One question that many clients ask us is, “How long will my case or claim take to get resolved?” Like many answers when it comes to law, there is no definite time frame or schedule. There are a number of factors that have to be considered when determining how long it will take to get your matter resolved. These factors are:
1. Your injury – is this an injury that you quickly recovered from or is your treatment ongoing; are you dealing with a permanent injury or one that will heal within a relatively quick time? The answer to these questions impacts when an insurance company or attorney can fully evaluate your claims as these parties like to have the full information available to them prior to making you an offer to settle.
2. Fault– who is liable for an accident or incident that caused injury to you is a main consideration that must be determined before your claim can be resolved. Sometimes liability is clear. Other times your attorney must work to support the fact that you were not responsible for the injuries you suffered. The first step for many insurance companies and attorneys is to determine fault as this will impact whether or not any offer of settlement will be made to you.
3. The insurance adjuster or defense attorney – the person who is on the other side of a matter makes a big difference in how long it will take to get your matter resolved. Some claims personnel respond more quickly and efficiently than others which will certainly impact how long it takes to get information across and a claim evaluated in full. Moreover, attorneys also have different means of communication and different schedules all impacting how quickly you can correspond with the same regarding a matter.
4. How complex is your matter – depending on the complexities associated with the incident causing your injury, the time it takes to fully digest what occurred, who is responsible, the policies and procedures or laws that must be assessed in evaluating your injury and your case will definitely impact how long your case or matter is ongoing.
5. Whether or not suit has to be filed – most personal injury matters begin through the process of making an insurance claim with the insurance carrier covering the person or business who caused you injury. If your attorney is able to come to a reasonable pre-suit settlement, you may not have to file suit. However, if a reasonable offer is not made and your attorney has to file suit, the process will be a little longer as the opposing party will have time to respond to your complaint and thereafter, will likely engage in what is called the discovery process. Thus, filing suit becomes more complex than simply setting forth an insurance claim.
In sum, there are numerous factors that play in to how long it takes for a personal injury case to be resolved and no two cases or matters are alike. You should rest assured that your attorneys will be working toward the best resolution possible for you which often takes time!