How Long Does a Personal Injury Lawsuit Take?
Some questions defy simple answers. This is certainly true when it comes to asking how long your personal injury case will require. In this post. we’ll give you the basics you need to make an informed decision after a meeting with a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer.
Why proper timing is essential to your personal injury case
It’s only natural to want quick resolution when you’re suffering due to someone else’s negligence. But, while a quick settlement may give you short-term satisfaction, it can also lead to long-term negative consequences. Here’s why:
- At-fault parties count on accident victims becoming impatient: They know that worry and fear can compel you to act hastily, sacrificing your own best interests in exchange for a paltry settlement. That’s how they get away with acting irresponsibly.
- Knowing how much compensation you’ll need takes time: That’s why personal injury lawyers typically wait until their client has reached his or her level of maximum medical improvement (MMI) before talking figures with the other side.
- Judges, juries, and mediators need facts before they can make a decision: The idea of a smooth-talking attorney beguiling his or her way into winning an outrageous sum of money is pure myth. In the real world, facts and arithmetic determine settlement amounts, not sleazy courtroom antics.
Now that we’ve discussed why achieving a fair settlement can take time, let’s take a closer look at MMI and the pivotal role it plays in most personal injury cases.
Sometimes the healing process can only go so far
The best way to illustrate how MMI works is with a hypothetical case. For example, there’s a guy named Joe who works as a carpenter. One day he falls from a ladder and suffers severe trauma to his lower back
A later investigation reveals that Joe’s supervisor failed to properly secure the ladder, an act of negligence which played a key role in causing his injuries. Joe demands full compensation for his medical bills, lost income, and related expenses.
He is well within his rights to do so. But this leads to an important question: Exactly how much will these costs total over a course of time?
The commonly accepted method for arriving at this figure is to wait until Joe has achieved his MMI. Only then will his law firm have the data it needs to present a dollar amount to the other side.
For example, let’s say that Joe is able to walk with a cane after undergoing six months of surgeries and physical therapy. He enjoys a reasonable degree of personal mobility, but will never again be able to work as a carpenter.
The total bill for his medical care during the past 12 months is $350,000. Future therapy will cost an average of $500 per month for the rest of Joe’s life.
Joe’s attorney now has a figure to work with when negotiating the final settlement amount. After going back and forth with opposing counsel, the matter is settled for $750,000.
Joe is now able to pay past due bills, pursue vocational retraining, and afford the services of a maid and a dog sitter to help with running his household. This gives him a solid foundation for making the most of his post-accident life.
Every case is unique, so the dollar amounts used in this post may or may not reflect the amount of compensation you can ultimately expect. Still, this imaginary scenario helps illustrate how these matters are decided in the real world.
It also shows why getting the compensation you deserve can sometimes take several months or, on occasion, even longer. Simply put, there’s no way to rush justice without short-changing accident victims.
Do you still have questions? We’ve got the answers
Personal injury law is a complex field that requires special legal knowledge and investigative skill. That’s why you should consider trusting Ellis Law to handle your case.
Get in touch with Ellis Injury Law today to schedule your free consultation. We’re available 24/7 for your convenience. Remember, we want to be your Los Angeles personal injury law firm.