One point is necessary to bear in mind, no two auto cases are the same. When one case results in a specific recovery for one litigant this doesn't mean that your claim is worth the same simply because you were included in the same accident. There are lots of factors and it is sometimes simply the destiny of the draw past the factors themselves.
If you work out your case it will likely be concluded in one of three manners-- arbitration or mediation, trial by a jury or judge, or settlement before filing suit. Now lets consider some of the damage factors to value a car wreck case.
Pain and Suffering.
Pain and suffering is the discomfort which you suffered as a result of your injury. It's the pain related with a broken bone or the pain associated with injury to the back or neck as an example. In a trial a jury or the judge will put a specific dollar amount on that specific recoverable damage. In most jurisdictions, including Maryland, pain and suffering damages are capped at a specific dollar amount irregardless how awful an injury may be. You can thank your legislature for their enlightenment in capping damages in horrific cases that deserve more than a capped amount.
Another significant factor to contemplate in case value is permanency or permanent injury to the person. Permanency is the level of impairment that doesn't go away, but instead is life long as an effect of the injury. This particular kind of damage is very important because the fact finder is looking at a life time loss to the individual which means a calculation must be done year by year for the rest of one's life. This can equate into much bigger damage numbers. In any given case, your treating doctor will have to generate the decision as to what level of permanency you have withstood to a reasonable degree of medical probability.
Without a permanency claim for damages, damages will generally be restricted to soft tissue or short term injury. You will be reimbursed for pain and suffering for the period of time you suffered. Essentially, if the treating doctor can not testify that you've got sustained a permanent injury to a reasonable degree of medical probability, or if there isn't any finding of a "long-term harm" by a doctor, the fact finder will probably be constrained on damages. Bear in mind that, economic damages such a medical bills incurred and lost wages are not limited like non-economic damages and are designed to compensate for all reasonable and foreseen economic loss resulting from the car crash.
Due to the fact that the law is so specific regarding injuries and the medical documentation, it is important to follow your treating doctors' recommendations for your own course of treatment. Be certain you inform your doctor in specific detail, about all your injuries because if you fail to do so, it will not be documented and if its not documented, it never happened. Obviously, you don't over-exaggerate your claim to your medical provider but accuracy and detail is always important.
The most honest answer to the question "How long does it take a personal injury claim to settle?" is, it depends. There are several steps in a personal injury claim and each step has a separate timeline. If you have a simple, straight-forward claim where the defendant accepts responsibility and your injuries are uncomplicated then the claim can take as little as a few weeks, however; delays can happen so let's have a look at the different steps of a personal injury claim and how best to avoid delays.
The first timeline to be aware of is the time in which you can make a claim. You have up to 3 years from the date of the accident or illness to contact a solicitor and make a claim. You can contact a personal injury solicitor at www.winwales.co.uk, and they'll be able to give you a good idea of how long the remainder of the process will take. There are exceptions to this 3 year rule, as when children are involved, but it is best to begin a claim as soon as you are feeling fit enough to do so. The settlement is partially based on your estimated recovery time therefore as soon as you have this information it is a good idea to contact a solicitor.
To make your claim you must submit a number of documents to your solicitor so that they can make the best assessment and present the best case to the defendants. Keep all documentation you receive from doctors, police, and any other involved parties so that you can present all the pertinent information to your solicitor. The more documents you have on hand when you present your claim the faster this process will be. Once the documents are received by your solicitor they will go through them, make sure there is nothing missing and then send a claim off to the defendants who have 3 months to investigate your claim at which point they can either assume full liability, partial liability or deny liability. Each of these scenarios will determine a different time frame for proceeding and your solicitor can advise which steps are next and the likely time it will take to proceed.
The next step in the process is the valuation of your claim by you, the claimant, and your solicitors. This can take just a few weeks depending on how complicated your claim is. This process is where the negotiations really begin and with offers and counter-offers going back and forth this can take some time to complete. Make sure that you don't grow impatient so that you get the best offer for your needs. Settling for less than what you deserve hurts you in the end as you cannot renegotiate later.
Finally, if no agreement can be reached you may have to go through court proceedings. Remember that every case is unique and it does take time for the court proceedings to be arranged. Once the court proceedings have come to a conclusion, you should receive your settlement cheque within 6 weeks.
As you can see the process can be simple and quick or it can be complicated and drawn out, but don't lose hope. Take care of yourself and keep in contact with your solicitor. When you are asked to provide information, provide it promptly so as to avoid delays.