One of the first questions that many people ask when filing a personal injury claim, is how long the process will take. First, you should know that there are no two cases exactly alike. Though all cases go through a similar process, there are always variables that may take the case in one direction or another. A lot hinges on the type of accident case we are dealing with and the insurance party on the other side. They are eager to settle some cases more than others. To help you further understand the entire process, here is a brief outline of resolving a personal injury claim.
Initial Meeting With An Attorney
During your consultation, you will sit down with a very knowledgeable Sarasota personal injury lawyer. They will go over every aspect of your potential claim. To be able to prove a case, you must have the wrongful act of someone else. Remember, accidents happen every day. Just because you were in an accident doesn’t always mean there are grounds for a lawsuit. You must have negligence and injuries. The attorney will check everything to make sure there is enough evidence there to proceed.
After the attorney decides to take on your case, they start the massive task of collecting all the documentation. This will include reports from insurance companies, medical bills, police reports, witness statements, and anything else that is pertinent to the case. All of this documentation is necessary should the case go to court.
The Demand Letter
Taking all the injuries into account, the attorney will use a mathematical formula to come up with a fair compensation amount. Though the theory is that the price is always three times more than the medical bills, this is not always the case. A letter is drafted and sent to the insurance company. This letter is a demand for compensation based on the grounds listed. The insurance company will respond to the letter. They will either deny the claim, accept it, or come back with a counter offer.
Negotiating With The Insurance Company
In most cases, there are negotiations with the insurance company. Remember, they don’t want to go to court any more than you do. A trial is long and very costly. If the price the insurance company counters with is within a good range of the original offer, the attorney will tell you how to proceed. It is often better to settle for less than to pay all the costs associated with the court. According to The Law Dictionary, about 95 percent of all claims are settled in the pre-trial phase.
Heading To Court
For the five percent of cases that cannot reach a settlement, they must face the judge. A trial can be very long and tiring. It can also cut into your compensation package. However, there are still many cases that end up before a judge. During this phase of the claim’s process, it is important to show up for court. You will probably be called on to testify. Cooperate with your attorney and make sure to be well versed on dates and occurrences.
The Long Awaited Compensation Package
Finally, the compensation package is received after a successful win. Sure, there are some cases where there is no victory. However, a personal injury attorney works on a contingency basis. They are certain they can win a case before they take it on. On average, the typical case will settle anywhere between 4-36 months. Though the process is long and sometimes tedious, it is worth it in the end.