How Long Will It Take to Settle My Claim?
The length of time to settle your claim depends on 1) the treatment needed, 2) liability disputes involved, 3) disputes about the injury being claimed, 4) insurance company factors, 5) the number of parties involved, 6) the value and severity of the injury, and 7) whether you are trying to handle the case on your own without professional help from a personal injury attorney. Each of these factors can cause the length of time to settle a case to differ from one case to the next and can possibly extend how long it takes to settle a claim.
An experienced auto accident attorney can help you recognize and identify the factors in your case that need to be addressed as quickly as possible to get your case settled as soon as possible when your case is ready for settlement.
Attorney Doug Goyen has represented thousands of people for various personal injury cases and has recovered millions of dollars in settlements for his clients. For the past 23 years, we have been collecting compensation for personal injury and auto accident claims for our clients. We provide powerful representation backed by expertise and experience that yields proven results. For a free consultation call (972) 599 4100. Our auto accident attorneys can begin working on your case right away.
There are several factors that determine how long it takes to settle an auto accident injury claim (or other types of personal injury claim). How long you need to treat, liability disputes, disputes about your injury, the insurance company involved, number of parties involved, the severity of the injury, if anyone involved declares bankruptcy or goes into receivership (defendant or insurance company), how long a person tries to handle the claim on their own before hiring a lawyer, and whether a lawsuit is needed all are factors.
How long treatment is needed for the particular injury. We cannot settle a case until the client has either completed the treatment needed and they are no longer injured or in pain, or they are at the point where they are at their “maximum medical improvement”. Maximum medical improvement is where the injured person has made it to the point where there is nothing currently known that can be done to make the injury or pain any better – and the doctors believe that the condition you are in is as good as it is going to get. There may be medication or procedures that can help control the pain or symptoms, but there is nothing that will actually cure it or make it go away.
Either way, we do not know the full extent of what treatment you will need or the cost of that treatment until you either are no longer injured or at maximum medical improvement. Every case is different. Some people have severe pains due to an injury but then heal within a few weeks. Other people’s injuries may take months, or even over a year to get to the point where we are sure about the costs of future medical care needed for the particular injury.
The longer the treatment, the longer it will be until we can start settlement negotiations.
Liability disputes. If liability is disputed this often can cause the case to take longer. If the liability dispute cannot be resolved by the time our client is done treating for their injury, then a lawsuit is often needed to resolve the dispute. If a case needs a lawsuit to get the compensation needed, then it takes a longer time than cases that do not need lawsuits.
Injury disputes. If you have had prior injury claims for other accidents, or you had prior injuries to the same or similar areas, the insurance company may want us to file a lawsuit so they can subpoena medical documentation to verify whether your injury was actually caused by their accident. Even if your prior condition is not related to your current injury, if the prior injury or condition is similar or is in a part of the body near your injury from the accident, the insurance company will often try to make the argument that they think the injury is the same as the prior injury.
When this happens, a lawsuit may be needed to force the insurance company to increase its offer. Lawsuits can take years to complete.
Insurance company factors. Certain insurance companies and certain insurance adjusters just never make fair offers – so a lawsuit is needed to get them to a fair offer. Certain insurance companies will try to settle an auto accident injury case without the need for a lawsuit. Unfortunately, there are other insurance companies where this is not the case. There are certain insurance companies where they almost always deny the claim when they know they shouldn’t, or they make ridiculously low offers. With these insurance companies, a lawsuit is almost always required to get them to a fair settlement offer.
There are a few insurance companies where it just depends on the adjuster who is handling the claim. There are some adjusters who work at what are often fair insurance companies, but that particular adjuster just never makes fair offers without a lawsuit being filed. If you get the wrong adjuster on a claim this can slow down the case due to the need for a lawsuit.
The number of parties involved can slow down a settlement. If there are multiple people that may be responsible for an injury – such as in a multiple car accident – then this can slow down the case. If there are two insurance companies that should both accept 50% responsibility for your injury – invariably both insurance companies will want to offer 20% and claim the other one is 80% at fault. You end up with a 40% offer (20% from both) – which does not work. This often forces a lawsuit to be filed, which slows down the settlement of the claim.
Value of the injury claim and severity of the injury. The severity of the injury can slow down the settlement . . . but it can sometimes speed up the settlement as well. If the severity of the injury is so severe that it is obvious that the insurance company should just tender its limits of their insurance policy (in other words, pay everything they have on the policy in question), then that can speed up the settlement.
Trying to settle the case on your own. Often an injured person will try to settle the case on their own. The insurance company will often string the injured person along, asking for different things at different times. One of the common phone calls I get is from someone who has been trying to handle their claim on their own – for the last year and 11 months. They have 1 month left before the statute of limitations runs (sometimes even less time, depending on the person calling), and they suddenly realize they really do need an attorney for their case. Do not fall into that trap – it is not easy to handle your own personal injury claim. You want an expert to handle it for you. Get an attorney working on your case as soon as you can after you have been injured in an auto accident due to negligence.
It can be very difficult to wait for compensation. The length of time to settle a claim depends on many factors. However, you should never give up your right to compensation simply because you want things to be resolved quickly. The sooner you have an experienced personal injury lawyer with experience in auto accidents or other types of injury claims such as premises cases, or dog bites, the sooner your case will be on the right track to maximize your settlement and get your case settled as quickly as possible.
If you or someone you know needs the assistance of a Personal Injury Attorney call (972) 599 4100 for a free consultation and a free strategy session regarding your case. The strategy session includes a summary of your case, identification of the legal issues involved with your case, and identifying those legal issues that will help maximize your recovery in your case. We will email a copy of this strategy session to you for you to keep.HOW MUCH WE CHARGE – CONTINGENCY FEE
There is no fee unless and until you win! If we work on your case, we charge a contingency fee, which means that if we don’t win, we don’t get paid. The better we serve you, the better we are compensated – our interest is the same as yours.
Law Office of Doug Goyen
15851 Dallas Pkwy #605
Addison, Texas 75001
(972) 599 4100 phone
(972) 398 2629 fax
Directions to our office: We are on the southbound side of the service road to the Tollway. Stay on the Dallas North Tollway until you come to the Keller Springs exit. Take the Keller Spring exit. Stay on the service road on the southbound side and go just past Keller Springs. Our office is the 2nd building south of Keller Springs, located on the service road to the North Dallas Tollway in the Madison Business Center on the 6th floor.
By Doug Goyen, email@example.com