Hasner Law | Personal Injury | December 8, 2022
Depending on several factors, it typically takes anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to receive a personal injury check in Atlanta. It could take significantly longer if you file a lawsuit to settle your claim. Continue reading to learn the factors that could affect the timeline of your Atlanta personal injury case.
The Legal and Factual Complexity of the Case
Some cases are more complex than others. Medical malpractice and product liability claims, for example, are often so complicated that they require the testimony of expert witnesses. Multi-party claims, such as claims arising from highway accident vehicle pile-ups, are also complex. The more complex your claim is, the longer it will probably take you to resolve it.
Reaching Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI)
MMI is the point where you reach full recovery, or you have already improved as much as you ever will. Some accident victims reach MMI quickly, while others take months to reach this point. Most victims wait until they reach MMI to file a claim because it is difficult to calculate damages before this point.
Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, mental anguish, emotional distress, loss of consortium, and other intangible losses. How do you place a dollar value on pain and suffering? Courts and insurance companies do it every day. Nevertheless, the inherent ambiguity that arises when you seek significant non-economic damages lengthens the time it takes to resolve a claim.
Insurance Company Stalling Tactics
An insurance company might deliberately delay settling a personal injury claim for several reasons. If you haven’t hired a lawyer, they might hope you will miss the statute of limitations deadline. They might also hope you will accept a lowball settlement offer after your bills pile up. A good Atlanta personal injury lawyer will know how to counter insurance company stalling tactics.
Settlement Negotiations vs. Litigation
If you are like most people, you would rather settle your personal injury claim out of court. Even if you do, you might still need to file a lawsuit to gain access to the court-administered pretrial discovery process. For example, you might want to hold a deposition to gather information from a hostile witness.
The evidence you gather through pretrial discovery might prompt the defendant or the insurance adjuster to issue a fair settlement offer. That doesn’t mean you will go to trial–you can settle a claim even after you file a lawsuit. Nevertheless, it will add to the time it takes to reach a settlement.
Drafting a Settlement Agreement
Never download a template settlement agreement from the Internet and try to modify it for your own use. Ideally, your lawyer should draft the settlement agreement from scratch. If not, they should carefully scrutinize any settlement agreement proposed by the opposing party. Either way, it will take a certain amount of time to finalize a settlement agreement.
Disbursement of Funds
Reaching a settlement is one thing. Actually, receiving the money is another.
Here is how the process works:
- The opposing party sends the money to your lawyer’s client escrow account.
- Your lawyer deducts appropriate amounts, including the lawyer’s legal fees, case expenses, and other appropriate amounts. If you agreed to a medical lien to pay your medical bills, the lien must be satisfied as soon as your lawyer receives the settlement.
- Your lawyer forwards the remaining balance to you.
If the opposing party agrees to a settlement but fails to actually pay it, you can sue them in court since a signed settlement agreement is a binding contract.
A Skilled Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyer Can Expedite the Settlement Process
Most Atlanta personal injury attorneys will charge you nothing upfront, and they know how to pressure the opposing party to expedite settlement negotiations. With most personal injury lawyers, you pay nothing if you lose. If you win, you pay a pre-agreed percentage of your awarded compensation.
Contact the Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyers at Hasner Law, P.C. For Help
We serve in Fulton County, Chatham County, and its surrounding areas: