Personal injury cases involve many uncertainties, including how long it will take to reach a settlement. There is no definitive answer no matter how good your personal injury attorney is. Financial strain and other pressures can lead you to settle early, for less, but this means not getting the compensation you deserve. Lowball insurance offers can have the same result.
Why Your Case May Be Moving Slower Than Expected
Factors that can slow down your case include:
- Establishing liability against the defendant is difficult.
- You are seeking a large sum of damages.
- You haven’t yet reached maximum medical improvement (making it hard to valuate damages).
Your case may not go as planned if important evidence isn’t available, you were partially at fault for the accident, or the other side has enough funding to wait, while your resources are depleted.
Car accident cases are especially hard to predict. They often involve serious injuries that take weeks, months, or years to heal. Investigations, inquiries, and negotiations by insurance companies factor in as well.
Personal Injury Lawsuit
Filing your complaint is only one piece of the puzzle. If you file a lawsuit, a copy of the complaint must be served to the defendant. In extreme cases, it can take months to track them down. The defendant then has a month to file an answer to your complaint, depending on the court, and then discovery can begin. During this phase, both parties request and exchange information, which can take several months.
Should there be a trial, the results can be appealed by the plaintiff or defendant. Plus, there are several levels of appeals permitted. Even one appeal can delay a settlement by years.
Getting Your Check
Collection is a whole other beast. Even if your case succeeds, collection of the judgement can take time. How long this takes depends on whether the settlement involves a lump sum or installment payments, among several other factors. Court dates and the case load in your jurisdiction can affect the length of your case and the time it takes to receive your check.
To get your personal injury settlement check, you must:
- Sign a release from the defendant’s insurance company, stating you won’t pursue further legal action related to the same case.
- Wait for the signed release to be processed; if it’s a large settlement, the insurance company may draw it out, while your attorney will receive the settlement check before you do.
- Your attorney deposits the check into an escrow account, from where funds will be distributed to pay expenses, liens, and unpaid debts.
- Legal fees from your personal injury case will be subtracted from the total amount, including testimony, court costs, taxes, etc. Your attorney will mail your settlement check after these deductions are completed.
At the very least, you can expect a personal injury case to take six months. Most likely it will take over a year from filing your claim to receiving your settlement.
Get Compensated Sooner with Pre-Settlement Funding
Legal funding can provide the cash you need now, as your case is ongoing, to pay medical, rent, and other bills. Unlike a loan, a cash advance does not require an employment or credit check. It requires no out-of-pocket payments, and you owe nothing back if your case loses. Therefore, don’t let the length of your case deter you from reaching a rightful settlement. Get your advance by applying with FCA Legal Funding today—and get approved for lawsuit funding in Los Angeles within 24 hours.