How Long Should it Take to Settle My Personal Injury Claim?

By 12 February 2019Compensation Claims

Personal injury claims can happen in a myriad of different ways and arise out of many different circumstances. Depending on the precise details of those circumstances, your personal injury claim may last anywhere from a few months to several years.

It is rare for a personal injury claim to be resolved in a short amount of time. It is much more common to see a longer time-frame, particularly when certain factors are present. Often, personal injury claims take around eight months to a year, but this is only an average and will not reflect everyone’s experience. Below, we discuss some of the factors that will affect the longevity of your personal injury case.

Type and severity of your injury

Serious injuries will often require a longer amount of time to stabilise for the purposes of being able to be assessed by medical experts.  In such cases, clients will be subjected to a longer treatment regime and may require multiple surgeries before the impact of an accident can be fully understood.   Together, these factors work together to extend the period of time spent assessing what your damages should be.

Before you settle, it is important to know how long your required medical treatment will last, whether you have been given the maximum benefit of treatment following the accident, and what your long-term diagnosis is. Your lawyer should work closely with your medical team to correctly ascertain your damages and thus the compensation you deserve.

Patience

Sometimes, it will come down to how long you are willing to wait for a settlement. As your lawyer and the insurance company negotiate back and forth, it might take time for your lawyer to whittle down the expectations of the insurer. However, if the details backing your claim are weak, you are tired of the entire ordeal, or just want to avoid the stress of a hearing, you can settle more quickly.

It is advisable, however, to stick it out as early settlement may mean you are cheating yourself out of additional money for delayed or secondary consequences of injuries. Either way, be sure not to settle your claim without being fully informed of its value. Settlements are permanent and if you accept a low settlement early on, there will be no chance to revisit the amount if you later discover further medical complications.

Financial stability

If you decide you are willing to wait for as long as possible to get the best settlement that you can manage, you also need to consider whether you can handle, financially speaking, possibly waiting years to receive payment. It might turn out to be worth the wait, but you need to ensure that you will not be causing yourself any undue hardship in the interim.  In workers compensation claims and motor accident claims, wage loss compensation and medical expenses are paid by the insurer pending the case outcome.

Overall, a personal injury claim will take as much, or as little time as allowed by the injury in question and the injured person’s willingness to wait. When preparing your claim, it is important to share as much detail with your lawyer as possible. The more they know about your situation, needs and goals, the more accurate an estimation they can give you about the speed of settlement. If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident that resulted in injury, you may be able to file a personal injury claim. Contact a lawyer right away to begin working on getting the compensation you deserve.