How long does this personal injury process usually take? I have bills to pay, I don't have a car, I'm injured, and can't work. What do I do?!
These are the usual questions people in personal injury cases ask themselves. Being in an accident can be extremely inconvenient and costly. Many people ask if they can get a settlement quickly and, generally, you can settle any personal injury case fast as long as you are willing to take less money. The real question is how much money would you be giving up for a quick settlement? You should think twice before taking one because you might end up in a worse situation.
Owing medical providers or repair shops more than you received are a few examples of why you shouldn't take a quick settlement. And below are 3 more:
1. You should not settle your personal injury case until you have reached maximum medical improvement. This means the doctors have said that you are at “maximum recovery” regarding your injuries from the accident. It's not recommended you talk about settling your case until you know how much all of your medical treatment will cost. You may heal slowly, and this can delay resolving the case.
2. The insurance company could delay your settlement if they have to pay you a lot of money. Insurance companies will perform a thorough investigation and due diligence to be sure that they absolutely have to pay. Sometimes this results in going to court against the insurance company to compel them to pay sooner rather than later.
3. And lastly, there could be missing evidence or issues proving the facts of your case. For example, if you have a complicated prior medical history, this can make the case complex. If your doctors are unsure whether your pain came from a prior problem or the accident, that can make things very difficult.
It is important to have your case reviewed by an experienced personal injury lawyer to make sure you understand the reasons the case could be delayed in your particular case. In the meantime, a good personal injury law firm can explore other benefits that you may not be aware you had, to help cover some of the immediate expenses you're incurring. This will help you avoid taking a rushed personal injury settlement that you will regret.