One of the first questions clients ask us at their first consultation is “How long will my case take?” This is a question that is very difficult to answer accurately. Depending on circumstances, a personal injury claim may take anywhere from a few months to a few years to conclude.
One of the main reasons it is hard to put an accurate time frame on a case is the vast difference in people’s recovery times. We aim to ensure that a personal injury client has recovered as much as possible before attempting settlement of their claim. This ensures each individual has obtained the necessary treatment required to make a recovery and to also ensure that we do not under-settle their claims. Only once a client has reached their final state of recovery will a medical expert be able to give an accurate prognosis for their recovery, and subsequently an accurate value of the claim.
As well as all injuries not healing at the same rate, the knock effect of such injuries can also have an impact on recovery time. Serious injuries such as broken bones may require surgical intervention, whilst some accidents may cause injuries that aren’t visible such as psychological symptoms.
Occasionally clients ask if we will settle their claim before they have fully recovered. We would always advise against this as it may lead to recovering less than the claim is worth, however it is the client’s choice as to when they want us to start settlement negotiations.
Away from the severity of injuries, other factors may influence the length of time it takes to settle a claim. One of the main hurdles is whether the opponent admits liability or if they are prepared to make a reasonable settlement offer. If they don’t, then Court proceedings may be required to win the case, which could add a year or more to its length.
So how long will my case take?
As frustrating as it may be to be told “we don’t know”, it depends on factors outside our control. However you can be sure we will pursue the claim as efficiently and quickly as possible and advise you to settle when we think it is the right time to do so.