How long your case will take to settle can vary significantly based on different circumstances and considerations. While a Tacoma personal injury lawyer cannot expedite your case, we can keep it on track..
Factors Affecting Case Settlement Timeframes
Several things can affect how long the personal injury claims process will take:
Treatment and Recovery
If you are still undergoing medical treatment for your injuries, the timeline for settling your case may be extended. This is common with more severe injuries. It’s crucial to ensure that your treatment is complete or has reached a stable point before moving forward with a settlement. This is essential for accurately assessing the full extent of your medical expenses and any potential long-term effects.
If the other party disputes fault, this can hold your case up. When you work with a lawyer, they can protect against and counteract accusations of fault.
Cases can take longer when multiple parties are involved. For example, a standard car accident case may take less time than a truck accident case. This is because several parties may share liability for the accident. Multiple liable parties can complicate matters and prolong your case.
Whether You File a Lawsuit
Whether or not you need to file a personal injury lawsuit can significantly impact the time it takes to reach a settlement. If negotiations with the opposing party or insurance company do not result in a fair resolution, initiating a lawsuit may be necessary. Lawsuits involve formal legal proceedings, which can prolong the timeline due to court processes and procedures.
If Both Parties Want to Avoid Lawsuits
If both parties involved are willing to negotiate and reach a settlement agreement without going to court, it can expedite the settlement process. Alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation or arbitration, can be used to resolve differences outside of a courtroom. These methods often lead to quicker resolutions compared to the formal litigation process.
However, if the insurance company is unwilling to offer a fair settlement, you may find your case taking longer.
Timeframes Vary Depending on the Circumstances of Your Case
Given the complexities and individual factors involved, the time it takes to settle a case can vary widely. In some cases, a settlement can be reached within a relatively short timeframe of around 30 days. This typically occurs when both parties are in agreement, and the necessary documentation is readily available.
On the other hand, more intricate cases that involve extensive settlement negotiations with insurance companies, legal proceedings, or unresolved medical treatments can extend the settlement process. In such situations, it is not uncommon for cases to take up to three years or even longer to reach a resolution.
Consulting Legal Professionals
Due to the unique circumstances surrounding each case, it’s advisable to consult with experienced legal professionals to gain a clearer understanding of the potential timeframe for your specific situation. Personal injury lawyers can provide insights and guidance based on their experience.
You Must Act Quickly to Protect Your Personal Injury Case
There are three main reasons you want to act quickly after an injury:
The Faster You Get Started, the Faster You Can Begin Building Your Case
While starting earlier doesn’t mean you’ll get your money quicker, it does mean you’ll be able to gather the evidence that might not be there if you began later. Evidence like surveillance video, debris at an accident site, and eyewitness testimony only lasts so long. Surveillance video can be deleted or recorded over; debris can be cleaned up; witnesses can move away or forget what they saw.
The Law Limits How Long You Have to Act
The statute of limitations dictates how long injured parties have to file a lawsuit after an accident. The importance of adhering to the statute of limitations cannot be overstated, as overstepping it means you may be unable to recover compensation.
The statute of limitations in Washington is three years for a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit, per RCW § 4.16.080. Different, shorter time limits could apply, depending on your case. When you meet with our lawyers, we can tell you how much time you have. We will manage deadlines to protect your right to compensation.
Building a Strong Case Takes Time
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is a personal injury case. Your lawyer will need time to investigate, gather evidence, speak with eyewitnesses, determine the value of your case, and build an airtight claim. If you get started late in the game, your team may need to rush through the process to file a lawsuit.
For a free legal consultation, call 206-558-5555
Should I Accept a Quick Settlement to End My Case More Quickly?
No. You should never accept a settlement check without running it by our team first. Insurance adjusters often offer a settlement soon after an accident in the hopes that the injured party will accept it without considering that they can recover more.
This settlement is typically much lower than you deserve as it likely doesn’t consider all your damages. This is especially true if you have severe injuries and have not received a prognosis yet.
Even with more moderate injuries, people are often unaware of every type of damage they can recover. This could lead you to accept a settlement that is worth thousands less than you deserve.
If you accept and sign a settlement agreement, you cannot come back and ask for more money. This is true even if your injuries worsen or you require more treatment for your medical condition. That money will come out of your own pocket.
Regardless of How Long Your Case Takes, We’ll Be By Your Side
The time it takes to settle a case varies based on a range of factors, including ongoing medical treatments, the decision to file a lawsuit, and the willingness to avoid formal legal proceedings. While some cases can be resolved relatively quickly, others may require more time to ensure a fair and comprehensive settlement.
Regardless of the time your case takes, our personal injury attorneys will stand by you and fight for what you deserve.
Give the Jackman Law Firm team a call today to get started. Your initial consultation is free, and you only pay us when we win your case. Our fees come out of your settlement check, not your pocket.