How Long Does It Take to Settle My Accident Case?
One of the most common questions we hear as personal injury attorneys is, “How long is it going to take to settle my case?” Unfortunately, this is not a simple question to answer. Every personal injury case is unique and different, and various factors can affect your case and how long it will take to reach a settlement agreement.
While some things can be done to speed up the time it takes to get through your case, which we will review below, it is generally ill-advised to rush towards a settlement. This is because some injuries after an accident are not immediately apparent, or in some cases, the initial symptoms of the injury could worsen with time. If you rush through your case, you may not get the full amount of compensation you need should complications later arise.
It is generally best to take your time until you fully understand how your injuries have or will affect your life moving forward to ensure you get the full compensation amount that you deserve. If you have questions about a case, get in touch with one of our Mississippi personal injury attorneys at Lunsford, Baskin, & Priebe, PLLC, today. We can review your case and offer you guidance on how best to proceed.
Factors That Play a Role in the Time Frame of Your Personal Injury Case
Again, each and every personal injury case is unique as no two accidents happen the exact same way. The people involved are different with varying health and physical conditions and needs as well. There is, however, a general list of things that most commonly affect how long a case will take until an agreement is reached. These include:
- The extent of your injuries: If the injuries you suffered in the accident were minor, your case would likely wrap up much quicker as it won’t take as long for you to receive treatments and recover. However, if the injuries are severe, recovery time is extended, which means it will take longer to determine how the injury has affected your life and how much money you will need to cover your expenses and your pain and suffering.
- Liability: Who is at fault and how quickly the parties involved agreed on this will also play a part in how long it takes to reach a settlement. If it is obvious who is at fault and there are no disputes, the matter can be settled much more quickly. However, if the parties involved argue and disagree over who is to blame, it can take more time to sort through all of the evidence to determine who is rightfully entitled to compensation and who is liable for causing the accident.
- Medical treatments and records: In addition to the extent of your injuries, the general time frame it takes to receive medical documents, such as bills, records, and doctor statements, can also affect the time frame of your case. Some facilities are on top of their records department and get these things to you in a timely manner, whereas others are not so quick and efficient. If it takes a long time to get the medical proof needed, it can delay your case.
- The insurance company: In some cases, insurance companies will purposely use stalling tactics to mess with the case in the hopes of getting out of paying large settlement amounts. They may ignore calls or avoid calling you themselves, and they may even refuse to pay on time. If the insurer is being difficult in any way, it will likely take longer until a settlement is reached.
How to Make Your Personal Injury Case Go as Quickly and Smoothly as Possible
In most cases, there are steps that every injured victim should take after an accident that can benefit their case and how it plays out. The more thorough you are and the more closely you stick to these steps and your attorney’s suggestions, the faster and smoother your case will be. To ensure your case is handled as efficiently as possible, make sure you:
- Seek immediate medical attention: The sooner you get checked out by a doctor and have your injuries treated, the sooner you will have sufficient medical proof to support your claim and receive a settlement amount. Delaying treatment will not only delay your case, but it can be dangerous for your health as not all injuries are immediately apparent. But if you wait too long to get treatment, it could result in complications and negatively affect your health and your claim.
- Gather evidence and document your experiences: The more evidence you can provide to show what happened, the smoother and faster your case will be. Without sufficient evidence, it can take longer to prove fault and determine how much money is owed for damages. So if possible, take photos at the scene, gather witness statements, and write down everything you can remember to help prove what happened.
- Report the accident and file a claim in a timely manner: All states have a statute of limitations that must be met to be eligible to collect compensation. In Mississippi, you have three years from the date of the accident to file a claim. However, the longer you wait, the more difficult it will be to successfully file and win the compensation you deserve.
- Hire a personal injury attorney: Injured victims can handle cases on their own, but this is not advised. Navigating legal situations is complicated, and if you make any mistakes and don’t know how to properly advocate for yourself, it can draw out your case and result in a reduced settlement amount. It’s always best to work with a local attorney who understands the law and how best to fight against the guilty party and the insurance company to ensure you are fully awarded the amount you deserve and to make the process go as smoothly as possible.
Connect with an Experienced Mississippi Personal Injury Attorney
While we understand how stressful these situations can be and that you may want to simply get it done and over with, rushing through a personal injury case can have negative results. We are not suggesting you drag the process out, but it is smart to take your time and work with an attorney to ensure nothing is missed. If you want to get the money you need to cover all of your expenses, losses, and damages, it’s wise to go at a steady pace and not rush through to an early settlement.
If you or a loved one are injured in a Mississippi accident, the team at Lunsford, Baskin, and Priebe can offer you help and guidance. Our goal is to work with you and guide you through the complex legal process to ensure the guilty party is held accountable and the insurance company awards you the full compensation you need and deserve.
For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Mississippi, contact Lunsford, Baskin, and Priebe, PLLC. After-hours visits are available.
The most common questions that we get is how long is it going to take to settle my case? And unfortunately, that’s not an easy question to answer. Every case is different, but there’s a general rule that applies to all cases, which is you never want to settle a personal injury case too early. You never want to rush it.