One of the biggest questions that clients ask is how long will a case take to be settled? The answer to that question depends on many factors. The truth is that it can take as little as a few months or as much as a few years for a case to be completely finished. In this article, we’ll discuss the factors that make cases drag out and how to avoid problems in your case that make settlement difficult.
Why Is My Case Taking So Long?
When you suffer injury in a car accident and decide to seek compensation there are a number of variables that effect how long it will take until the case is settled. One of the biggest factors is the severity of the injury and how long it takes to completely heal. Because you need to be compensated for all your medical injuries related to the accident, you must be able to provide all medical records and bills for your treatment. Your lawyer must be able to document all of your expenses and injuries in detail to create the best case and ensure fair compensation. One of the longest aspects of the case is receiving treatment, but this is also the most important part of personal injury cases. You need proof of your damages and the only way to provide that proof is with detailed doctor’s records and bills.
The Severity of Your Injuries
Another important factor to keep in mind is the severity of the injuries. Some injuries only take a few weeks to recover from. In these cases, it may only take a few months until the case is settled because there aren’t many records to document. However, some injuries are more severe and require multiple surgeries, therapy sessions, and evaluations. In these cases, it may take years for recovery or maximum medical improvement. These types of cases also require clients to keep a close track of their doctor’s visits and treatments because there may be different medical offices and treatment centers that the lawyer office has to request records from.
The Doctor’s Office
An aspect that clients don’t usually consider that can slow down the progress of a case is the doctor’s office itself. Because medical records are so important to a case, the lawyer cannot proceed without receiving the adequate files from offices. Unfortunately, sometimes it takes doctors offices days or even weeks to send the clients records to the law office and this can also contribute to a case taking a long time to settle.
Gaps in Treatment History
One thing that you want to be wary of when you are involved in an ongoing personal injury case is having long gaps in your treatment history. As stated above, documentation of injuries is one of the most important parts of a case file. Your lawyer has to establish that you sought continued treatment for your injury because this proves that the injury was significant and impacted your day to day living. If there are long gaps in your treatment history, this may signal that the injury was not substantial. Having gaps in your treatment history does not make settlement impossible, but it does make the case harder to prove and it can also impact the timeliness of settlement.
The duration of your case depends on a list of factors including the time it takes for you to recover from your injuries, the doctor’s office’s responsiveness in delivering records, and whether or not you have long gaps of time in your treatment history. You must keep in mind that a case cannot proceed until you are completely recovered or at least reached your maximum medical improvement. The best things for you to do when waiting for your personal injury case to be settled is to be patient, keep close track of your records, work closely with your lawyer’s office, and make sure that you seek the appropriate treatment in a timely manner.
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