When it comes to legal processes, few are more time sensitive than personal injury claims. People who have been hurt need compensation as soon as possible so they can begin medical treatment, pay their bills, and generally keep their heads above water. In Arizona, there is a two-year statute of limitations for someone to create a personal injury claim against a negligent party, but how long do they have to wait to get a settlement?
The answer is that there is no set amount. The time it takes between filing a complaint and receiving compensation is entirely dependent on numerous details specific to each claim. If a generalization had to be made, it could be said that a “quick” personal injury claim will take 3 to 4 months to settle; on the other end of the spectrum, a person may need to wait 1 or 2 years. What slows down the settlement process?
The personal injury settlement process in Arizona may be delayed by:
- Plentiful details: More often than not, a plethora of minor details is the culprit. Attorneys and insurance companies need to be careful to comb through each fact surrounding the case. The more there are, the longer it takes, naturally.
- Medical examinations pending: If the injured party has not fully recovered from their injuries, or reached maximum medical improvement, the cost of medical treatment can’t be known. In many cases, it may be possible for an experienced personal injury attorney to correctly estimate the total amount that will eventually be necessary.
- Dispute of liability: A defendant in a personal injury claim won’t offer a settlement, at least not right away, if they do not think they are as responsible for the accident as the plaintiff believes.
- Disagreement over amount: Sometimes the defendant accepts partial or total liability but is doubtful of the compensation amount demanded. Reviewing the costs of damages may sway them.
- Litigation: If disputes are too numerous, the case may proceed to litigation, which can really cause a delay. Thankfully, at any point during litigation, the defendant may offer a settlement; if the plaintiff accepts it, litigation ends.
Why You Would Settle Before Litigation
The majority of personal injury claims do end in a settlement, rather than a trial verdict. But why is that? If litigation is always an option, wouldn’t it be better to take it to court and let a judge or jury sort it out?
Not necessarily, for there are benefits to settlements. In general, if a settlement is offered by the defendant, it will arrive much sooner than it would have taken to go through an entire trial. Settlements also usually cause both parties to accrue less legal fees, especially costs that would have gone towards buying the court’s time and attention. Accepting a settlement also allows the plaintiff to get a guaranteed victory, where there is always a chance of losing in court, even with concrete evidence and the world’s best attorney.
If you live anywhere in Arizona and either have questions about personal injury claims or need to file one, contact Browne Law Group. Our Gilbert personal injury attorney, Big B as many clients know him, is known far and wide for his courtroom presence, compassionate approach when helping his clients, and his ability to push for fair yet maximized settlements. Go ahead and set up your free consultation today and be sure to ask us about our contingency fee agreements!