There are many factors and variables involved when trying to settle a personal injury case. As each case is different, it is difficult to pinpoint exactly how long of a process there will be in resolving your matter. Additionally, lawyers and law firms work differently depending on their caseload and practice standards. Most personal injury claims also involve waiting on responses from insurance companies who have their own standards and procedures that they must follow.
Once a case is ready to settle, it can be further slowed by the back-and-forth process of negotiations. If those negotiations stall, you could be looking at additional weeks or months of setbacks. Let’s look at the typical personal injury process and a few factors which may be holding up your settlement.
Consultation & Investigation
Generally, the first step in any personal injury case is a consultation. During this stage, your attorney assesses the viability of your case and gathers key information to proceed with making a claim. During the investigation phase, your attorney may need to conduct interrogatories and depositions to identify the responsible parties and to craft a theory of liability. This process can involve hiring private investigators to locate witnesses and defendants.
If you have suffered injuries that require medical treatment, your attorney will need to access your medical records and doctor’s case notes. This can be a time-consuming process that may take months to complete. If an insurance company is involved, your attorney will need to correspond with them in hopes of getting a settlement offer.
Settlement Offer & Negotiations
Once your attorney has located and communicated with the responsible parties, the next step is likely to be a settlement offer. Insurance companies may start with an incredibly low offer in hopes that you will bite. Often this offer is just the start of negotiations. Your attorney will likely counter and the negotiations will continue in earnest. It is hard to predict how long this process will take as many attorneys have their own unique method of negotiating.
Once an agreement is reached, you may be required to sign a release stating that you will not pursue further legal action related to the same case. Typically, your attorney will receive the settlement proceeds in an escrow account where the funds will be first used to pay any fees, costs, liens, or unpaid debts. Finally, the attorney’s fee will be deducted from the total amount.
At a very minimum, you can anticipate that your personal injury case will take six months. Most likely it will take over a year from filing your claim to receive your settlement check. However, if your personal injury claim fails to settle, you may be looking at additional delays as your attorney may need to file suit against the responsible party or the insurance company.
Florida Personal Injury Attorneys in Your Corner
The Watson Firm, PLLC is devoted to protecting the rights of accident victims who have been unfairly harmed by others. Our Pensacola personal injury attorneys can effectively advise you as to your legal options. We are prepared to aggressively pursue all remedies against those responsible for causing your injuries in the state of Florida.
Contact us now at (850) 607-2929 or write to us online to consult with experienced counsel regarding your Florida personal injury case today.