Many victims of car and truck accidents are unfamiliar with the process of settling or taking to trial their claims. This is not surprising as the process of settling such a case has evolved across the last few decades, as has the court trial system.
While there are many variables that come into play in determining how long it takes to work out such cases, we have identified the five factors that most commonly effect how long the process takes.
1). How serious are the injuries? Obviously, more severe injuries such as broken bones, herniated discs and traumatic brain injury require much more intensive treatment typically for a far longer time period. Cases should never be settled until the injured victim's injuries and treatments are understood.
2). Is there a dispute over who was at fault? Liability or legal responsibility is very important in all car and truck crash cases and never assume that the other driver will agree on the facts. It is a major reason why police reports and pictures from the accident scene are vitally important.
3). Are you making a lost wage or lost income claim? Lost income claims are certainly legitimate but the documentation necessary to support such a claim can be tricky. A letter from your employer indicating dates missed and wages lost is helpful but many insurance companies want previous years tax returns to show you have consistently generated income commensurate with that you are now claiming.
4). Are there witnesses necessary to support your liability, injury and lost wage claims? If there are round them up early. Witnesses move, die, lose interest and forget important details.
5). How much are you seeking in settlement? Experienced lawyers have a sense of what the range of fair compensation is. If your expectations are notably higher than your lawyer's then one of you is disconnected from reality. Some times, it is the lawyer but if you have picked a good one then focus on whether your expectations are unrealistic.
These five considerations can take a case that should be resolved within 2 or 3 months of the completion of medical treatment and push it out for as much as another 18 months.