Well, as you can imagine, there are many factors that go into determining how long it will take for a personal injury case to settle.
Many of the factors that determine how long the case will take to settle also will determine how much a case is worth.
What are the major factors in a personal injury claim?
One of the major factors is the injuries caused by the accident.
We usually say the average case in a car accident takes three to five months. It could be longer, it could be shorter. It really depends on how you, the patient, progress. In other words, the longer it takes to recover from your injuries, the longer the case may take.
The next major factor to look at is the available insurance coverage.
Florida is a no-fault state which means every driver is required to have Personal Injury Protection but there’s no requirement for anybody to carry bodily injury insurance. Bodily injury insurance is a type of insurance that we can make a claim against in your car accident case to cover injuries.
So, if you are severely injured in a car crash and there is only a $10,000 policy that can be collected from the at-fault party, it doesn’t mean that your case is only worth $10,000 – it means that it is the amount of money available from the bodily injury carrier.
If the at-fault party does not have enough insurance to compensate you for your injuries, then we look towards your insurance to see if you have uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist coverage.
That is extra insurance you would buy to protect yourself if you’re hit and injured by somebody who doesn’t have enough insurance or doesn’t have any bodily injury at all. And again, you can be completely legally driving in Florida with no bodily injury insurance because we’re a no-fault state.
When should you consider a lawsuit in a car accident personal injury case?
Now, generally speaking, the average case is three to five months.
At the end of your treatment, once you’re released from care, we’ll send off a demand in your case. And if the insurance company, at the end of the case, is not offering you enough money to pay for past medicals, cover future care and treatment, and put a little bit of money in your pocket, that’s when we talk to you about filing a lawsuit.
Now, that decision remains your decision. We offer you advice and guidance on that decision.
It’s important because that will extend the life of the case. Litigation, filing a lawsuit, is a whole other beast in and of itself, with a lot of requirements that extend the life of the case.
So, if your case is in litigation, it’s definitely going to extend the life of the case. But ultimately, it could end up in a better result for you in increasing your value on your case.
How do different types of personal injury cases differ in length of time and value?
Personal injury cases can include car accidents, slip and falls, product liability and more. It is important to look at the different types of cases to see how they differ to really understand them. We have already talked about car accidents, so let’s talk about some other types of cases.
Slip & Fall Accidents
Many factors go into determining a slip and fall accident. A major factor is the liability aspect.
With slip and fall accidents, serious injuries can happen. The value of your case and the length of time it takes to complete it depends ultimately on what are your injuries and what is the liability aspect.
Well, let’s say you slip and fall at a Walmart. Well, Walmart has to be on notice of the dangerous condition that you slipped and fell on. The larger the business, the larger the length of notice they have to be on.
And a great example I like to give is this: A seven year old kid is walking down an aisle in Walmart while drinking a can of Coca-Cola; they accidentally spill that coke but continue on their merry way looking for their mother. You go down that aisle one minute after that kid spilled that coke, and you slipped and fall on that dangerous condition.
Now, is that one minute long enough time, long enough notice for Walmart to be on notice? No. In this case, it is not enough notice.
So, determining liability really depends on the size of the business, how long it’s been there, and was it enough time for their employees to rectify it.
Defective Product Cases
Defective product cases generally take much longer than all other personal injury type of cases simply because of the fact that most defective product cases are already in litigation. And again, once we’re in litigation, once we’re filing a lawsuit, then the life of the case is extended.
What factors play a role in determining the possible settlement amount? Again, there’s a lot of factors. Ultimately, determining what are your injuries, and what is the treatment that you’ve had for those injuries?
Who pays for my medical bills?
It depends on the type of case.
If it is a car accident, Florida being a no-fault state, the first $10,000 of insurance coverage pays for your medical bills. 80% of those medical bills, up to $10,000. If there’s a bodily injury policy, then the excess medical bills will be paid out of that.
Sometimes there’s a medical payments policy which will also come into play in premises liability, slip and fall type cases. Also, you might have a Med Pay policy as well.
With all these factors, we can help determine all these for you. We can find out what kind of coverages are out there, and we can guide you through your case.
What should I do if my attorney won’t call me back?
First, you should keep a record of when you call them and try to reach them several times and leave messages if you are not able to reach them. While many attorneys are very busy, if you are getting the runaround at a firm, you should consider hiring another law firm.
At Michles & Booth, we pride ourselves on returning phone calls. We are able to do this because we do not work alone; our staff is comprised of over 40 paralegals, accident investigators, IT specialists and other support staff.
“My attorney won’t return my calls” is the biggest complaint we hear in our industry. If your attorney is not returning your calls, you will have every right to fire that attorney and pick another one, if you want.
At Michles & Booth, we provide aggressive and compassionate legal representation to the victims of negligence, injured workers, and individuals seeking Social Security benefits. If you or someone you know needs help, please give us a call to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. Give us a call today: (800) 848-6168.
View the related video here: https://youtu.be/8oX3VSk31wc