Across the U.S., approximately 38 million injury-related visits to the Emergency Department are made each year. Although not every injury will give rise to a personal injury claim, a significant proportion of people who have sustained an injury will be eligible to obtain compensation afterwards.
However, many people are unaware of what the process involves or how long it can take to achieve a settlement. Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this query. Instead, it will depend on a number of factors, such as the complexity of your claim, the defendant’s approach and whether or not you are represented by a personal injury attorney.
1. Complexity of Your Claim
Injuries can be caused by a variety of different accidents and the complexity of your claim may affect how long it takes to settle your personal injury claim. For example, there are around 55,000 road traffic accidents in Dallas County each year and many of these result in personal injury claims. However, if the cause of the accident was clear, the driver responsible admits liability and/or there is CCTV footage of the incident, your claim could be resolved relatively quickly.
Conversely, if you’ve been injured due to a faulty product and the item needs to be assessed by an independent engineer or you’ve been hurt due to medical malpractice and investigations need to be undertaken by third-party medical professionals, it could take longer to settle your claim.
2. The Defendant’s Approach
When accidents happen, people are often reluctant to take responsibility. When a defendant (or their insurance company) refuses to admit liability, it’s up to the claimant (or their legal team) to prove that the person or company is responsible for the harm they’ve suffered. This may mean gathering evidence relating to the incident, establishing a legal duty of care and/or taking the case to trial if a defendant refuses to negotiate a settlement.
Of course, if the defendant admits their liability at an early stage, reaching a settlement can be a relatively efficient process. In many cases, personal injury lawyers in Dallas will gather as much evidence as possible at an early stage, so that defendants are left with no option but to admit their liability.
3. Legal Representation
Handling a personal injury claim yourself can be stressful and time-consuming, and it could mean that your claim takes longer to resolve. As personal injury lawyers have extensive experience and expertise, they can ensure that your claim progresses as quickly as possible.
Furthermore, defendants (and their insurance companies) may be quicker to settle when they know you’re legally represented, as they are aware that your personal injury attorney has a good idea of the claims’ approximate value.
Speeding Up Your Settlement
Although a personal injury lawyer can’t give you an exact timeframe for settling your claim, they can work to accelerate the process and help you to get the compensation you deserve.
While most personal injury claims are resolved via settlement, the latest statistics from the Texas Judiciary show that injury and damage claims still account for 28% of civil cases filed each year. With help from an experienced Dallas personal injury lawyer, however, you can reduce the risk of your claim going to trial and negotiate a fair settlement as quickly as possible.