The term “personal injury accident” can be somewhat deceiving as the injuries a victim sustains are not truly caused by an “accident” but by the negligent conduct of another party. If you have suffered injuries in a personal injury accident you could be entitled to compensation for your out of pocket expenses as well as the pain and suffering you endured as a result of your injuries. As a victim, you may have a number of questions about the claims process. One of the most important of those questions I likely “What is the typical timeline for resolution of a personal injury case?”
People often think of a motor vehicle accident when the term “personal injury accident” is mentioned; however, there are a wide variety of other types of injuries that fall under the purview of personal injury accident law, including, but not limited to:
- Trucking accidents
- Dog and other animal attacks
- Motorcycle accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Premise liability injuries
- Defective products
- Swimming pool accidents
- Medical errors
- Wrongful death
Because there are so many different types of personal injury accident scenarios, it is virtually impossible to provide a “typical” timeline for the resolution of a case. Consulting with an experienced Tennessee personal injury accident attorney about the facts and circumstances of your case is the best way to ascertain how long your case is likely to take to resolve. It is, however, possible to provide a general outline of the steps a personal injury accident case typically follows which may give you some idea how long your case could take to conclude.
- Retaining an attorney – shortly after your accident you should retain the services of an experienced Tennessee personal injury accident attorney.
- Filing a claim – your attorney will contact the negligent, or at fault, party and notify them that you are pursuing compensation for the injuries you suffered as a result of their negligence.
- Medical treatment follow-up – you need to follow your doctor’s advice and treat your injuries. This could take weeks, months, or years, depending on the severity of the injuries you suffered. Usually, the length of time you spend treating your injuries has the most impact on how long it takes to resolve a personal injury accident case.
- Reaching MMI – at some point you will reach “maximum medical improvement” (MMI). This is the point at which further treatment is unlikely to substantially improve your condition. You may not be fully healed but additional treatment won’t help much. Your attorney will not begin negotiations until you reach MMI.
- Demand letter – a demand letter is sent to the negligent party explaining why they are at fault, outlining your injuries, and offering to settle for a specific amount of money.
- Negotiations – your attorney will negotiate with the negligent party (usually their insurance company) on your behalf.
- Settlement or trial – eventually, a settlement amount will be reached or the parties will decide that an out of court settlement is impossible. In that case your lawsuit will proceed to trial.
that the above timeline is based on the negligent party admitting fault. If the other party does not admit fault it can take even longer to resolve a case.
If you have additional questions regarding your personal injury accident case, consult with the experienced Tennessee personal injury accident attorneys at Bennett, Michael & Hornsby. Contact the team today by calling 615-898-1560 to schedule your appointment.