After careful consideration and a discussion with your lawyer, you have decided to file a lawsuit in your personal injury case. But you’re probably wondering – how long will it take for you to settle your case?
There are several factors that help decide how long your personal injury case will take to settle. Some of those factors are discussed below.
You Are Still Treating Your Injuries
The most important thing for you to do during your lawsuit is to keep treating your injuries until they are healed, or as healed as they can get. It’s essential that you recover as much as you possibly can. However, treating your injuries for an extended period of time can cause your lawsuit settlement to be delayed.
If you are still treating your injuries, then it is hard for your personal injury attorney to tell exactly how much they should ask for in damages. Treating those injuries involves going to the doctor, chiropractor, or physical therapist – which means your medical bills will keep coming in. The only way to accurately calculate damages for your personal injury case is to add up the bills once you are finished treating.
Another factor is whether or not you fully heal from your injuries. If you do not fully heal, it’s likely that your attorney could ask for more compensation.
Your doctor is the one who makes the final determination on your injuries. They may use the term “maximum medical improvement” if you do not completely heal from your injuries. This means you are as healed as you’re going to get. Once your doctor releases you from treatment, your personal injury lawyer can add up your medical bills and determine how much you should demand from the insurance company.
Your Medical Records and Bills Need to Be Gathered and Reviewed
Even if you are finished treating for your injuries, it may take some time to assemble a complete set of your medical records and bills. The best way to prove your injuries is through doctors’ notes and other medical records. These are the best evidence that show your injuries and how you have worked to heal them.
The more doctors you have seen, the more time it will take to collect those medical records and bills. The paralegal contacts each medical provider and requests your records and bills. Depending on the provider, it can take months to obtain and review all of this paperwork. However, it is necessary that your lawyer reviews a complete set of these records in order to demand a fair amount of compensation for your injuries.
The Insurance Company is Reviewing Your Attorney’s Demand
After you have finished treating and your medical records have been carefully reviewed, your attorney will put together a demand. A demand is a package of your medical records, your medical bills, and a letter that explains your personal injury case and requests a certain amount of compensation. This is then sent to the insurance company for their review.
Demand packages are often thousands of pages long and require careful review by the insurance company. As you can imagine, this can take several weeks. The insurance company may need more clarification over some points in the demand package, or disagree with some points made in the demand letter. A good personal injury lawyer will discuss this with you and keep you informed every step of the way.
Once a settlement agreement is reached, your attorney will do their best to get your check from the insurance company as quickly as possible. You will then sign more paperwork and your case will be settled.
Settling a claim once a lawsuit is filed requires a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer to guide you through the process. If you have questions about filing a personal injury claim, call us at 1-319-774-1542.