It is normal to feel impatient when it comes to resolving your personal injury lawsuit and receiving a settlement or judgment award. An accident in Dallas may give you painful, debilitating and expensive injuries that require immediate financial attention. Although no average settlement timeline exists, you can get an idea of how long your lawsuit will take to settle by learning the basics.
Insurance Settlement vs. Personal Injury Lawsuit
Your personal injury lawsuit could take a few weeks to settle, or it could take a few years. The truth is that no one knows exactly how long it will take for you to obtain financial compensation from a personal injury claim. That being said, it may be possible to get a rough idea of what timeframe to expect based on the unique facts of your case.
One of the main factors that affect how long it will take to resolve a personal injury case is whether it settles at the insurance stage or has to go to trial. The vast majority of personal injury cases settle. An insurance settlement is much faster than a trial. It may take as little as three months or less for you to recover via settlement.
If an insurance company refuses to offer a settlement that adequately covers your injuries and losses, however, your case may need to go to trial for a fair outcome. The timeline of a personal injury trial is unpredictable, as it can depend on factors such as the congestion of the courthouse and how long it takes to select a jury. Expect a personal injury trial to take one year or longer to complete from beginning to end.
Common Factors That Can Add Time to a Personal Injury Settlement
When trying to determine the length of time it will take to receive a personal injury settlement in Texas, take a look at the factors specific to your case that may add to your timeline. Many different factors could make a personal injury claim more complicated, leading to a longer amount of time spent on claim negotiations.
Common factors that can add time to a personal injury settlement in Texas include:
- The severity of your injuries
- How long your injuries take to heal
- Your date of maximum medical improvement
- Liability disputes
- How long it takes to negotiate back and forth with an insurer
- Insurance bad-faith tactics, such as delaying an investigation
- Whether one party appeals the verdict
- If you make a mistake when filing your claim
A personal injury lawsuit has three stages. The first is prelitigation, where your attorney and the defendant will negotiate to try to resolve the claim. If your case ends here, expect a shorter timeline of just a few weeks or months. The second stage is litigation, where your lawyer will file a lawsuit with the court. The third stage is an injury trial. If your case reaches this stage, expect a longer timeline of 12 months or more.
Do Not Rush Into a Quick Personal Injury Settlement
You may wish to resolve your personal injury lawsuit as quickly and expediently as possible, especially if your injuries lead to missed days at work or expensive medical care. It is critical, however, not to rush into a fast settlement.
Insurance companies often use tactics to protect their own profits, including pressuring claimants to quickly accept inadequate settlements. Settling your case too early could result in accepting an award that far undervalues your claim. This can make it more difficult to move forward if you require ongoing medical treatments, such as physical therapy or rehabilitation.
Rather than rushing into a fast settlement, use a personal injury attorney in Dallas to help you negotiate for the amount you deserve. It can be worth adding time to your lawsuit to obtain fair compensation for a serious injury. If you are curious about how long your injury case will take to settle, consult with an attorney today.