How Long Does it Take for a Personal Injury Case to Settle in Florida?

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Car accidents leave victims hurt, in financial and emotional distress, and out of work for days, weeks, months, and in some cases, years. The elite professionals at Clayton Trial Lawyers (“CTL”) understand that car accidents are extremely stressful events, and we work diligently on your behalf to settle your case as efficiently as possible so that you can focus on your recovery. The following information could be helpful for you to better understand how the settlement process works.  

It is important to understand that a personal injury case in South Florida will settle in these two ways: 1) settlement negotiations with the insurance company, or 2) litigation in which a judge or jury decides the terms of the settlement.  

Generally, the amount of time it takes to reach a settlement with an insurance company can vary from months to years. This will depend on several factors.  

  1. Severity of the injuries: A personal injury attorney will work on settlement negotiations once the injuries are determined. If the injured party requires extensive treatment over time, the case may take longer to settle as the damages will be evaluated once the extent to which the injuries have affected the person’s life is determined. 
  2. Insurance company cooperation: Insurance companies have attorneys who represent the client, the at-fault party. In some cases, insurance companies will not be cooperative in the settlement process, which could lengthen the amount of time it takes for a personal injury case to settle. If your attorney and the insurance company cannot reach a settlement agreement, the case will go to court for a judge or jury to decide. 
  3. Complexity of the case: Multiple-vehicle accidents and cases with multiple parties are other reasons settlement negotiations may take a longer amount of time. In cases that involve multiple defendants, including individuals, business entities, and/or municipalities, settlement negotiations could take longer. Negotiations that involve multiple parties and defendants that share liability are complex and take more time to resolve. 
  4. Disputes over liability: In some cases, the plaintiff’s attorney and insurance company quickly agree on who or what was at fault and the percentage of liability that the defendant has for the accident. These cases will likely reach settlements quicker than cases in which there is a dispute. Factors that determine liability include police reports, witness statements, photographs or videos of the accident scene, and circumstances surrounding the accident. These pieces of evidence do not always align with the same story. In these situations, cases will likely take longer to settle and may require going to trial.

Will My Personal Injury Case Go to Court in South Florida?  

While there is no formula for determining if a case will go to court or not, your South Florida injury attorney will be able to best advise you on whether or not a case like yours could go to court after a failure to reach a settlement during negotiations.   

Cases in which there is a dispute over liability or damages are more likely to go to court as the plaintiff and the insurance company are less likely to see eye-to-eye over what happened, who should be liable for damages, and even what those damages are. Damages common to personal injury cases include medical bills, wage loss, and pain and suffering.  

Once a case goes to trial, the court system where the case is filed will determine how long it will take for the case to go to trial. Trials last anywhere from days to several weeks in Florida. At the end of the trial, a judge or jury will determine the terms of the settlement and the case will be dismissed.  Are you looking for a personal injury attorney who gets results? Reach out to us for a free consultation.