A personal injury occurs due to the negligent actions of someone else. When a personal injury occurs, the victim has the right to file a claim, or even a lawsuit, against the party responsible for the injury. The personal injury claim is filed so that the accident victim can get compensation for the damages caused by the accident. Those damages could be economic losses like medical bills, repair or replacement costs for damaged property, lost wages, and more. However, you should not ignore the non-economic losses as well, such as pain and suffering, anxiety, depression, and whatever negative emotions that are caused by the accident.
A personal injury attorney in Lakeland advises personal injury victims to hire an attorney to help them if they want the best chance of receiving maximum compensation. The lawyer will also make sure that the claim is filed before the statute of limitations expires. Of course, the various bills and expenses might be urgent so personal injury victims might wonder how long the claim will take. Keep reading to find out.
The Time Of A Personal Injury Case
The amount of time a personal injury claim takes depends on various factors, so there is no average or typical claim time. That means a claim could take a few months or a few years. One factor that affects the time a personal injury claim will take is the complexity of the case. A fairly straightforward case like a slip and fall could be resolved quickly, but a more complex case, like medical malpractice, could take much longer.
The severity of the victim’s injuries is another factor. The more serious the injuries are, the longer it takes for the victim to reach MMI (Maximum Medical Improvement) so that their lawyer can calculate their medical expenses and begin the claim in earnest. The settlement amount is another important factor since larger amounts take longer to complete since the at-fault party will fight harder to avoid paying it.
The Steps Of A Personal Injury Claim
Regardless of how long your personal injury claim takes, these are the steps you will have to go through:
Hiring an Attorney – If you want your claim to go as fast as possible and have the best chance of a favorable outcome, then you need to hire an experienced attorney to help you.
Preparing the Claim – This means filing the necessary paperwork and letting the other party know that you intend to file a claim against them.
The Discovery Process – This involves gathering evidence like witness testimony, surveillance footage, and more. It also means calculating your final settlement amount and submitting a demand letter to the insurance company of the at-fault party. If the insurance company accepts the settlement offer or makes a reasonable counteroffer, then the claim ends here. But if they make a lowball offer or refuse your claim entirely, then it’s on to the next step.
Filing a Lawsuit – If the insurance company doesn’t accept your offer, then you will have to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. When you file a lawsuit, that doesn’t mean you will go to trial because you and the other party can settle the case before a court date becomes necessary.
Mediation – This is when a neutral third party overseas negotiations between the involved parties. This is usually the last step before a trial and gives the parties a chance to resolve the case.
The Trial – If both parties cannot reach an agreement, then the case will go to trial. This is undesirable because a trial is expensive and time-consuming, meaning that the case won’t be resolved anytime soon. Fortunately, trials are very rare in personal injury cases.