If you have a personal injury claim pending with the negligent party’s
insurance company, or you are considering hiring a Maryland personal injury
attorney, it is understandable that you want to know what the timeline
for settling is. Unfortunately, this is not necessarily an easy question
to answer, as each case is unique. Different factors in each case can
influence how long it takes to settle. Some of these include the type
and severity of the accident itself, how cooperative the negligent party’s
insurance company is, whether or not the case is in litigation, and the
Some personal injury matters can resolve as quickly as a few weeks, while
others may take months, or even years. A personal injury case that reaches
a settlement quickly might be due to clear-cut liability, your damages
exceeding the negligent party’s insurance coverage, or because you
opted to accept a lower settlement to resolve now.
Here are a few of the reasons some personal injury cases will take longer
to settle than others.
One of the reasons many personal injury matters end up in litigation is
because there is a dispute over liability. In a car accident, the other
side might claim you were a percentage at fault, which would bar you from
recovery. Maryland follows the contributory negligence theory, which means
if you are even 1% at fault, you cannot collect for your damages. The
negligent party’s insurance company is likely to claim you had some
fault in the loss to ensure they keep their payouts low.
Medical Treatment is Continuing
Many cases that take longer to resolve have to do with the length of time
the plaintiff is under medical care. We recommend that you do not settle
and sign a release of all claims until you are sure you do not need any
further treatment. What if you resolve the claim and your doctor subsequently
says you need additional treatment and may have a permanent disability?
By signing the release of claims, the insurance company is under no obligation
to consider this new information.
In cases involving a high risk of scarring, like a dog bite, it is best
to wait to resolve your claim until you have a better idea of what your
scar will be worth.
If you need future surgery, there are medical experts who can help determine
a value for your case and how long your recovery period will be. This
will help you resolve the case now rather than waiting another year or
more in order to resolve the claim.
Case is in Litigation
Once a personal injury lawsuit has been filed and the case is in litigation,
it will typically move at a slower pace due to legal requirements. Attorneys
have to attend status conferences and other court hearings, both parties
will be deposed, and there may be alternative dispute resolution options
used, like a mediation or arbitration.
If you are waiting for your case to go to trial, it could take months or
even a year before the case sees an actual courtroom for the trial date.
Retaining a Maryland Personal Injury Attorney
If you have been involved in an accident, it is important to speak with
Maryland personal injury attorney. Contact the Law Office of Robert R. Castro at 301-870-1200 to schedule