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How long does it take to settle a personal injury lawsuit?

If you have suffered a personal injury and are looking for a compensation, then consult with today. You may have to fill a questionnaire such as follows;

  • Were you injured at work?
    • Yes
    • No
  • How long ago did this incident occur?
    • less than a year ago
    • 1-3 years ago
    • more than 3 years ago
  • What was the cause of the injury?
    • Accident that caused physical trauma
    • Occupational disease
    • Repeated trauma
    • Mental injury
    • Not sure
  • Have you taken any action towards your claim?
    • Filed a suit
    • Demanded a compensation
    • No action taken
    • Other
  • What type of injury did you suffer?
    • Head or neck injury
    • Back or neck pain
    • Headaches
    • Loss of limb
    • Memory loss
    • Cuts and bruises
    • Broken bones
    • Dog Bite
    • Other

Based on such questionnaires you are interviewed further; to build a case. This is done to get a fair idea of the circumstances in which the injury occurred? It also helps arrive at the best possible compensation that can be won for you.

How does the lawyer handle my case?

Best course of action after injury is to mitigate your damages i.e., improve your physical condition and recover. Meanwhile, the lawyer investigates your claims. The lawyer will review - police reports, witness statements, visit the site of the incident, study the laws in place for hazards and your medical reports.

The reasons for delay in settlement

The insurance companies tend to believe the people who actively try to overcome their injuries. They follow the trail of documents such as your medical bills, reports and loss of wages. Ensure you do not exaggerate or tamper with them as this may lead to months and years of delay in settlement. The other reasons for the delay may be; factual or legal problems with the case. If it is costing a lot of money or you may have not reached the point of maximum improvement from your injuries.

What is the value of the case?

Some insurance companies offer less than adequate settlements and offer to settle the case within weeks or months. This is to dissuade the victims from pursuing a lawsuit. The factors that determine the value of the case and reasons for settlement may be as follows;

- the medical expenses as stated in the bills.

- the loss of income and other employment benefits incurred due to the injury.

- If it is permanent injury or disfigurement such as scars, amputation, etc.

- breach of safety laws at the site.

What is the purpose of the "discovery" process?

If you choose to reject the settlement offered, then your lawyer proceeds with pre-trial preparations. Many settlements happen during this period. If your case is complex this may take months and years to settle.

Discovery is a process by which the two parties obtain evidence from each other. This pre-trial process includes interviews, depositions and requests for evidence and documents. Usually, the case is settled at this stage if the plaintiff has a convincing case. They may even be compensated for the costs associated with the lawsuit. Otherwise, the personal injury case goes to trial.

This may benefit the defendant as the jury may award a large verdict based on factual and legal issues. A trial may last 3 - 10 days but it takes months of preparation before presentation. This means it may take a year from the date of filing till the date of verdict.

If you are considering filing a personal injury case, ensure you choose an experienced lawyer who is well-versed with the law and an expert negotiator. The person should be able to put your case in a humane manner that convinces the companies or the court to give you the best settlement. The lawyer should try to settle the case in the pre-trial stage. But if the case goes to trial, the effort should be to cover the liabilities and mitigate the damages.

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