How long does it take to settle a personal injury case?
Every case is different, and how long it takes to settle a case depends on many factors, such as how much the other party is willing to pay, how much you are willing to take, and both parties’ risk tolerance for going to trial, which delays settlement and has an uncertain outcome. Other factors that influence the speed of a settlement are the strength of your case and the defendant’s case. Are there witnesses? Traffic cameras or security camera footage? What does the police report say? If you have to fight over the issue of the defendant’s liability, settlement can take longer. Even when liability is clear, the fight over damages – how much the other party should pay – can still take a lot of back and forth over weeks.
It is also important to understand that your attorney will not even start settlement talks until you have become medically stationary or reached the point of maximum medical improvement. At this time, we’ll know how much the injury has cost you in medical bills, and we’ll have a pretty good idea of any future medical expenses or employment disability you may experience. It can take several months of medical care and therapy before you reach this stage. So, expect that your personal injury case won’t settle until several months after your accident when you have become medically stationary, and then possibly several weeks more as we negotiate a settlement with the insurance company. The more your case is worth, the longer it typically takes to settle. It can even take a year or more to get full value for your claim. We’ll let you know what to expect in your particular case and keep you updated throughout the process.