Here at Scranton Law Firm, we do our best to negotiate an extrajudicial settlement for you so you never have to step foot inside a courtroom. Even so, the question of how long it may take to settle a personal injury case is akin to “how long is a piece of string?”.
Even without taking the at-fault party to court, a personal injury case can be a lengthy endeavor. As a general rule, a case will tend to take longer the more complex it is. This may be the case if there are several parties involved or if the injuries you suffered were particularly complicated. If your injuries are especially complex or impact multiple body parts, the other party’s legal representation may even request a second opinion or appoint their own medical experts from the same field to re-assess your injuries. This really adds time onto the processing of any personal injury case.
This may seem discouraging at first glance but is actually unwise to settle a personal injury case too quickly. If you rush through the process and come to a settlement before your injuries have fully settled, the full extent of your pain and suffering may not yet be apparent. This could mean you may have been able to negotiate a larger settlement based on the final information after your recovery. So, while it is best to contact an lawyer as soon as you feel able after your injury to ensure that you do everything you can to maximize your chances of winning your case, a personal injury case is not a race.
If you have suffered minor injuries as a result of a slip and fall or a car accident that caused cut-and-dry injuries, such as whiplash or a broken bone, your case could be over relatively quickly. However, it is not uncommon for more serious injuries to become apparent over time. We recommend seeing a chiropractor to establish any hidden injuries that you might not even be able to feel immediately after an accident.
If your injuries were more complex, requiring extensive and expensive medical treatment, or the case isn’t quite as clear-cut as a car accident involving two drivers caught on camera, it isn’t unusual for personal injury cases to take months or even years.
To sum it up, many of the personal injury cases we deal with at Scranton Law Firm are settled out of court without having to file a lawsuit. Nevertheless, recovering from a personal injury can itself take time, and we need to know the precise extent of your pain and suffering so we can rest assured that we’ve done your claim justice. So, while it might seem tempting to get your case over and done with as quickly as possible, waiting the months or even 1 to 2 years that are common for personal injury cases may be the best option in the long run.