After a serious accident, a victim is on borrowed time.
After all, medical costs are piling up, hours of work are gone, and there is no end in sight for the injuries sustained in the accident.
So, it is not unusual for a victim to wonder how long it might take their Phoenix personal injury lawyer to settle his or her case.
Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all settlement. Instead, it comes down to when the case enters the system and a few other factors that determine how quickly a case moves.
The Three Phases of the Car Accident Lawsuit
A car accident lawsuit moves in three steps: demand, negotiation, settlement. The length of each phase depends on multiple factors.
Most importantly, a claim must be filed within the statute of limitations to qualify for a settlement. For a civil injury case, under Arizona Revised Statute Section 12-542, a victim has two years from the date of the accident or injury.
Phase One: The Initial Demand
Before an attorney files a lawsuit, he or she will send a demand letter to the insurer. The demand letter outlines all damages, discusses (briefly) the evidence the plaintiff has against the defendant, and proposes a settlement amount.
The insurance company may take a few days or weeks to respond to the demand letter, and the negotiations may begin immediately. Other times, the insurer will ignore the letter or deny the claim.
Phase Two: Negotiations Begin
A Phoenix personal injury lawyer will negotiate back and forth with the insurance company. An official lawsuit might not be filed at this point because the negotiations do not yet require further action.
Sometimes, a settlement happens during the initial negotiations.
Other times, the insurer might stall or refuse to settle a fair amount of compensation. In this case, the attorney must then result to an official complaint – the lawsuit filed with the court.
Phase Three: The Official Personal Injury Lawsuit
After filing the lawsuit, the courts and their procedures take over. There are strict procedures and timelines for a personal injury lawsuit. Unfortunately, these protocols severely slow the process.
After serving the initial complaint and summons to the defendant, there is a waiting period that allows the defendant adequate time to respond to the complaint.
Once an official lawsuit ensues, one’s case could take anywhere from six months to a year or more – depending on the details of the case.
For a Fast Settlement, Contact a Phoenix Personal Injury Lawyer
An attorney can help a personal injury claim settle much more rapidly than it would if the plaintiff negotiated it.
Anyone injured in an accident should contact the attorneys at Tobler Law to discuss their case. Once a lawyer reviews the facts, he or she can better predict how long it will take to settle.
Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with Tobler Law today at 480-898-9700 or request a consultation online.