After being injured due to someone else’s negligence, victims often want to know how long it will be before they receive financial compensation for their injuries and other damages. It is important to reach out to an experienced Virginia Beach personal injury attorney from Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp as quickly as possible to discuss your options and get some idea of how long your case will take to resolve. Each case is different, so any reputable attorney will tell you that there is no definitive answer. However, by drawing on their past experience with cases similar to yours, they can provide you with an estimate of how long your case could possibly take. Thus, it is essential to speak with a car accident lawyer right away. The sooner you do so, the sooner your case can be settled, and the sooner you will get the recovery you need.
What Is Involved in the Personal Injury Process?
The personal injury process involves hiring a lawyer, filing a claim, collecting evidence, working to reach a settlement, and if necessary, going to court.
Addressing the Injury
To be fairly compensated, you need to know the full extent of your injuries. So, you must attend all of your doctor appointments and follow your treatment plan to the letter. Be sure to retain copies of your medical records, prescriptions, and any notes or documentation given to you by a medical professional.
Hiring an Attorney
You are under no obligation to work with a lawyer before you can file a claim, but bear in mind that the advantages of doing so far outweigh any of the perceived benefits of handling your claim on your own. Studies have shown that injured victims who have strong legal representation receive larger settlements, and overall find the personal injury process to be less stressful than their unrepresented counterparts.
Filing Your Personal Injury Claim
When you file a claim, numerous procedural and substantive state requirements must be met. Perhaps the most important of these is ensuring that the filing deadline, known as the statute of limitations, has not already expired. In Virginia, in most cases, this is two years from the day your accident occurred. Your lawyer can help you meet all required deadlines and will also know how to calculate the proper compensation.
Next, you and your Virginia Beach personal injury attorney will need to collect evidence that proves you were not at fault for the accident. Between diligent investigation and determining if any expert witnesses will be necessary, this stage can take a rather long time.
Once enough evidence to prove the other party’s fault has been gathered and the total cost of your injuries has been determined, your attorney will attempt to negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf.
Preparing for Court
About 95% of all personal injury cases settle out of court so a trial is a rarity. Reaching a settlement is beneficial to both parties because the outcome has been mutually agreed upon and trials are both expensive and time-consuming for everyone involved. Unfortunately, if the other party refuses to agree to a fair settlement, they may have no choice but to take your case to trial.
What Factors Can Extend the Duration of My Personal Injury Case?
There are multiple factors that could potentially delay your claim being settled, such as:
Your Injury is Severe
The more severe your injury is, the longer it could take to fully determine its scope as well as all associated medical costs. In this instance, your lawyer will likely advise you to wait until you learn the true extent of your injury and the impacts it will have on the rest of your life as these will factor into what constitutes “fair compensation” in your case.
Your Case Has Disputed Facts
If any of the facts surrounding the accident or your injuries are being disputed by the other party, your attorney might need additional time to gather further evidence. Without it, you may not get the financial compensation you deserve.
The Insurance Company is Taking Its Time
Insurance companies like to drag their feet on making a settlement offer in the hopes that you grow tired of waiting and decide against your own best interests. The more compensation you are entitled to, the longer the insurance company may take to settle. Once you agree to a settlement, your rights are gone so, even though agreeing to a lesser settlement will bring about a prompt resolution, you will almost certainly regret it in the not-too-distant future.
Talk to a Virginia Beach Personal Injury Attorney
The amount of time it takes to reach a settlement varies from case to case. The circumstances surrounding the accident, your recovery period, and the insurer’s willingness, or lack thereof, to negotiate in good faith are all factors that can influence the resolution of your personal injury claim. Waiting is exceptionally frustrating, even burdensome, especially when you did not cause your injuries but are still forced to deal with medical expenses, missed work, property damage, and pain and suffering. The sooner you hire an experienced Virginia Beach personal injury attorney from Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp to represent you, the sooner you are likely to collect the compensation you need and deserve. That is exactly what we did for one client when we secured a $1 million settlement after they were injured by a negligent driver. If you were injured in an accident through no fault of your own, call us at (833) 997-1774 or fill out our online contact form to schedule your free consultation. We have offices in Virginia Beach, Portsmouth, Hampton, Norfolk, and Chesapeake.