Reaching the resolution of a personal injury lawsuit can never come soon enough, and that is understandable. The trauma and disruption that personal injuries cause are not something that clients want to linger on. The sooner you can get back to your life, the better. If you are wondering, how long will it take to resolve my personal injury case, the answer really depends on many factors. Although an attorney cannot guarantee that your case will be resolved in a matter of months, understanding the factors that dictate the timeline, may help ease your mind.
Many factors will affect resolution of your case
All personal injury cases, to a certain extent, progress along the same line. There are certain steps that will be taken in every personal injury case, in order to reach a resolution. Although the length of time each step takes can vary, knowing these steps can allow you to estimate how long it may take to resolve your case.
Nature and extent of injuries
One factor that may affect the resolution of your case include the type and nature of the injuries sustained, including how many people were actually injured as a result of the same event. Something else to consider is how long it will take for the injuries to “mature.” Depending on the type of injury, it may take some time for the injury to manifest itself fully, in order to determine how severe the injury is. For example, soft tissue injuries (usually bruises, strains, and sprains), will typically heal completely in six months or less, depending on how severe they are.
In order to obtain full recovery, it is better to wait until you have either fully recovered, or recovered enough for your doctor to release you from care. In some case, you may only be able to reach what is referred to as “maximum medical improvement” (MMI), which means your injuries have healed as much as they are likely going to. Any remaining problems will probably be considered permanent.
Proof of losses
The second step is to gather all documentation of losses you sustained. This will be the proof you need of your damages. This will include all medical records and bills for your medical treatment related to your injuries. It will also include evidence of any lost wages or other out-of-pocket expenses you may have incurred, as a result of the injuries you suffered.
In some cases, it may take months to obtain all of these records, especially those from health care providers. However, without this documentation, it is virtually impossible to even negotiate with an insurance company regarding possible settlement of your claims.
Legal issues that may affect resolution of your case
It is not uncommon for a personal injury case to involve problematic legal issues, which may delay the resolution of those claims. In fact, there are two very common issues that seem to arise: liability for and causation of the injuries. Determining who is at fault following a personal injury is not always clear cut. The other person involved may try to place some, if not all, of the blame on you. For instance, if the police officer failed to obtain the names of any eyewitnesses, it might be more difficult to prove what actually happened.
There may also be a question of whether or not your injuries were actually caused by the accident or incident at issue, or whether the injuries are as serious as you say they are. This is where expert witnesses will likely play a part in resolving the dispute. Legal issues regarding pre-existing injuries can also be problematic, if that applies to your case.
If you have questions regarding personal injury claims, or any other legal concerns, call the Cottrell Law Office at (888) 433-4861.
He is licensed to practice law in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, eastern Arkansas, western Arkansas, and western Missouri. He was Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Crawford County, Kansas from 1987-1989.
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