Unfortunately, there's no set amount of time that a personal injury claim might take. It depends largely on the unique factors of the case. However, there are a number of stages that these cases typically go through before completion.
Before pursuing a personal injury claim, you should wait until you've recovered medically from the injury, or until you've reached the maximum amount of recovery that's expected. This is because after you reach a settlement agreement, you won't be able to sue for any more compensation.
If you have a long-term disability caused by the injury, you should wait until you and your personal injury attorney at least feel confident about the extent of care you'll need, and the expenses that may accrue, over the years. If you have further medical expenses from the same injury after you settle, you can’t reach another settlement for those expenses — it’s a one-time deal.
Then you and your lawyers need to gather information and documentation on all of the expenses you've had as a result of your injury — from medical bills to lost wages to therapy sessions for emotional damage. Once all of this is compiled, you and your lawyers can determine a “value” that you want to be compensated.
Next the information you compiled is given to the other party — typically the insurance company. After they've had time to review the package and make their own investigations, negotiations begin. This is a back and forth between you and your lawyers and the insurance company. If you decide on an acceptable amount, a settlement can be reached.
If, however, they don’t make an acceptable offer, you’ll need to go to the litigation stage. This is when a formal lawsuit is filed in court. If you go to trial, the court will determine if the other party is responsible for your injury and how much they should compensate you.
Even after a lawsuit is filed, most personal injury cases are still settled out of court. The whole process typically ranges from one to three years, and can go even longer in some cases; but the main factors are how long it takes you to recover, how long the negotiation process goes on, and how long litigation may or may not take.
If you've been injured and need compensation for your accident, our office can help. Let us answer all your questions and put you at ease about the process.
Call us today at 816-842-7100 to speak with an attorney that will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Or you can click here to email us and schedule your free consultation.