We get asked this question a lot — how long will my case take? First of all, the statute of limitations (deadline you have to file a lawsuit by) is two years. In other words, you have exactly two years from the date you were injured to file a lawsuit for your injuries. You can count on that lawsuit filing deadline no matter what.
Aside from the certainty of the statute of limitations, no two personal injury cases are exactly alike. Sure, some cases are similar to others. But I would be willing to wager that no two identical personal injury cases have ever existed in the history of the world. This is because each body is unique, and each situation that harms the body is at least slightly different than the most similar instance in the past.
Since each personal injury case is unique, each personal injury case comes with a unique timeline. There are many moving pieces to contend with:
Your treatment is based on your body and your health. The time it takes for you to complete treatment depends on how you feel. Each person responds to treatment differently. Your doctor will monitor your progress and make suggestions based on what she sees. If you aren’t very hurt, maybe a month or two of physical therapy will be enough for you to be back in the condition you were in before the accident. If you are very hurt, it could take the full two years you have to file a lawsuit for your bodily injuries, and you still might not be feeling better yet.
After you finish with treatment, it will take at least a few weeks, and at worst months, for your doctors to provide all of the necessary records and billing. It will take Cefali & Cefali a week or two to write your demand, and we give the insurance company a two-week deadline to respond. From here, there are three routes your case can take:
First, your personal injury case might settle right then and there for the policy limits. If that’s the situation, we’ll have to negotiate with, and pay, your medical providers. Depending on the situation, this can take anywhere from an hour to a year. If your health insurance is involved and you saw a lot of doctors, plan on it taking at least three months to sort out.
Second, the insurance company might give an offer that isn’t acceptable, but is large enough that it is worth attempting to negotiate. Cefali & Cefali will then engage in a back-and-forth with the insurance company. If the insurance company comes up to an acceptable number, we’ll settle your personal injury case. This process usually takes around a month. Be aware, after negotiations with the defense insurance, we’ll still have to negotiate with, and pay, your doctors as described above.
Third, the insurance company might give an offer that isn’t anywhere near acceptable. In this situation, we’ll be forced to file a lawsuit. Personal injury lawsuits can take years, so be prepared for the long haul. Only about 10% of personal injury cases require a lawsuit to be filed, and only about 3% of personal injury cases make it all the way to a jury trial.
We hope this helps you understand what goes into how long a personal injury case can take. If you’ve been injured in an accident, don’t wait. Call Cefali & Cefali today and get yourself one of our famous free consultations!