How Long Will My Colorado Personal Injury Case Take?
In the beginning, nobody really knows. Some things that delay a case are hard to predict at the beginning of your case. However, you can minimize unnecessary delay by choosing a lawyer who wants to get you full justice without wasting time.
In my experience, the answer to this (common) question most often depends upon how long it takes a client to recover from their injuries, and how initial negotiations with the at-fault insurance company go.
Hurry Up and Wait…Kind Of
Having a Denver personal injury lawyer get to work on your case right away will help you gather and preserve important evidence before it disappears, and help you deal with the initial onslaught of attempts by the at-fault insurance company to settle your case below value.
Recovery and Treatment
However, the client in a new personal injury case will likely need medical treatment, and for a while, the client’s primary focus should be on achieving their best possible recovery. In some cases, that doesn’t take long at all. In some, it can take much longer than initially expected. Even doctors often have a hard time accurately predicting which is likely in advance. If medical providers can’t reliably say how long this part of the process will take, why believe an attorney who tries to do so?
As an injury victim nears the point of maximum medical recovery, required medical treatment will slow or stop. At this point, both client and attorney have better information about the cost of all the medical treatment that was required, as well as any future needs and limitations the injury victim may have. As with most things in law, there are exceptions. However, this period of recovery is usually a big factor in how long a case will take overall.
Does the other side do the right thing?
The next big factor is how well negotiations go with the at-fault insurance company. Negotiations with insurance companies almost always begin long before any formal lawsuit is filed. In some cases, insurance companies “get it” right away. They see that the person who was harmed has suffered serious, life-changing injuries. In these cases, the at-fault party or insurance company can understand right from the first demand letter that it is in their best interests to make a full and fair offer to compensate my injured client.
Sometimes it takes continued negotiations over time to help an at-fault party or insurance company see the human behind the file on their desk, as well as the value to them in offering full compensation without being sued for it.
Sometimes cases have to be pursued through the formal lawsuit process to get a fair outcome. Once a lawsuit is filed, the timeline is determined by the court and applicable rules of procedure. Taking a case all the way to jury trial can easily add a year, sometimes two, and occasionally even more to the entire process.
What Can You Do?
In addition to those covered above, delays can happen when an attorney has to order medical records, employment records, police reports, work around availability of witnesses, returns to treatment, and any number of other issues that can arise to delay your compensation. The reality is attorneys usually cannot accurately estimate how much time will be needed to pursue full compensation in a given case.
More important than the unavoidable fact that some cases take a long time to resolve is the importance of choosing an attorney who is motivated to actively work your case, and who keeps you updated regarding the progress of the case. Seek out representation by an attorney who is committed to pursuing full justice energetically for you. If you have been injured in Colorado due to someone else’s negligence, call Denver personal injury lawyer Vernon Ready and ask what I can do to move your case toward full justice.