How Long Does it Take to Settle a Personal Injury Claim?
Filing a personal injury claim after being involved in an accident is often the only way of recovering compensation for harm suffered. But while filing a personal injury claim may be the most effective way to recoup the compensation that you need and deserve after being injured by the actions of another, personal injury claims are often time-consuming. In fact, you may become frustrated with how long your case is taking to settle, especially if you have a particularly complex claim.
To aid and support you throughout the process, our Mississippi personal injury lawyers at the Gardner Law Firm will be by your side. Here’s a brief overview of what you can expect regarding the timeline of a personal injury claim.
- Waiting to Reach Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI)
One of the most time-consuming parts of the personal injury claim process is waiting for your injuries to heal to the point that you reach MMI, or Maximum Medical Improvement. MMI is the state at which your condition is not expected to improve any further and a plateau in treatment has been reached. Waiting until you’ve reached MMI to settle your claim is essential; you may not understand the full value of your claim and the extent of future medical expenses, lost wages, and the like that you may suffer otherwise. Depending upon the extent of your injuries, reaching MMI may take weeks or months.
- Initiating the Investigatory Process
As your injuries are healing, your lawyer will begin the investigatory process, which is the process of gathering evidence related to your case and putting together the pieces of your claim. Your attorney’s main goal is to prove that:
- The accident would not have occurred but for the negligent actions of the defendant; and
- The damages you’ve suffered are a direct result of that negligence and the accident.
Your attorney will also be tasked with proving the extent of damages you’ve suffered.
The amount of time that the investigatory process takes varies on a case-by-case basis. When fault is clear, the process may be wrapped up in a matter of days or weeks. When fault is disputed or there are multiple parties involved, it could take months.
- Negotiating Your Claim
After you have reached MMI, fault has been determined, and the value of your damages has been calculated, the next step is demanding a settlement award, reviewing a settlement offer, and either rejecting or accepting the settlement. Most first settlement offers should be rejected, as they rarely offer claimants what they deserve. As such, negotiations will likely ensue. Depending upon the value of your claim and how much you’re asking for, negotiations may be resolved in a few weeks or a few years. Claims where more money is involved typically take longer to settle.
- Filing a Lawsuit
Finally, if your claim is not settled out of court through negotiations, you may file a lawsuit and decide to litigate your case. If so, you can likely expect for your case to take at least another year to resolve, as there are a number of steps and procedures along the way. For example, a lawsuit will involve a discovery process, mediation, and perhaps even a trial. As a note, you must file your suit within three years of the date that your accident occurred.
Our Lawyers Are Here to Help You
We understand that after suffering an injury, you don’t want to wait months or years to get the compensation that you deserve. We prioritize getting you the settlement that you deserve over getting you a quick settlement, but will work diligently to resolve your claim in the fastest manner possible without compromising the quality of our work.
To schedule a free consultation with our personal injury lawyers, call us at 228-436-6555 today, or visit one of our three locations in Mississippi at your convenience. You can also contact us online.