The most common questioned that I am asked by auto-accident clients are “when will my case settle”? For me, a case that settles quickly is closed within 3 to 5 months from the day the client signs the retainer agreement to the day they receive their settlement check. That said since no two personal injury cases are alike no matter how similar they appear there is no certainty as to the settlement timeline. Nonetheless, based on my experience of handling several personal injury cases over the years, here are the 4 signs that suggest that your case may be settled fairly quickly:
Rear End Collisions: You are sitting at a light or otherwise slowed down due to traffic buildup ahead of you when another driver unexpectedly rear-ends your car. In this scenario, the other driver is clearly at fault. Therefore, the insurance adjuster for the at-fault driver will not dispute the question of fault and liability. As an added bonus, it helps if you took pictures of the property damages that were sustained by both cars. Acceptance of liability by the other driver’s insurance adjuster is usually a positive sign that your case will proceed fairly quickly.
Minor Injuries: The consideration here is soft tissue vs. serious injuries (fractures, lacerations, etc). Cases with more serious injuries take longer to resolve because the client will treat much longer and there may also be a possibility of future long-term treatment and other considerations. On the other hand, victims that sustained minor back sprains, neck sprains, headaches, etc generally do not treat for longer than 2 months (on average) which puts the attorney in a position to settle the case fairly quickly.
Low collision impact: This factor relates to the previous paragraph in that the lower the impact of the collision, the higher the chance that injuries sustained will be soft tissue injuries (or minor in nature).
Following Doctor’s Orders: Clients who follow the recommended treatment plan diligently will treat early and complete their treatment fairly quickly whereas those who drag their feet on doctors & physical therapy appointments treat longer and unwittingly open the door for the insurance adjuster to argue that your injuries were not severe enough to warrant the lengthy treatment and medical expenses incurred. Disputes result in delays in reaching a settlement.
Disclaimer: The information in this article serves as a guide and not a guarantee of any future performance of result. Some cases may include all of the above considerations and for one reason or another will not be resolved within the estimated timeline but generally, and based on my experience, most cases that include the above factors usually settle reasonably quickly. To discuss further, call (301)453-7177 for a free consultation.