How Long Does it Take to Get a Personal Injury Settlement in Philadelphia?
When a person is injured as a result of another person’s negligence, they want justice for the harm they have suffered, and they want it quickly. Getting compensation from the party responsible for your injury can be achieved either through settlement or litigation. Settlement involves negotiation between the two parties in hopes of reaching an agreement that is acceptable to them. Litigation involves entering the court system and leaving the final decision up to a judge or jury. Most personal injury cases will settle without litigation. This is because litigation is costly and can take a long time. The time it takes to get a personal injury settlement in Philadelphia will vary depending on a number of factors including the complexity of the case, the severity of the victim’s injuries, and whether the defendant accepts liability or not. On average, the personal injury timeline to settlement in Pennsylvania is around 1.5 years. To help ease your process, make sure you hire an experienced and trusted personal injury lawyer.
Steps in the Settlement Process
Step 1: Start Treatment and Retain an Attorney
It is important to start treatment as soon as you notice your injury. In some cases such as in a car crash, you may be immediately aware of your injury after the crash. If you are in a car crash, it is advisable that you seek medical attention even if you have no visible injuries. There may be internal injuries that will require your attention and may be the basis for a personal injury claim. It is important to speak with a personal injury attorney as soon as practicable to protect your rights and assess the strength of your legal claim.
Step 2: Continue with Medical Treatment
If you commenced treatment as advised in Step 1, it is important that you continue to make all appointments and follow the doctor’s course of treatment until you are fully recovered or you have achieved maximum medical improvement. It is important that you continue your medical treatment because your medical records will be an important component in building your case.
Step 3: Gather Documentation including Medical Records, Bills, and Lien Amounts
It is important that you document every expense you incur in relation to your injury. Your attorney will need to obtain those records in order to build your case and compute your total damages. You may be cheated out of the full and fair compensation that you deserve if your lawyer cannot access the evidence to back up the value of your total damages.
Step 4: Draft and Send a Demand Packet, and Negotiate Settlement
In this Step, your lawyer will send a “Demand Packet”, also referred to as a “Demand Package” to the defendant’s insurance company. The Demand Packet contains all the medical records and other evidence backing your claim. This marks the beginning of the negotiation process with the insurance company. The insurance company may then make an offer that fully compensates you, and you agree to accept. If there is no agreement, then your lawyer will most likely start the litigation process.
Step 5: Complete Settlement Documents, Settle Outstanding Bills, and Close the Case
If you agree to accept the insurance company’s settlement offer, you will receive a settlement agreement and release, which you must sign as final acceptance of the conclusion of the case. Your attorney will receive the settlement amount, which is kept in a trust account. Your attorney will also help you negotiate and settle all outstanding bills and liens. Once all the bills, liens, attorney’s costs and fees are settled and paid from your settlement funds, your lawyer will pay the balance to you.
If you have suffered a personal injury, the passionate personal injury lawyers at Rosenbaum & Associates can help you through the process to make sure that you get the compensation you deserve. We offer free consultations and you pay no fee unless we win. Call us at 215-569-0200 to schedule your free case review.