In legal matters, personal injury lawsuits are among the most common. These cases can vary in size and scope. Personal injuries may occur in different ways. Car accidents, workplace incidents, medical malpractice, defective products, slip-and-fall accidents, and dog bites are the most common types of accidents.
Personal injuries can affect a person’s physical health by causing harm to various areas of the body. The damages can be minor or moderate, but often have severe, lasting effects, even preventing a person from working or enjoying daily life.
Personal injuries can also have emotional consequences. These can cause anxiety, stress, or depression to the victim. Fortunately, the victim can hold the person responsible for the accident liable for the injuries. In a personal injury lawsuit, the plaintiff may be eligible for compensation for any damages.
But these cases are not also straightforward. The proceedings and how long it will take to get a settlement differ in every situation. You should be aware of factors that stretch settlement durations so you can be prepared if you have been injured and are considering legal action.
Common Damages That People Claim And Receive Compensation For
If you are injured in an accident, an experienced lawyer will need to review your case closely. You may be able to claim damages and seek settlement for medical bills. These include treatments, surgeries, medication, hospital stays, doctor’s office visits, and rehabilitation that you have paid for or owe.
You may also be able to claim damages for lost wages or a diminished future earning ability. Additionally, your settlement may include payment for emotional distress, pain and suffering, or inconvenience.
The Extent And Nature Of Your Injuries
Some personal injuries may only take a few months to settle, though others can drag on for more than a year. Of the factors that stretch settlement durations, the type of injuries you suffered is one of the most significant.
If you only had minor injuries requiring minimal care and treatment, your settlement will likely come much faster. On the other hand, if you have life-altering injuries, it will take longer to settle. In such a situation, your lawyer has much more evidence and information to comb through before finalizing damage claims.
Also, if your injuries are more serious, your lawyer may advise you to wait to settle your claim until you recover as much as you expect. The reason for this is because up to that point, you are likely to accumulate more medical costs.
Your settlement will pay for these costs; however, if you settle too soon, you may continue to have medical bills after you settle. At this point, you will not be able to receive more compensation.
Multiple People Were Involved Or At Fault
If the accident only involves you and one other party, your settlement is likely to come more quickly. However, in a situation where more than two people are part of the incident, the case gets more complicated. As a result, the settlement will take longer.
For instance, if you are in a car accident that includes not only you and the person who hit you but several other cars, the investigation into the accident will take longer. Furthermore, if many people have injuries in the accident (and especially if those injuries are severe), determining fault, cause, and other important factors will be more challenging.
Another element of multiple people involved in an accident revolves around figuring out who is liable and whether you have any fault in the incident. In the car accident example, the investigation may conclude that the person who hit you was speeding and ran a red light.
But if you were on your phone texting and thus could not evade the oncoming car, the court may determine that you were also at fault. If this happens, it may take longer to determine the percentage of your responsibility and how that will subtract from your settlement amount.
Another example could be a dog bite case. If you sue someone because that person’s dog bit you and caused injuries, your settlement may not take too long. However, if you are trespassing on the person’s property, other questions of liability will affect the settlement amount and duration.
You Are Requesting A High Amount
Personal injury settlement cases can involve a wide range of amounts. Claims may be a few thousand dollars or may reach beyond hundreds of thousands of dollars. If the stakes in a personal injury case are low, the settlement will probably be more prompt.
In such situations, there is less investigation and fewer witnesses involved. Conversely, if you are claiming damages for your injuries, lost past and future wages, and pain and suffering, it will be longer before you can expect a settlement.
Insurance companies will likely insist on a more thorough investigation when the dollar amounts are high. The companies and the defendant’s counsel will spend more time combing the evidence.
They need to verify the integrity of the person’s claims. This is crucial when the plaintiff asks for compensation for pain and suffering or payment for inconvenience. The same is true for compensation for lost wages.
The plaintiff will need to prove they can no longer work and then provide an accurate dollar amount of how much they would be able to earn if the injury had not occurred. The plaintiff could face much opposition and arguments to these points from the insurance company, the defendant, and the court.
If you have an injury from an accident, the effects can be distressing. Your physical and emotional pain can be extensive, and the financial repercussions can be significant. For peace of mind and to help you through your recovery, you can claim damages by filing a lawsuit.
Many factors can affect not only how much money you can receive but also how your case will take. As a result, it could take months or longer before your case settles and you have the compensation you deserve.
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