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Accidents & Injury Resources
- Find Personal Injury Lawyers, Personal Injury Attorney Finder
- Catastrophic Accidents: Focus on Liability
- How Statements Made At The Accident Scene Affect Personal Injury Cases
- Can I End Up Owing Money After My Personal Injury Lawsuit
- What Can I Do To Get The Best Possible Result In My Personal Injury Case
- What Are Punitive Damages
- More Accidents & Injury Articles
How Long Does It Take For Personal Injury Claims To Be Resolved
It is important to know that like each person, each personal injury claim is unique. There is no rule that says, "Personal injury claims must be resolved in 'x' number of days." Instead, some claims can drag on for months; others, just a few weeks. Whatever the length your case takes to reach its conclusion, it is important to remember that the focus should be on that outcome of the case.
Stage One: Recovery From Injuries
During this stage, the injured person will recover from their injuries. This stage lasts from the moment of injury until the treating physician declares the patient has reached "maximum recovery," the point in time where their condition is not going to improve any more, or has reached full recovery. This is the point where any remaining problems from the injury are going to be permanent.
Stage Two: Submission To Insurance Company
At this stage, the representing personal injury attorney will need to gather all relevant medical bills and statements of missed work from employers. This is called a "submittal package" and essentially states and subsequently supports the monetary damages and other losses the injured person incurred. At this time, the representing attorney will calculate a value of the claim, which is a range that the attorney thinks is reasonable based on the information contained in the submittal package. The attorney then submits the entire package to the insurance company. This process can take anywhere from 30 to 60 days.
Stage Three: Negotiations
The insurance adjuster will receive the submittal package and go over its contents at this stage. Typically, contact is made by the representing attorney to the adjuster 30 days after the package is sent; however, the review process can take another 30 to 60 days after the submittal package is received by the adjuster.
Once the adjuster has reviewed the package, he or she will contact the representing attorney with the initial claim. This is the insurance company's first offer to attempt to settle the claim outside of court. Typically, this initial offer is substantially low, and the representing attorney will make a counter-offer. This particular aspect of the process can take anywhere from a week to several months, depending on the intricacy of the case.
Stage Four: Litigation
Sometimes, when the insurance company and the representing attorney cannot come to an agreement via negotiations or the negotiation process is taking too long, litigation is the next step. Nine out of ten cases that start out for trial never actually end up there. Preparing for a trial is a very tedious, expensive and lengthy proposition.
None of the parties involved in the case wants a court case that drags on for years; however, there are many factors at work inside a personal injury claim, and many of those factors will influence the time it takes for that claim to come to a resolution.
Just like a person's life, the life of a claim has many different stages, and there are certain things that happen at each stage. Without going through those stages, the claim cannot or will not be resolved.