How Long Will My Case Take To Settle?
The answer is “it depends” because each client’s case is different; it is not a simple answer. While some injury victims may wish for their cases to settle quickly, especially with unpaid medical bills and lost time from work, this is not usually the best way to resolve a case, especially if your injuries are serious. Unless you have very minor injuries that have resolved, an injury case can take a few months to a few years depending on a number of factors. Explaining these factors will help you understand why the process can take longer than you may expect.
Extent Of Your Injuries and Length of Medical Treatment
You should be cautious of any attorney that promises to settle your case quickly as that lawyer likely does not have the experience required to handle an accident case properly. It is never a good idea to settle a case before you have reached your maximum medical improvement (MMI). MMI is the time when we know that you have recovered from your injuries and no longer need further treatment, or we know that you will never fully recover from your injuries but have recovered as much as possible and now we know exactly what type of future care you will need.
Some clients may only need physical therapy and recover in a few months. Others may require surgery that will result in recovery times that vary. You only get one opportunity to resolve your case. This is why it is so important that we understand when you have reached your maximum improvement. If your injuries require additional treatment, your case will take longer to resolve than someone who did not require surgery or additional treatment.
If there is no dispute as to the cause of an accident, it is more likely to settle sooner than a case where the parties are disputing who caused the accident. For example, if you were stopped at a red light when the at-fault driver acknowledged he hit you in the rear, the case will likely settle earlier than a case involving an intersection accident where both drivers claim each had a green light.
Type And Complexity Of Case
Cases that involve more complex facts and legal issues will generally take longer to settle. This includes cases with multiple defendants. For instance, a two-car motor vehicle accident will settle sooner than a four-car accident case as each driver will have their own attorney and the parties will likely blame each other for the accident. Likewise, a complex construction accident case involving multiple contractors and labor law issues that require experts will take longer than a typical car accident case.
Location of Case/Venue
Another factor that some lawyers don’t acknowledge is that where your case is filed also becomes a factor. For instance, in New York City, cases in Bronx County take longer to finish than cases in Staten Island, simply because there are many more cases filed in the Bronx and not enough Judges to handle them.
Contact Us If You Have Further Questions
If you have additional questions about your injury case, please give us a call and we will gladly discuss how we can help you. We have offices in Manhattan and Staten Island and can be reached at 212-566-4868 or 718-948-3500.