This is a question that often lingers at the back of the minds of most accident victims. They often wonder if it is worthwhile fighting for compensation through litigation. But the reality is that it depends on several factors which don’t place a specific timeline on when a personal injury lawsuit will take to settle.
Each personal injury case in New York is different, making it difficult to predict how long it will take to resolve the matter. The skilled lawyers at our New York personal injury law firm will do everything possible to process your case with the care it deserves and prevent costly and unnecessary delays.
What’s the Difference Between a Personal Injury Case Vs. a Personal Injury Claim?
A personal injury claim marks the beginning of the entire process of a personal injury case. If the case is settled at the claim stage, the case will have ended and won’t proceed to litigation.
But if the case cannot be settled in the claim stage or your Bronx personal injury attorney knows it can never be settled in the claim stage, it will force you to file a lawsuit in court.
How Do I Initiate a Personal Injury Lawsuit in New York?
The first step after sustaining injuries due to someone else’s negligence or criminal acts is to seek medical treatment and then hire a skilled personal injury attorney. You need a lawyer experienced in the type of injury you suffered.
The next step is for your lawyer to file a complaint in the appropriate court while indicating the details of your case and the amount of compensation you are demanding. Your lawyer will also serve the negligent party with a summons.
What is the Typical Timeline of a Personal Injury Case?
After filing the lawsuit, both parties will begin the discovery stage, where parties will investigate. How long this takes depends on the case type and how much information is being sought. After the discovery is complete, the parties will attempt to settle through mediation. If the mediation fails, the case goes to trial.
Case Resolved in Litigation After Failure in Claim Stage
Some cases can be resolved in claim before a lawsuit is started. Such cases can take between six months and one year to be settled. When the claim stage fails, it may go to litigation, lasting between 3-4 years on average.
Some cases can extend longer, while others may be resolved sooner. It is not rare that an insurance company will refuse to settle a reasonable offer until the case goes to court.
What Factors Affect the Settlement Timeline?
Personal injury lawsuits generally take time. Understanding what factors affect the process and how the process works will help you not lose hope along the way.
Injury and Treatment
If you are continuing with treatment and there’s a possibility of getting better, your Bronx personal injury attorney can’t settle your case. If you are still being treated for injuries that happened over two years ago, there’s still no way of predicting what your case is worth.
In cases where the victim has serious injuries, skilled attorneys often depend on your doctor’s report when willing and able to say what the victim’s future will be like. So it is essential to wait until you reach Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) to understand the actual value of your case. In not-so-serious accidents, it’s easy to settle the case quickly.
Legal Hurdles Due to Inadequate Facts
New York is a no-fault state when it comes to car accidents. But slip and fall accidents, dog bites, and trip accidents require you to prove liability before the responsible party compensates you. You may face difficulty proving this, which automatically increases the time to settle the case.
There Are Significant Damages Involved
If a hefty amount is demanded, there’s a likelihood the case will experience delays. The insurers will want to pay close scrutiny and get convinced that you were indeed severely hurt and aren’t exaggerating. Sometimes they delay knowing that the plaintiff will likely accept a lower settlement.
County You’re Located
Generally, personal injury cases are resolved much faster in Nassau than in The Bronx.
Other factors that may affect the length of a case include the insurance carrier and your Bronx personal injury attorney.
What Steps Should I Take if My Case Isn’t Receiving the Attention It Needs?
If you feel your case is dragging or not getting the attention it deserves, discuss this matter with your injury attorney. If you still feel unsatisfied, seek a second opinion from a different personal injury lawyer in New York.
Should I Accept a Short Settlement and Avoid a Prolonged Court Case?
If you feel you’re in a dire situation where you need the money ASAP, you may consider accepting a smaller settlement. It is difficult to know how much money you should settle for in such an arrangement because there are no rules to help you make a decision.
These insurance companies are not responsible for paying a certain amount of money. Some may pay up to 30% of what they would have offered in a trial, while others will offer as low as 5% of what they would have offered in a trial. Even if you want to settle this matter with a short settlement, it is absolutely crucial to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer for guidance and advice.
Compensation for serious and disabling Injuries
Any accident is unfortunate, but some tend to be much worse than others. Sometimes, people have accidents that result in minor injuries and they can get back to their normal lives in no time at all. However, there are accidents that are a lot worse than that and leave their victims seriously injured to such an extent that they are physically affected for a long-term period of months, years, or even permanently. When an accident is that severe, the liable party’s insurance company might approach you with an offer to get themselves out of their legal responsibilities by paying as little as possible. Most people who find themselves in this situation are simply unaware of how much compensation they deserve for their losses, so they might accept such an offer. Before you even consider such a thing, you should reach out to a personal injury lawyer who will be able to give you advice about how much compensation you should get for your losses.
Of course, not every accident is the same, so there is no rule of thumb when it comes to knowing how much compensation you should claim in court. Every single aspect of your accident has to be taken into consideration when determining this and only a personal injury attorney who has experience in doing so will be able to do it right and get you the most favorable settlement possible. Aside from the details of the accident itself, the most important thing is how severe your injuries happen to be. Are they simply scratches or are they severe enough to seriously affect your life? There is a big difference between the two and how they are compensated. The more severe your injuries happen to be, the greater the amount of compensation that you will be able to claim. However, only someone who knows what that should be will be able to deal with the insurance company properly.
Toxic Exposure and its effects
Some people are more exposed to danger than others such as people who work around toxic chemicals. While the law expects any employer to take appropriate measures in order to make sure that their employees are protected from harm, some do not do as much as they should in this respect, and accidents can happen. Such incidents tend to affect the victims’ health severely and might even end up with them not being able to work any longer. If you or a loved one have gone or are going through this situation you have to talk to a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. However, you should know that cases that involve toxic exposure are difficult to prove and can take a lot of time, especially since they usually require scientific data to show liability.
When the liable party refuses to settle
Usually, insurance companies or other liable parties will agree to a settlement after some negotiation because it is in their best interest to do so instead of going to court and having to pay a lot more in the end. But there are times when the liable party puts its foot down and refuses any negotiations altogether, no matter how solid the case happens to be. In such a case, your personal injury lawyer will have to do everything in his power to expedite the process so that the court can decide in your favor as quickly as possible. But you should know that when there is no settlement and all the legal avenues have to be exhausted, the case can take months or even years depending on the circumstances.
A Dedicated and Experienced Professional Offering Strategic Legal Options
Accidents and injuries can leave you in financial distress. Insurance companies know this and may be quick to offer you low settlements in exchange for a quick resolution. When required to make such difficult decisions, you need a quality professional who keeps your long-term interest in mind.
Our trusted injury law firm in New York is ready to walk with you. Using our years of experience, we will aggressively secure adequate compensation for your losses. Our offices in the Bronx and White Plains are ready to receive you. Get in touch with us today to get started.