- October 2, 2017
- Personal Injury
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.