Probably the most frequently asked question every injury attorney gets is “how long do injury claims take to resolve?” The answer to this question is always a very lawyerly response “it depends”.
As with most complex matters there are certain case-specific variables that come into play when discussing how long an injury claim will take settle or get to a trial verdict. Some of the most important and obvious factors include:
- 1. what is the insurance policy at play? – how much in coverage do the at-fault parties have?
- 2. what is the liability scenario? – is it clear whose fault it was?
- 3. what are the injuries and medical treatment involved?
- 4. what are the economic damages like lost earnings and medical expenses?
So for example, if you have a hit in the rear car accident where liability is clear, you suffered horrific injuries requiring numerous surgeries and the driver only had a small insurance policy – then that’s a case that should able to settle very quickly.
But on the other hand if you have a question of lights case where liability is contested, the other driver had a very large policy, and your injuries are causing you pain but they’re not obvious injuries for others to see especially if you’ve avoided surgery – then in that case the insurance companies very likely will contest this case for a long time…. because as everybody knows they love their money and they want to hold on to it for as long as they can.
And of course there is one very important external factor which is – what is the specific client’s goal. What is their ideal outcome? THIS IS THE CRITICAL ASPECT THAT A LOT FIRMS DON’T DISCUSS – Instead they make these decision off of THEIR BUSINESS MODEL.
If your goal is to avoid a lengthy litigation and get a settlement from the insurance company quickly then most attorneys would likely be able to achieve that. But if your goal is to maximize the value of your case which to me means to recover for your losses as much as possible so that you’re as close as possible to the position you were prior to the incident, then you’re going to want a lawyer who will fight for every aspect of damages and is not afraid to go to trial, which is actually more rare than you might think.
So as you see the time to resolve a case, depends on many factors.