Being injured in an accident can be one of the most stressful and difficult things to experience in life. Due to the extent of your injuries, you may require long-lasting and expensive medical care. Medical bills and other expenses can quickly start to pile up after an accident. Unfortunately, many personal injury victims cannot afford to pay these bills on their own, especially if they’ve had to take time off of work to recover from their injuries. For this reason, some victims are eager to resolve their injury claims as quickly as possible. Insurance companies know this too and will give you lowball offers, hoping you are desperate for the funds to finance the care you need and will accept it. If you are filing a personal injury claim, it’s crucial to hire an experienced Kansas City personal injury lawyer to help you understand how long it will take to resolve your claim and help you along the way, so you know what to expect.
If you’ve been injured in an accident you need to speak to a Kansas City personal injury attorney as soon as possible, who can help you get the compensation you deserve. They can handle all the paperwork and negotiations with the insurance company, allowing you to be able to focus on your healing and recovery from your injuries.
How Long Will It Take to Recover Compensation in a Personal Injury Case?
Every personal injury case is unique, so the answer regarding how long it will take for you to receive compensation will also vary from case to case. Some personal injury claims are resolved in a matter of months, whereas others can drag on and take two or more years to resolve. The time that it takes to resolve a claim will typically depend on the answers to these questions:
- Is liability disputed?
- How severe are your injuries?
- How much insurance is available?
Is There a Dispute Over Liability?
The insurance company will not award you compensation unless you can prove that their policyholder is legally liable for your injuries and other damages. In some cases, the evidence is blatant and the victim and the insurance adjuster agree that the insurance company’s policyholder is to blame. These cases are typically resolved more quickly than others. However, if there is a dispute over who is liable, and each side is blaming the other, this can affect the time it takes to settle your claim. Missouri has a comparative fault negligence system, therefore, each party could bear some responsibility, which takes time to evaluate and agree upon when the evidence isn’t overwhelmingly pointing to just one party to blame.
You and your attorney may need to take the time to gather more evidence that will strengthen your case to prove the other party’s liability. The insurance adjuster may change their mind after reviewing additional evidence and may decide to make you a settlement offer. However, sometimes there’s nothing you can do to sway the insurance adjuster’s mind. All parties involved in an accident will be submitting evidence to the insurance company to try to prove the other side’s liability. If the insurance adjuster refuses to settle your case due to a liability dispute, your only option is to take your case to court to have a judge or jury decide. This could potentially add months or even years to the time that it takes to resolve your case. Every case has the potential to go to court, although most don’t. However, it’s important to choose a Kansas City law firm with trial experience and a track record of success.
How Severe Are Your Injuries?
Another factor impacting the length of time it takes to resolve your case is the severity of your injuries, which can impact your outcome for two reasons. First, severe injuries can increase the value of the case. Cases involving the most critical and devastating injuries are often worth seven figures. The higher the value of the case, the harder it will be to reach a fair resolution. After all, the insurance company is only interested in protecting their profits and doesn’t want to hand out million-dollar compensation awards very easily.
A second reason it can take a long time to treat severe injuries, and why you should not settle your claim until you have completed treatment is that there’s often no way to know the total cost of treating your injuries or how the injuries will affect your future in the first few months after an injury. There may be hope that surgery could resolve your pain and injuries. Before authorizing surgery, the doctors require you to try multiple other more conservative modalities, including, physical therapy, massage therapy, chiropractors, pain injections, and others before surgery, to see if they will resolve your injury. And then even, after surgery is authorized and completed, there is more therapy, and rehabilitation to aid in your recovery. As a result, it’s impossible to calculate the value of your claim during treatment accurately, so you won’t know how much you are entitled to from the insurance company. If you want to ensure you are fully compensated, you must wait until your treatment is over. Unfortunately, this could take a while if your injuries are severe.
How Much Insurance is Available?
The amount of insurance that is available can affect the length of time it takes to resolve. It usually does not take long to settle if there is not much insurance available and your damages easily exceed that amount. However, it can take much longer to resolve cases where there is a lot of insurance coverage available, because the higher the policy limit, the more compensation victims can demand. This can lead to tough negotiations that can drag on for long periods. If there is a lot of insurance coverage available, it can take as little as six months or more than two years to reach a fair resolution.
Kansas City Personal Injury Attorney
If you have sustained an injury due to another person’s negligence, you may be able to collect compensation for your injuries. After being injured in an accident, you could be forced to pay outstanding medical bills and as a result, be faced with a difficult financial burden. You will want to have a qualified personal injury attorney on your side as early as possible. Failing to submit the appropriate documentation to the insurance company can lead to lengthy delays in your claim. Fortunately, an attorney can avoid these delays. They know how to collect and preserve evidence, how to prove negligence, how to document your injuries with your medical records, and ultimately, the amount of compensation you are entitled to and how to obtain it. Your attorney will ensure that the insurance adjuster has all of the evidence they need to process your claim right away.
The lawyers at Peterson & Associates, P.C. can help you file a claim and get you the money you deserve. Contact our Kansas City personal injury lawyers today to learn more about your legal options. Contact Peterson & Associates, P.C. by calling (816) 578-0580 to talk to a Kansas City personal injury attorney for a free consultation.