Understandably, many clients want to know how quickly they can settle their injury case. There are a number of factors that come into play in answering that question.
Generally speaking, injury lawyers won’t try to settle a case until after a client has finished treatment for his or her injuries. After all, if you are still being treated, your damages (medical bills, pain and suffering, etc.) are continuing to accumulate. The case can’t be accurately evaluated if the damages are continuing to climb.
As such, the value of your case can best be determined after you are done with treatment, when we can look back and add up all your medical bills and make an effort to quantify how much pain and suffering you endured.
Sometimes, if an injury is permanent and/or the treatment is going to continue for an unusually long time, we’ll evaluate a claim even though the client hasn’t finished treating, but such situations are rare. It’s much more desirable for the client to complete treatment, hopefully achieving a full recovery, so that we can then evaluate the claim with the benefit of hindsight.
After a client is done with treatment, we can usually obtain most of the medical records and other evidence needed to price the claim within thirty to sixty days. We then send those materials to the insurer, which typically will take another thirty to sixty days to review the claim and make a settlement offer.
Whether the case settles quickly or not depends in part on how reasonable the insurer’s offer is. If the insurer is unreasonable, then the case could be tied up for years in litigation. But if both the insurer’s offer and the client’s expectations are reasonable, the case could settle fairly quickly. Of course, one way to increase the chances of the insurer being reasonable is to retain an attorney who knows injury law.
Because each case is unique, you shouldn’t necessarily apply the above time frames to your case. Talk to an experienced lawyer about the specifics of your situation to determine how long it will probably take to resolve your claim.