This is a difficult question to answer in concrete terms. Your injury case could take anywhere from six months to two years to end and you should be prepared to be in it for the long haul. The insurance company is going to do everything it can to minimize the amount of money it pays out to you. An attorney that is working in your best interest will take the time needed to negotiate, including thoroughly collecting and verifying every piece of evidence to maximize the amount you will receive.
One factor that also determines the amount of time it will take for your case to end is your medical treatment. You can’t end your case before your treatment is complete, so that you can accurately bill the insurance company, and that can’t happen until you have received enough treatment to heal as much as you can. This is why it is extremely important that you seek medical care as soon as possible, attend all appointments, and do what your doctor prescribes. The longer and less complete your medical care, the longer your case will take and potentially the less you will receive in settlements or jury awards.
Don’t sign anything before speaking with an attorney!
When you start your claim, the insurance company will try to escape from as much financial responsibility as possible. They will have an insurance adjuster pressure you into signing a release form. DO NOT DO THIS. You could be signing away thousands of dollars which you may very well need to pay all of your medical bills and cover your time away from work as well as compensation for the potentially lifelong consequences of being injured in an accident. You do not want to sign anything the insurance company sends you without first having an experienced personal injury attorney who has tried many cases look at it first. You should also be very guarded about speaking to adjusters, or decline to speak to them at all, until you’ve spoken with a lawyer about your best course of action. What you say to the insurance company can and will be twisted against you.
If you’ve been injured in an accident, you’re in for a fight. Realize that help is available to you, and don’t become discouraged. If you have questions about what lies ahead for you, and what you can do to empower yourself against the insurance company, give us a call at 206-285-1743.