Waiting on a settlement for your personal injury claim can take time. It is frustrating to know that your case seems strong and your attorney has told you that you can expect a settlement, but everything seems to be taking a long time. There are some common steps that have to be taken in all personal injury cases. Understanding the different steps that have to be taken can help you to know how far along in your case that you have come. Each step of the case has its own special set of circumstances unique to your case so the amount of time it will take depends on those circumstances. Here are 5 reasons the process for receiving your settlement will take some time.
- The Evaluation Process
After you have hired your attorney for your case, the review of your case will begin. He will examine all of the details of your accident, medical records, expenses, and anything else related to your case. After he has all of the information he will make a decision to make a demand or file a lawsuit. The process of making a demand is very common and there are many cases that can be settled without a lawsuit.
- The Demand
Your attorney will have expertise and knowledge in determining the value of your case and will make a demand. The full amount of this demand may not be determined until you have reached the level of maximum level of improvement. That means, after you have finished with your treatment or are fully recovered. This can take time and in some cases it may be necessary to make the demand sooner than the maximum level of improvement because the client cannot wait for the money because of financial hardship.
- The Negotiation Process
Once your attorney has made the demand, the other party will obtain legal counsel and they will work with your attorney to negotiate a settlement amount. During this time there will either be an agreement or your attorney will file a lawsuit.
- A Lawsuit is Filed
If the negotiation was unsuccessful regarding your demand your attorney will file a lawsuit. A lawsuit is time consuming because of the discovery process. This will involve depositions and statements taken under oath from all parties involved. Scheduling these depositions and reviewing all of the records, and details of the accident takes a long time.
- Settlement Mediation or Trial
If the attorneys cannot reach an agreement regarding a settlement they may involve a mediator to help with those negotiations. If the mediation process is unsuccessful your attorney will proceed to trial. There is no way to know exactly how long that could be as some trials day a few days and some can take weeks. it depends on your case specifics.
These are just some of the reasons that your case may take a long time to resolve. It is important to give your attorney the time he needs to get the compensation you deserve for your injury.