A question Mike gets asked a lot is “how long does it take to resolve a personal injury claim?” Here, he answers that question for you!
If you’ve been in a car accident in Florida recently, you might have many questions about what to do next. You are probably in physical pain, are worried about ever getting back to full health, and you have rising medical bills and possible lower wages from missed time from work. The majority of our clients have never had to talk with an attorney before, so we created this page about how the process works.
When you’ve been injured in a car accident, you face pain, anxiety and stress all while wondering how long it will be before everything is back the way it used to be. One of the questions you might have is how long is it going to take before you get your compensation?
There is no single answer, however, we see the time frames to complete a personal injury claim generally fall in three categories:
Each of these categories has a different timeframe for completing the claim based on the types and severity of injuries and the patient’s response to treatment and therapy.
In all three, the patient has to reach some sort of medical conclusion—whether that’s means a full recovery or the need for future treatment—then the medical records are gathered and reviewed by our expert staff. Based on the prognosis of the doctor and after reviewing the plan for future medical treatment, then all of the past and future costs can be added and considered in a demand letter to the insurance company.
These cases take about 30 to 60 days to settle after the person is fully recovered. Here, the patient has fully healed within 30 days or so, and the doctor has said that there are no outstanding medical issues related to the accident. After records are reviewed the demand letter is submitted, and the settlement process takes place and usually concludes within 30 to 60 days.
It may take three to four months to settle these cases. When a patient hasn’t fully healed by the four to six-week period after the accident, it has been our experience that there are some lingering medical issues that will likely take up to four months—or more—to resolve.
Once we believe that to be the case, we can start our process of getting medical records and look at the prognosis of the doctors. We then determine how long it might take to resolve the medical issues, and how much it will cost.
We also add up all future loss of wages, pain and suffering and other compensable damages. From this point, it typically takes 30 to 60 days to settle.
These may take from six to eight months to complete. In some of the cases where the injuries were more severe and it’s going to take much more time to heal, then we take a look at the prognosis of the patient at the four to six month period and get an idea of what further treatment and rehabilitation is needed.
It’s likely in these that the orthopedic and primary care doctors will refer the patient out to specialists for further treatment. Then we look at the likelihood of a full recovery, and if not, what type of future treatment is needed along with the scope of any permanent disability.
From here we put together a demand letter and will typically settle the case within 30 to 60 days.
For categories two and three, there are many typical types of injuries and symptoms that a patient is experiencing that have not resolved themselves within the 30-day time, with some taking six months or even longer. It’s these symptoms that will elicit the need for further treatment and provide the possibility of longer-term care and permanent disability.
Some of the symptoms that might still be lingering and require future treatment are:
These are just a few, and there are many injuries that could cause lingering, ongoing or even permanent pain, suffering and discomfort for the patient. These will all be taken into consideration for any demand for compensation and settlement.
Our phones are answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We will answer your questions, make recommendations and provide you with a free, confidential evaluation of your injury claim, all without obligation to use our legal services.
Everyone at Hancock Injury Attorneys, from our receptionist and paralegals to our attorneys, is committed to providing our clients with exceptional legal representation and client service.
Hancock Injury Attorneys has been representing clients in Tampa and surrounding communities since 1996.
Hi, I’m Mike Hancock with Hancock Injury Attorneys and today we’re going to talk about how long it usually takes to resolve a personal injury claim. I like to explain to my clients that you may fall into one of three different categories of injuries and personal injury claims.
The first of those three categories is a category where hopefully within 30 days, all of the injuries that you have sustained in the accident have gone away, have gotten better, and your doctors have told you that there’s no need for continuing medical treatment. In those types of claims, we’re able to go ahead and wrap up your personal injury claim within 30 to 60 days.
The second category of case that I like to describe with my clients is the category where at the end of that first 30 days or four to six weeks after the accident, all of your pains have not gone away and you may still be having neck pain or back pain or you may have some type of other knee or shoulder related issue that has not yet completely healed. Typically, in my experience, if the injury has not healed within four to six weeks, it’s typically going to be one that might at best heal up within four to six months. So, either we’re able to essentially gather up all your information and attempt to settle it with them about 30 to 60 days if your injuries go away within 30 days.
Otherwise, you’re falling into the category where at the end of four to six months, we’re able to gather up all the appropriate records from your doctors with opinions such as what exactly your injuries were as a result of the accident, how much your medical bills had been as a result of the accident, what your prognosis is, and that’s one of the most important things in helping to evaluate your claim. We need to know what if any problems you’re going to have in the future and how long those problems may last into the future. We need to know whether it’s going to be something that is just going to be with you another six months to a year or something that’s going to be chronic for the rest of your life. We get your doctor to prepare the appropriate report with not only the diagnosis but the prognosis, the plan for future treatment, and the expected cost of that future treatment. And then with that information, we go ahead and evaluate and prepare a demand in your case.
Then the third category of case is one where at the end of four to six months, my client may still be suffering from the injuries caused by the accident. They may have a situation where they still have neck problems or tingling and numbness going down an arm or tingling and numbness and pain going down from the lower back into their leg or legs. At that point for my clients who aren’t yet healed at four to six months, typically their orthopedic surgeons or orthopedic doctors are then going to be making a referral out for additional medical care to see what in addition to physical therapy might be necessary to alleviate your pain. That could be anywhere from pain management, additional physical therapy, or it could be a surgical recommendation.
So at that point, we then have the opportunity to, with all the appropriate records and opinions from your doctors, go ahead and try to evaluate your case, get all the appropriate records regarding the diagnosis, prognosis, and future medical expenses, gather that all up get it together evaluate your case and then make a demand to settle your case.
Those are the three different categories that I typically see with my clients of different types of injury claims. Please give me a call with any questions you may have. Call me Mike Hancock with Hancock injury attorneys at 813.915.1110 or contact us at Hancock injury attorneys .com.