This is one of the most common questions all personal injury lawyers receive, and the answer really depends on several factors:
- Are you in a hurry to collect money? If you are, you may be tempted to take the insurance company’s first offer or another lowball offer just to get money in your pocket. If you do this, you may be able to settle your personal injury claim in as little as a few months, but be warned that a quick settlement means you most likely will not get the most money possible in your case. Insurance companies are notorious for trying to settle injury claims quickly before people have the time to really understand the effects of their injuries.
- Are you still healing from your injuries? You should never settle your personal injury claim before a doctor declares you are at your maximum medical recovery point. This is because you may need additional testing, surgeries, physical therapy, and other treatment for your injuries. If you accept a settlement before you have made the best possible recovery, you may be at risk for covering the costs associated with this care.
- Are your injuries debilitating and limiting your ability to work? When injuries following an accident negatively impact a person for life—causing them to lose out on future income and life as they knew it—the settlement should be large. Going after a sizeable settlement may take several years, or it could be relatively quick depending on the circumstances of the case. If an insurance company agrees to a quick settlement and is willing to pay you the policy limits, it may sound great that you will be getting the maximum amount the policy is worth, but you may have another policy that you are entitled to collect on. Unfortunately, the insurance company will not advise you of your rights. This is why it pays to have an experienced injury attorney evaluate your case. Typically, more serious injuries mean more bills and losses suffered, which means a longer case time frame.
- Are you willing to go to court? By going to court, you will undoubtedly be extending the length of your case—sometimes by years. It takes a long time to get a case heard in court and the proceedings can sometimes drag on. In fact, from the date of a crash and related injury to the outcome of a lawsuit, it could take two to three years or more.
If you would like to discuss the specifics of your injury case with our law firm, we would be happy to offer you a free, no-obligation consultation. Please feel free to contact us today.