If you’re considering filing a personal injury claim, you may be wondering how long the process will take and when you can expect to receive a settlement. Because you never know what’s just around the corner, there is no simple answer to that question. Each case is unique and presents its own challenges. Most claims are settled out of court and may be resolved fairly quickly, but others require civil litigation to recover maximum compensation for an injured victim’s damages. The Team at Stanley Law can help you understand the process and why your personal injury claim may be delayed.
Sometimes liability can be hard to prove, even when a defendant’s negligence causes injury or death. Insurance companies typically try to devalue or deny claims, and if there is a chance that they can dispute liability, they will. Negotiations over this issue can delay your personal injury claim and may force your attorney to file a lawsuit for damages with the civil court. When a case goes to court, it usually takes more time because there is a discovery period in which both sides share and review evidence, followed by a hearing or trial. After evidence and arguments are presented by both the plaintiff and defendant, a judge or jury will deliberate and reach a verdict in your case. This process can take months or even years when a defendant appeals a ruling. One upside of taking your case to court is that the insurance company may finally offer a reasonable settlement to avoid a long, expensive trial.
Issues Surrounding Damages And The Monetary Value Of Your Claim
In some personal injury cases, there are disputes surrounding the types of damages and losses an injured victim has suffered and how much they’re worth. Although damages such as medical bills and lost wages usually have a defined dollar value, it’s harder to put a price on a victim’s pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and other non-monetary damages. When a plaintiff is asking for a six- or seven-figure settlement, insurance companies may stall negotiations to avoid paying out large amounts of money. They will go over every aspect of the case with a fine-toothed comb and attempt to dispute the extent of your injuries and losses. In any personal injury case the burden rests on the plaintiff to prove:
- That the defendant’s negligence caused your injuries
- The severity of your injuries and losses
- That your injuries and losses are worth the amount you’re asking for
To delay a personal injury case, it’s not uncommon for an insurance company to attack your credibility and try to wear you down so you’ll accept a smaller settlement. They prey on injured victims’ vulnerability because they know that you and your family may desperately need the compensation you’re trying to recover. That’s why it’s critical to hire an experienced personal injury attorney if you’ve been hurt or have lost a loved one. A skilled lawyer will know how to accurately value your claim, handle all negotiations, and aggressively fight for the full compensation you need and deserve.
You Haven’t Reached Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI)
MMI means that you have recovered or healed as much as you’re going to following an injury. However, just because a doctor makes a determination that you have reached MMI, it doesn’t mean that you really are fully recovered and won’t need further treatment. In a nutshell, it means that you’ve reached a stable point and your treatment should be consistent going forward. It’s vital to reach maximum medical improvement before you accept a personal injury settlement because it may be difficult to put an accurate monetary value on the medical treatment you’ll need in the future. Not only that, but you also may not realize the long-term effects of your injuries and how they’ll impact your life until you reach MMI.
Contact A Personal Injury Attorney
Our personal injury lawyers at Stanley Law Offices are seasoned, tenacious litigators who fight for our clients’ rights. If you’ve been seriously hurt or have suffered the loss of a loved one, you don’t have to accept an inadequate settlement and you don’t have to go it alone. Whether you have been recently injured or need help with a personal injury claim that’s been delayed, we understand that you need and deserve the Maximum Reward to which you’re entitled. Call us at 800-608-3333 or 800-372-3760 or contact us online today. Our offices are conveniently located in Syracuse, Watertown, Binghamton, or Rochester, New York, and Montrose, Pennsylvania. Se habla español.