From start to finish the length of a personal injury case varies due to a wide variety of external and internal factors. In Florida, one factor of particular note is the expected threshold of injury severity and permanency. Immediately after an accident the severity of your injuries can be unclear. When filing a claim understanding the severity of your injuries is paramount. In some instances it may be necessary to wait until the full scope of your injuries is understood and documented, which can add to your claim timeline.
Even after a claim is filed, the timeline is still unknown and varies from case to case. A PI claim involves many parties, often including hospitals, doctors, expert witnesses, accident witnesses, family members, insurance companies, manufacturing companies and defense attorneys. The paperwork, testimony and contracts for each of these parties must be reviewed, logged and organized – a process that takes time to perform correctly.
The Biggest Factor When Determining a Personal Injury Timeline: Settlement vs. Trial
Perhaps the biggest timeline indicator is whether the case is settling or going to trial. A settlement is when both parties agree on an amount without the need for a judge. If the parties cannot agree the case has the option of going to trial, which will likely add a significant amount of time to the process.
A plaintiff (the injured party) benefits from a settlement because it can provide compensation much sooner and eliminates the chance of an appealing a verdict. Defendants (the alleged at fault party) benefit from a settlement as it can keep details of the case private and, potentially, end in a settlement lower than the amount of damages that would be demanded through a trial. However, the legal team at Clark, Fountain, La Vista, Prather & Littky-Rubin will only accept a settlement if it is fair – never because it is easy. Sometimes a trial is necessary, and if that’s the case our lawyers are not afraid of the courtroom. We treat every case like it is going to trial from the very start of the legal process.
The Bottom Line
In the speediest of circumstances, when settlements go smoothly and end quickly, an injury claim may take a few months. In the slowest of scenarios, in which a trial is necessary, a personal injury claim could take several few years to conclude.
It is important to understand that estimations are just that: estimations. The timeline for every case is unique. The only way to ensure you eliminate unnecessary delays is to team up with an aggressive, experienced personal injury attorney. At Clark, Fountain, La Vista, Prather & Littky-Rubin, our West Palm Beach personal injury lawyers are backed by more than 200 years of legal experience, focusing on plaintiff personal injury claims. To make certain your injury claim is handled well and respected by the opposition, call us at (561) 922-0258, arrange a free case evaluation.