Personal injury attorneys always hear this question: “How long will it take to resolve my accident claim?” It’s an excellent question without a clear answer. Truthfully, it all depends on the facts of your case.
Although it’s difficult to predict exactly how much time it will take to finalize your claim, there are factors common to every personal case that can affect the settlement timeline. Keep reading to learn more.
What Are the Main Factors that Affect Your PI Claim Processing Time?
Some of the most common factors that will affect how much time it takes to settle an accident claim include:
The size of the claim
The amount of compensation you’re pursuing will affect the length of your claim. If you seek a relatively small amount of money, the at-fault party or insurance company may be more agreeable to settling your case for the desired amount.
On the other hand, insurers and liable parties will be more likely to negotiate the settlement down if your case has a high dollar value. Negotiations could draw out your claim for an extended period.
The severity of injuries/length of treatment
The amount of compensation you are seeking will be heavily based on the severity of your injuries. The worse your injuries are, the greater your financial losses from medical expenses and lost wages will be.
If you sustained severe or catastrophic injuries, you might still be undergoing treatment throughout the claims process. If you are receiving treatment when you file your claim, your injury lawyer must factor your anticipated future expenses and losses into your demand for compensation. Estimating future losses can complicate settlement negotiations, drawing out the claims process. While this can be frustrating, you should never settle too soon, especially when facing long-term disabilities.
The length of a personal injury claim might also be affected if the other party denies liability for your injuries. Gathering strong evidence to prove liability and refute the other party’s claims takes time, too.
If the at-fault party continues to deny liability and a settlement cannot be reached, you might need to take your case to trial. Personal injury litigation can often take a year or longer to finish. Many accident victims choose to settle out of court due to the lengthy nature, higher cost, and risks associated with a trial.
Requesting medical bills and records
Obtaining your medical records and bills can delay your claim. These documents contain key evidence you need to demonstrate the injuries and losses you have incurred. However, hospitals and medical facilities don’t always fulfill requests for copies of patient records and invoices promptly.
Insurance company claims procedures
The insurance company’s internal procedures can affect the length of a personal injury claim, such as how the insurer assigns claims to adjusters and investigates claims. At some insurance companies, adjusters may handle hundreds of claims at a time, which means yours will be just one of many. This is one of the most common reasons for delays in personal injury claims processing time.
Accident investigation or reconstruction
Finally, the complexity of your case will impact the time it takes to settle the claim. For instance, if there are multiple at-fault parties, a more detailed investigation might be required to obtain the compelling evidence needed to prove your case. Your attorney might also need to consult with an accident reconstruction expert to help establish liability.
Contact an Orange County Injury Lawyer Now
At Silverthorne Attorneys, we know how important your compensation is to you. That’s why we aim to settle personal injury claims as quickly as possible ― but we don’t cut corners, and we don’t make sacrifices just to get the job done. Call or contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced California personal injury lawyer.