Injuries due to the negligence or recklessness of someone else can result
in long-term, expensive medical treatment. Pursuing compensation is often
the only way to obtain the necessary financial relief for lost wages,
medical bills, and other expenses related to the injury. While many people
just want to focus on getting well, they may wonder how long the process
for filing a personal injury lawsuit would take, and if it is worth the
hassle. Our firm provides diligent representation to injured clients,
and we have successfully guided numerous victims to financial settlements.
How long will your personal injury case last? Here’s what you need to know:
The Process of a Personal Injury Case
There are several steps for pursuing compensation in a personal injury
lawsuit. Depending on whether or not the case goes to trial, it could
last several months or even years. Our firm has handled hundreds of personal
injury cases, and can provide informative legal services every step of the way.
Personal injury cases involve several steps. These include:
- Reaching the MMI
- Submitting the case to the insurance company
- Negotiating with the insurance adjuster
- Proceeding through litigation or mediation
- Reaching a final settlement award
The MMI stands for the Maximum Medical Improvement. This is the point at
which your doctor declares that there is no further treatment remedies
available to you, and that you have healed as much as possible from the
injuries. Even if you have residual pain or other complications, you may
be declared to be at MMI if all medical options have been exhausted, and
the residual effects of the injury are most likely permanent.
It is important to reach the MMI before pursuing a claim with the insurance
company. Should you settle for an award before getting well, and suffer
unexpected medical complications later on that require expensive treatment,
you will be unable to receive more compensation. By waiting until you
have reached the MMI, which may take a matter of months, you can ensure
there will be no other complications from your initial injury that will
require more compensation.
Once you have reached the MMI, you may prepare a submittal package to give
to the insurance company. This package includes information regarding
your injuries, medical records, financial damages and losses, and a statement
of the overall estimated value of your case. Once the insurance company
receives the package, a negotiation may begin. This may last from a few
weeks to a few months.
If a settlement cannot be agreed upon by both parties through informal
negotiation, you may file a lawsuit and proceed through litigation. Depending
on the specific court schedules, it may take 1-3 years to get a trial
date. However, only about 10% of personal injury cases proceed to trial.
The majority are settled out of court. At the trial, a final judgment
will be ordered, and your case will be closed.
Reasons Your Case May Last Longer
There are several reasons a personal injury case may last longer than a
few months. For example, if it proceeds to trial, it could last years
longer than a case that is settled in the negotiation stage. Furthermore,
the complexity of a case can impact how long it lasts.
A personal injury case may last longer if:
- The case involves a large amount of money
- The patient is taking a long time to reach MMI
- The case involves factual disputes
Depending on the situation, the insurance company may dispute your claim.
They may try to say your injuries are not as bad as you say they are,
or they may dispute who is liable for the accident. It is important to
have experienced representation to uphold your right to compensation.
Overall, cases involving straightforward liability and low damage amounts
often settle within a few months or a year or so, while cases with increasing
complexity may last a few years or more.
Passionate Representation for Injured Victims in Detroit
Goodman Acker P.C. provides tenacious legal services to clients pursuing
a financial settlement. Whether your case is settled through negotiation
or goes to trial, our Detroit personal injury attorneys can stand by your
side every step of the way. We can work hard to meet your legal needs
in a timely manner, and ensure all the details of your case are accounted
for throughout the process.
For diligent representation as you pursue a settlement,
contact our office today. We offer free consultations for your convenience.