Eager to file a claim, get a check, and put your personal injury behind you? You aren’t alone.
Auto accidents and other personal injury accidents are terrible ordeals. Even if your injuries weren’t life-threatening or catastrophic, you are almost certainly ready to put them behind you and move on.
Moreover, you probably have bills to pay. Medical treatment requires money, and to make matters worse, your accident might have cost you time away from your job (among various other expenses). If you’re facing a big balance due without adequate resources in a savings account to cover it, you’re probably feeling pressure to settle as soon as possible.
As personal injury lawyers, we understand the predicament well. We have helped so many of our clients navigate these difficult circumstances: wanting to get full and fair compensation while also dealing with the practical reality of wanting to put the matter behind you and needing to pay your bills.
So how long does a personal injury claim take to settle? As you’ll see below, there is no easy answer — but we can give you some guidance.
In this article, you’ll learn about:
- The factors affecting the personal injury settlement timeline
- Why taking the fastest settlement option is often a bad idea
- Your options for covering medical expenses while you wait
- Strategies for timing your personal injury claim
- Why there’s never a guarantee
- The important role than a Kingston personal injury lawyer can play in fighting for the compensation you deserve
The Quick Answer: How Long Does a Personal Injury Claim Take to Settle?
Every case is different. In personal injury law, there are no guarantees — no guaranteed outcomes and no guaranteed timelines. No attorney can promise you a specific turnaround or result.
That said, as a general rule, most personal injury claims are resolved through private settlement agreements over the course of several months (sometimes up to a year). More complex claims, meanwhile, can last for more than a year.
Want to learn more about a potential timeline for your individual personal injury claim? Again, we can’t make guarantees, but once we learn more about your situation, we can give you a better ballpark sense of what you might expect.
Call our office and schedule a free consultation with a Kingston personal injury lawyer to learn more.
Factors Affecting How Long a Personal Injury Claim Takes to Settle
How long does a personal injury claim take to settle? Factors that tend to significantly affect the settlement timeline include:
The Complexity of the Claim
More severe injuries tend to involve more costly financial damages, which in turn lead to a more aggressive defense by the insurance company. Complex medical injuries can also require more intensive expert analysis, which can further contribute to delay.
The Number of Parties Involved
The more parties involved, the more complex the claim becomes, and thus the longer you can expect it to last. This is especially true when multiple large corporate interests are at play, as is often the case in large commercial trucking accidents, for example.
How Long It Takes You to Recover
As a matter of strategy, it’s important that you give yourself time to heal as much as possible before taking formal legal action. Specifically, we want you to reach what is known as Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI).
That said, we must also be mindful of any applicable statute of limitations. Ultimately, we work with each client to determine the ideal time for taking action.
The last thing you want to do is settle your claim for a small amount of money only to learn later than your injuries are more serious or expensive than you realized.
How Long It Takes the Insurance Company to Respond to Our Demand Package
One of the earliest steps we take as part of the settlement process is preparing a formal demand package, which lays out your damages and the financial relief to which you are entitled.
Insurance companies have a legal duty to evaluate claims in good faith and within a reasonable period of time. Unfortunately, they don’t always make good on that duty.
While some insurance companies respond within a matter of weeks, others may delay for months or more. An experienced Kingston personal injury lawyer can help you fight back against undue delay by the insurance company.
Whether Your Claim Goes to Court
While the majority of personal injury claims in New York are settled outside of court, getting true justice sometimes requires proceeding to trial. Going to court will typically extend the timeline for resolution significantly.
Why You Shouldn’t Take the Quick Settlement Offer from the Insurance Company
When insurance companies offer you money, it’s usually to protect their own interests, not yours.
The early settlement offer almost always benefits the insurer. In many cases, the dollar amount has been carefully calculated by computer algorithms and insurance experts. It’s just enough to tempt you while still letting the insurance company off the hook for the much larger amount they might have to pay if they went to court.
You see, the insurance company knows that you have bills to pay and that you need money as soon as possible. They’ll use your eagerness as leverage, pressuring you take the “fast and easy” way out.
If you take their settlement offer, you will have to sign a binding contract that prevents you from ever claiming more money for the accident — even if you later discover more serious medical complications or unexpected doctor’s bills.
That’s why you should never take a settlement offer without talking to an experienced Kingston personal injury lawyer first.
But If I Wait to Settle, How Can I Pay My Medical Bills?
You may have a number of options for covering your medical expenses while waiting for your personal injury claim to resolve, from your health insurance policy to special provisions in your auto insurance policy and beyond.
In some cases, we are even able to make private arrangements between our law firm and your medical providers (depending on the circumstances). Call our office and schedule a free consultation to talk about your options.
Free & Confidential Consultation with a Kingston Personal Injury Lawyer
How long does a personal injury claim take to settle? The best way to understand the potential timeline for your particular claim is to contact our office and talk about the details, confidentially and one on one.
O’Connor and Partners is a personal injury law firm based in Kingston, NY and providing legal services throughout the entire state, including in: Kingston, Newburgh, Poughkeepsie, Ellenville, the Hudson Valley, New York City, and beyond.
We fight hard to maximize compensation for injured people and their families.
We are proud to offer confidential, no-cost, no-obligation consultations to accident victims throughout the state of New York. If you choose to hire us after your consultation, we will not charge you a fee unless we get you money first.
If you can’t come to us, we will come to you. Just contact us online or call 845-303-8777 to talk with an experienced Kingston personal injury lawyer today.