A common question I get from clients is “when will my case be settled?” It sounds like a simple question, however to give an exact answer is not so easy. Every case is different, which makes it hard to determine a settlement date.
Simply put, to settle a case you need an offer and an acceptance. What you have to do as a lawyer is keep moving the case forward. It is important to be patient and persistent. If necessary, a lawsuit is filed but the case may still be settled prior to the trial.
Why most cases don’t go to trial
97% of cases are settled without trial. A trial can be expensive and the result unpredictable. However, if there is no offer or the offer is extremely low, the lawyer and the client need to consider submitting the case to a jury for trial. Along the way, sometimes cases are submitted to mediation which is non-binding and may result in the settlement of the case. Another alternative is binding high/low arbitration if both sides can agree on the parameters and an arbitrator.
How is a fair settlement determined?
There are two (2) factors to consider: liability and damages. Liability means whether or not we can prove that the defendant is 50% or more at fault for the accident. Damages are determined by considering the nature of the impact if it is a motor vehicle accident, the type of injury; fracture, scar, surgery, or soft tissue, the amount of medical bills, the amount of lost wages, the type of treatment, the length of treatment and most importantly, whether or not there is any permanency.
As an experienced personal injury lawyer, I am able to determine the dollar range the case should be settled for. It is important to rely on your lawyer’s advice in this regard.
Is there a deadline to file a case?
A question I often get is “does my case have to settle within three (3) years”. The answer is no. A personal injury case can be settled at any time but on average it takes anywhere from six (6) months to five (5) years. It is important not to settle your personal injury case until you have completed your medical treatment or reached a medical end result.
What is important is for the attorney to determine the Statute of Limitations. Court action in most personal injury cases must be filed no later than three (3) years from the date of accident.
If you have any additional legal questions about your personal injury case, call me at 508-674-8890 or email me direct at [email protected] I’ll answer your questions and will provide a free case evaluation if you would like.
For over 35 years the law office of Sabra and Aspden have won over $100 million in verdicts and settlements for personal injury and workers compensation cases. We work vigorously to achieve the maximum recovery for our clients.
Steven P. Sabra