary amount that the injured party will accept in full settlement of their personal injury claim. Photos of the damaged cars, the injuries, the police report, the medical bills, and medical records, and any other evidence helpful to the case are included in the demand package as exhibits.
Your lawyer will discuss the details included in the demand package, as well as the amount to demand in settlement of the claim before it is sent. Preparing a demand package and negotiating with the adjuster usually takes a couple of months, depending on how complicated the case is.
The overwhelming majority of personal injury claims are settled after some period of negotiation. Once the demand package is sent, the adjuster from the negligent party’s insurance company takes approximately 30 days to evaluate the package. The adjuster will then submit an offer to your attorney that is typically lower than the demanded amount. Every offer will be communicated to you by your lawyer.
The parties typically go through a couple of rounds of negotiation and eventually the adjuster will send their “top offer.” It is then up to the injured party to decide if the offer is worth accepting. If the injured party rejects that top offer, the next step is to file a lawsuit.
If a lawsuit is filed, your personal injury claim will take longer to resolve. Once the case is filed, it can still be resolved before trial. Before trial, there will be a round of written discovery, which consists of written questions that both parties must answer. After the round of written discovery, there may be depositions taken of the parties involved or of witnesses.
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