A common question asked by clients with automobile accident and personal injury lawsuits is how long their case will take. It is natural for clients to wonder when they will be able to recover financially for the injuries and damages that they have incurred. Medical bills begin to arrive shortly after an accident, and many accident victims lose income when they miss work due to their injuries. Under those circumstances, a desire for swift financial recovery is understandable.
While quick payment of your claim for damages would be ideal, it is important to remember that a fast payout may not equal a fair settlement. It is common for insurance companies to send settlement offers to accident victims within a few days or weeks of their accidents. Please know that these settlement offers are being extended by parties whose interests are in settling claims as quickly and as cheaply as possible. It is important that you know that you do not have to accept any settlement offer that you receive. If you receive a settlement offer before you retain an attorney, bring it to an attorney so that they can help you determine whether it is adequate.
In response to the actual question of how long your case will take, there is no one-size-fits all answer, other than that it is likely to take at least a few months. There is, however, a basic pattern that accident and personal injury cases follow. An accident or injury case begins while the victim recovers from his or her injuries to the extent that recovery is possible. When you reach a point in your recovery where your doctor says that it is not likely that your recovery will make any more progress, you have reached maximum medical improvement, or MMI, which is an important turning point in your case. Prior to arriving at the state of maximum medical improvement, it is difficult estimate the full extent of your damages. Once you have reached maximum medical improvement, your attorney can estimate what your case is worth and write a demand letter to the insurance company asking them to settle your claim for that amount. It usually takes an insurance company a few weeks to review the demand letter and respond to your attorney with a settlement offer.
When your attorney receives a settlement offer from the insurance company, you have a choice of whether to accept it or reject it. If you reject it, further negotiations will continue between your attorney and the insurance company. While insurance companies do occasionally make an initial offer that is reasonable, several exchanges of offers and counteroffers are often required before an acceptable offer is obtained.
If negotiations do not lead to an acceptable settlement offer within a reasonable amount of time, your attorney can file a lawsuit against the party or parties whose negligent actions caused your injuries. Once a lawsuit has been filed, there is still a very good chance that it will settle before trial, because negotiations continue during the time between when a case is filed and when it is tried.
Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Serving Clients throughout Mississippi
If you would like to learn more about whether the Mississippi Personal Injury Attorneys at the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. are a good fit for you and your current legal matter please call our office today, at (601) 355-2022.