How Long Does it Take to File Personal Injury Claim?
If you have recently become a victim of an accident, there are probably countless questions rushing through your mind. Chances are, you want to quickly receive the compensation you deserve, before moving on with your life. Unfortunately, the personal injury claims process can be lengthy and complex, making it difficult to predict just how long your claims process will take. Each accident and every client's well-being following the accident is unique. Additionally, different jurisdictions have their individual requirements and procedures. However, by learning about the claims process, you will be able to better understand what to expect for your case.
Seek Medical Treatment
After your accident, the first thing you should do is seek medical treatment, aside from contacting the appropriate authorities, depending on the nature of the accident. Arguably one of the most crucial things you can do for your health and your claim is to receive medical treatment as soon as possible following the accident. Even if you feel as though you are not seriously injured or the injury is too minute, it is best to seek medical attention. Stress or shock might dull the effects of your injury; so, it is always best to obtain a medical professional's opinion after an accident. Regarding your claim, if you opt not to seek medical attention after your accident, it is highly likely that the insurance adjuster and jury will find that your injuries were negligible. Thus, you will not receive the compensation you might have otherwise been entitled to.
Consult an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer for Your Case
In Washington, there is a statute of limitations of three years for personal injury claims. Meaning, you have three years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit; although, there are exceptions that are not generally applicable to most cases. During this three year timeframe, it is best to seek the advice of a well-versed personal injury lawyer, especially if your case involves extensive and severe injuries, time off work, or costly medical bills. Your personal injury lawyer will help you:
- Investigate your claim and review your medical records to help calculate what you are entitled to.
- Negotiate successful settlements or, if the case goes to trial, win in court.
- Understand your options, along with the benefits and drawbacks of your potential choices.
In less complicated cases, a settlement will be negotiated early on in the claim, making the process last as little as a few months. However, in instances where the claim goes to trial and includes a lengthy discovery process, the case can last for years. Even after trial, there is a possibility that the case is not done and over with. If either side disagrees with the court’s decision, whether it be the verdict or the award, the party has the chance to file an appeal. In Washington, a notice of appeal must be filed in the trial court within 30 days after the court decision. Appeals can be described as a “do-over,” where certain aspects of the case may be challenged. Ultimately, how long it takes to file and complete your personal injury claim is contingent on a myriad of factors. If you have any questions regarding your personal injury claim, reach out to Washington Personal Injury Lawyers for your free consultation.
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