Settling a personal injury case takes time. We know the waiting can feel endless when you’re struggling with injuries, medical bills, and lost wages. You want justice, closure, and the financial support you deserve. So why is it taking so long?
Many factors determine your lawyer’s timeline for reaching a settlement or winning at trial. Understanding these key issues provides realistic expectations and greater peace of mind.
Building a Strong Foundation Takes Time
Like constructing a house, building a solid injury case requires laying a sturdy foundation first. Your lawyer takes great care at this stage, gathering evidence to prove liability and the full extent of your damages.
This process involves collecting police reports, medical records, bills, and other documentation. Witness interviews and depositions also aid your attorney in gathering facts and establishing negligence. Photographing accident scenes, damaged property, and visible injuries further bolster your claim.
Your lawyer also consults medical experts to fully understand your prognosis, treatment options, and long-term care needs. Securing expert opinions makes your case more credible in the eyes of insurance adjusters and juries.
Patience during this lengthy evidence collection is key. A rushed or flimsy case jeopardizes your right to maximum compensation. Allow your attorney adequate time to build a compelling claim on your behalf.
Serious Injuries Take Longer to Evaluate
Not all personal injury claims involve major trauma or permanent disability. However, catastrophic and complex cases typically require more time to investigate, document, and settle. Why? Extensive injuries generate piles of medical records, higher medical bills, and increased care needs.
For example, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, amputations, and severe burns often necessitate years of rehab, surgeries, assistive devices, home healthcare, and other support services. Your attorney needs sufficient time to demonstrate the true impact and costs associated with such life-altering harm.
In addition, some accident-related conditions like post-concussion syndrome may take months or years to fully diagnose. Lingering symptoms can also delay a doctor determining you’ve reached “maximum medical improvement.” Obtaining an accurate prognosis is key in valuing cases involving long-term disabilities.
Negotiating With Insurers Drags Out the Process
In most injury claims, your personal injury lawyer negotiates with one or more insurance carriers. These companies notoriously employ delay tactics to avoid paying victims fair sums.
Insurers often deny claims outright, dispute obvious liability, or lowball offers. They scrutinize your medical history and argue preexisting conditions caused your suffering. Adjusters claim your injuries aren’t supported by “objective” evidence or that you share some fault.
Skilled negotiators counter these arguments while highlighting facts that support your right to maximum compensation. However, back-and-forth with insurers inevitably lengthens settlement talks. On average, it takes 12-18 months to settle, though complex cases can drag on for years.
Have faith that your lawyer is fighting for your best interests, not a quick payout. Rushed settlements typically shortchange injured victims and their families.
Lawsuits Add Time But Strengthen Your Position
When insurers refuse reasonable demands, your Hermiston personal injury attorney may need to file a personal injury lawsuit. In Oregon, victims have two years from their accident date to take legal action.
Lawsuits involve extensive pre-trial information exchanges, witness depositions, and negotiations, adding months or years to your case. However, this legal leverage motivates insurers to make fairer offers. About 90% of cases settle out of court once a complaint is filed.
If talks fail, your lawyer takes your case to trial before a judge or jury. In Oregon, it takes around 18 months from filing a complaint to getting a trial date. Though time-consuming, a successful verdict often yields maximum compensation for clients.
Every Case Follows Its Own Timeline
While these factors impact all personal injury claims, every case has a unique timeline based on its specifics. For example:
- Minor soft tissue injuries may resolve faster than fractures or neurological damage.
- Clear-cut liability speeds up the process versus disputed fault.
- Cooperative insurers settle more quickly than difficult ones.
- Cases with single insurers conclude faster than those involving multiple parties.
- Claims with lower medical bills and lost wages settle more rapidly.
- Uncooperative victims slow attorneys’ investigation and negotiation efforts.
Here’s How You Can Help Expedite Your Case
Though settlement timeframes remain out of your control, you can take proactive steps to avoid unnecessary delays:
- Provide your lawyer detailed information upfront about how the incident occurred. The more facts your attorney has early on, the faster he can build your claim.
- Adhere closely to prescribed medical treatment plans. Gaps in care give insurers reason to deny your claim.
- Respond promptly to your lawyer’s requests for medical authorizations and other paperwork. Missing documents stall the process.
- Avoid discussing your accident or injuries on social media where insurers can access posts.
- Attend scheduled medical exams and make yourself available for depositions.
- Update your lawyer about any changes related to your health status, doctors, or ability to work.
- Remain patient and let your attorney handle negotiations with insurers.
Resolve Your Case as Quickly as Possible
The personal injury attorneys at Hess Law Office combine compassionate counsel with assertive advocacy to help injured clients recover fair compensation.
Located in Hermiston, Oregon, their team understands how to resolve cases like yours efficiently yet thoroughly.
Don’t wait to get the answers and justice you need. Contact their team today or request your free case review online.