What Is The Average Time To Settle A Personal injury Claim?
After a car accident or another injury-causing incident, it can take months or even years to settle your case. We know that many people are anxious to settle their injury claims. If you’re unable to work due to your injuries, the growing pile of medical bills and other expenses can feel overwhelming, and most people are eager to put the trauma behind them and move on. However, before you accept a quick settlement, you should always consider the long-term impact.
For most people, properly considering their options means consulting with an experienced injury attorney. At Garcia Legal, our team aggressively pursues victims’ personal injury claims, even during the COVID-19 shutdown. We know that your case is important, and we work hard to get our clients the compensation and closure they deserve.
When Should I Settle My Claim?
After a wreck, the insurance company may pressure you to settle quickly and without a lawyer. However, that may not be in your best interest. It’s not a good idea to settle your claim until you truly understand the extent of your injuries, your ability to return to work, your future medical needs, and other factors.
Many victims wait until they reach “maximum medical improvement” or “MMI” before they settle. MMI occurs when your medical conditions will no longer improve with treatment, and you’ve reached your “new normal.” If you settle your case before you reach MMI, you may undervalue your claim by failing to include necessary medical care and rehabilitation costs in your settlement.
Understanding the Timeline of a Lawsuit
In most personal injury cases, settlement negotiations begin very early in the process and sooner than most people think. In fact, most victims don’t realize that personal injury cases can settle at any time, even during an appeal. There are three common stages in a personal injury lawsuit:
When your Albuquerque personal injury lawyer investigates your claims and begins to negotiate with the insurance adjuster. Pre-litigation is often the most important because any misstep at this point in the process can jeopardize future results.
Your lawyer will file an official complaint with the New Mexico court, and this will start your personal injury lawsuit. During this stage, you’ll participate in discovery (a formal process where you share information with the other side), attend hearings, and continue settlement negotiations. Having an attorney by your side for this part of the legal process is invaluable as most people do not have experience with these matters.
Trial and Appeals
Your attorney will then present your evidence and arguments to a judge and jury. If either party disagrees with the verdict, they may be able to file a series of appeals which will extend the legal process. Each personal injury case must be willing and prepared to go to trial, although most do not, it’s important to be ready just in case.
High-Value Cases Can Take Longer
Another factor that can delay personal injury settlement is if the case involves significant damages. For example, a rear-end accident where the victim suffers a whiplash injury will likely settle much quicker than an accident that results in wrongful death. Insurers simply will not pay big money on a settlement until they have done their due diligence. That means investigating every aspect of the case until they are convinced that:
- They don’t have a reasonable defense to your claim
- Your injuries are as severe as you say they are
- They cannot attack your credibility
Not to mention, sometimes insurers will delay settlement on a big case simply to see if the plaintiff will give up and accept less money. It’s very common for victims to be in a hole financially following a serious accident. Many of these victims cannot wait very long for compensation due to their bills piling up and as a result, will settle for much less than their case is truly worth. Insurers know this and will attempt to delay and wait you out as long as they can.
Contact A Trust New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Today
The fact of the matter is, the average time to settle a personal injury claim will vary case by case. However, one factor that will always speed up the process is having a dedicated and experienced injury attorney representing you. Garcia Legal understands how difficult this process is for so many people. That’s why we make it our mission to fight for you and your family to ensure justice is served to those who have harmed you. Call us today for a free consultation and to begin your personal injury claim.