Personal Injury Claim Value and Duration
Settling a personal injury claim is a complicated process. Two questions we often get about the personal injury process are, “How much is the claim worth?” and “How long will the case be?” In this post, we will discuss the factors that affect a personal injury lawsuit’s claim value and duration.
There is no set formula for determining how much a claim is worth. Your claim has a value based upon many factors, including:
- If liability is disputed;
- The amount of your medical bills;
- The type of injuries suffered and the lasting effect of those injuries/disabilities;
- The length of treatment;
- The amount of lost wages,
- The venue;
- Aggravating factors (texting, DWI, aggressive driving, etc);
- The people involved (jury appeal of the parties); and
- The amount of insurance available.
Certainly, the more severe the injuries, the greater the value of the claim. However, with so many factors to consider, no attorney can tell you what your claim is worth a few days after the incident happens. Even if damages are obviously large, the amount you may be able to collect might be only $30,000 (the minimum liability limit in Texas).
Assuming liability is not disputed, we resolve the property damage claim first, but even that can take a few weeks or longer. For example, insurers are sometimes confused by bike damage claims, and adjusters are often amazed that a bike is worth more than a few hundred dollars.
After resolving the property damage claim, your personal injury claim goes into hibernation while you are getting the medical care you need. That may take a few weeks, months, or longer.
Once treatment is completed, we obtain all medical records and supporting documents and send a settlement package to the driver’s insurance company. An offer is then usually made, and if it’s reasonable, a settlement can usually be negotiated with little delay.
If the offer is unreasonable, then a lawsuit is filed. This lawsuit can sometimes be resolved quickly, but often takes time. It has been my experience that claims involving cyclists tend to resolve sooner than other personal injury claims after medical treatment is completed.
In summary, a claim can take anywhere from a couple of months to a couple of years. It all depends upon a variety of factors, but mostly on the length of treatment and severity of the injuries.
For more information about the personal injury claim process, contact McGilberry & Shirer today.