If you have experienced a personal injury, such as a car accident, slip and fall, medical malpractice, product liability, or wrongful death, you may have bills piling up and painful, unresolved medical issues. You’re wondering just how long does a personal injury claim take to settle? This is a simple question to ask, yet a complicated one to answer. Essentially, such claims can take from a few weeks up to several years! Let’s dive into the timeframe for personal injury claims to see why they take so long and if there is any way to hurry the personal injury settlement process — there is, though we don’t advise it. Then, we’ll see what you can do to be sure you get a good settlement.
Why Does the Personal Injury Settlement Process Take So Long?
When you’re in pain and financial straits, it seems like the personal injury settlement process can drag on forever!
There are four primary reasons why personal injury claims take so long to settle:
- Your case is complex with difficult legal or factual issues to navigate
- Your case involves considerable amounts of money
- Your physical recovery is protracted with more medical intervention required
- Insurance companies dragging out the process
Let’s look at how each of these reasons affects the personal injury settlement process.
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How Complex Issues Slow the Personal Injury Settlement Process
Personal injury cases include two essential points — who was at fault (liability) and how much damage occurred to people and property (damages). In some cases, it’s simple to prove that person A was entirely at fault and Person B was hurt by it. For example, let’s say you were crossing the street in the crosswalk, a driver hit you, and you broke your leg. The entire event was caught on videotape, and there were absolutely no external contributing factors. In this case, the driver is clearly at fault, and the damages are clear.
However, in many personal injury cases, liability is harder to prove. There may be a dozen witnesses, each saying something different. Or your behavior may have contributed to the incident that resulted in your injury. When liability is harder to prove, it can take investigators more time to thoroughly process all available information to make a valid determination.
Even if liability is clear, it can take a lengthy investigation to determine their full extent if your damages are extensive.
Why the Big Financial Settlements Take Longer
If your personal injury damages can be covered with a few hundred dollars, the case is likely to be settled and funded within days. But let’s suppose it’s much more, and the defendant’s insurance company will have to shell out a settlement ranging in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. In cases with significant damages, the insurance company will conduct a detailed investigation, looking for ways to reduce the amount they are expected to pay. Extensive and expensive damages further slow the personal injury settlement process.
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Why a Lengthy Recovery Slows the Personal Injury Settlement Process?
The purpose of an out-of-court personal injury settlement is in two parts:
- To free up the court’s time for other cases
- To compensate you for all the damages you have suffered
Until you have recovered as much as you can (known as “maximum medical improvement” or MMI), it is impossible to know just how high your medical expenses will run. Once you have reached MMI, you have recovered as much as you can. At this point, your attorney and the insurance company will know the full value of the damages you have suffered.
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How is Slowing the Personal Injury Settlement Process a “Strategy”?
When you have suffered damages due to a personal injury, the defendant’s attorney or insurance company has one primary goal — to get you to accept a lower payment than what you are entitled to. In this way, they best represent their client’s interests. The best leverage they have is the financial pain you are experiencing.
Simply delaying the personal injury settlement process can cause tremendous stress on the injured party. Bills continue to come in, and the financial pressure mounts until you may prefer to settle sooner for less.
Never think that the defense just doesn’t care how much you’re suffering and how desperate you are for the settlement. They’re counting on it.
How to Shorten the Time Frame for Personal Injury Claims
Now that you understand the forces that make personal injury cases take so long to settle, is there any way that you can hurry the process along?
The answer is yes, but for the sake of your settlement, it is not recommended. There is one sure-fire way to dramatically shorten the time frame for personal injury claims — accept the first, low-ball offer. On average, the insurance adjuster will only offer 30-40% of the value of your claim. If you want to settle fast and understand that doing so leaves considerable money on the table, you can choose to accept that first offer. In this case, the insurance company will act fast to fund the settlement and close the case before you can reconsider.
If your financial burdens force you to consider accepting less money than you deserve simply to get it faster, there is a better way to stop the financial bleeding. A personal injury lawsuit loan acts like a cash advance on your future settlement. With this money, you can pay your current bulls and let the personal injury settlement process continue so you can get the full compensation for your case.
How to Get the Best Personal Injury Settlement
Now, let’s see what you can do to ensure you get the best settlement possible. Be sure to take these steps in order:
- Get immediate and thorough medical attention
- Hire an attorney experienced in personal injury claims
- Consider a personal injury lawsuit loan
Each of these steps is critical in getting you the best settlement possible. Let’s take a closer look at each in turn.
Immediate Medical Attention for Personal Injury Claim
Getting medical attention immediately after you suffer a personal injury is necessary for your health and well-being. Some injuries don’t show symptoms right away, so you need to be checked out. This is good advice for your physical well-being, but it’s also essential to improve your chances of getting a good settlement. If you don’t see a doctor immediately after your injury, the insurance adjuster will likely assume that your injury isn’t serious or that it predates the accident.
Hire an Attorney for the Personal Injury Settlement Process
The personal injury settlement process involves determining fault and totaling the damages you have suffered so that just compensation can be determined. A personal injury attorney is your advocate, protecting your interests at every step of the accident investigation and settlement negotiation.
There are two main types of damages for which you can be compensated — general damages and special damages. Each must be proven to be the direct result of the accident in order to be covered in the settlement.
General damages from a personal injury claim can include:
- Physical injuries
- Broken bones
- Muscle strain
- Traumatic brain injury
- Physical pain
- Emotional suffering
Special damages are the monetary expense the accident has caused you. These damages can include:
- Lost income
- Property repairs
- Medical bills
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
A personal injury attorney understands the personal injury settlement process and can best advise you on the damages you can claim and how best to get them compensated.
How a Lawsuit Loan Helps Get a Better Personal Injury Settlement
Legal lending can be used to pay your bills and ease your financial stress while enabling you to continue to fight for the compensation your case deserves. You can counteract the insurance company’s stalling tactics and hold out for the money you deserve, no matter how long the personal injury settlement takes.
A personal injury lawsuit loan is a loan that uses your future settlement as collateral. It is considered a non-recourse loan. This means that the lender has no recourse to any money other than the collateral. In other words, your income, property, and assets will play no part in repaying the loan. In fact, if you lose your case — you owe the lender nothing!
There is no financial risk to obtaining a lawsuit loan.
Tribeca Lawsuit Loans is a legal lending company that helps those suffering from personal injury like you to pay their bills and fight for the best settlement they can get. Because we will never see a penny of your own money, our lawsuit loan application includes:
- NO credit check
- NO income verification
- NO evaluation of your assets.
If you need money to tide you over until the personal injury settlement process is completed and you finally get your compensation, we can help! Just visit our Apply Now page to learn more and start your application. You’re also welcome to call us at (866) 388-2288 to speak with a friendly team member who will be happy to assist you.
We can provide the money to keep you afloat while your attorney fights to get you the best settlement possible!