The #1 question clients ask attorney Matt Boulton is, “How long will my case take to settle?” It’s a perfectly legitimate question, considering most people simply want to receive their compensation and put the accident behind them.
More often than not, the popular two-word reply Matt is forced to answer this question with is, “It depends.” If anyone tells you otherwise, you may want to think twice before taking any further personal injury advice from them.
No matter how similar they seem to the casual observer, no two Boulton Law Group clients’ cases are alike. With this in mind, we have to consider a number of factors before we can begin discussing a possible settlement date, and it all begins with your injury status.
Your Must Fully Recover From Your Injuries
In reality, to determine how long your case will take to settle we must first learn how much your case is worth. And we can’t assign a value to your case until your doctor has released you from care and we have a full understanding of your injuries as well as any potential long-term effect they may have on you.
We don’t want to begin thinking about negotiating with an insurance company until we know how well you’re expected to recover from a traumatic injury. So if you suffered severe injuries, such as broken bones or a traumatic brain injury, and required surgery or multiple follow-up procedures, it’s safe to say that it will take some time before we can begin exploring settlement options on your behalf.
Likewise, even if your injuries were less traumatic, such as minor back pain or neck pain, we will still wait until your doctor has declared you have reached a point of maximum medical improvement before we begin to discuss compensation with the insurance company. Doing otherwise could mean the difference between getting the compensation you deserve and having money come out of your own pocket.
In fact, we have witnessed a number of victims opt for a quick settlement only to find that their pain continued to linger, sometimes resulting in new conditions. Because they settled with the insurance company before fully healing, they are now responsible for any future treatment required to address their injuries.
Simply put, accident victims who choose not to wait until they are fully released from doctor’s care, are taking a large risk with their health and potential compensation.
For all these reasons, your injuries will play a key role in determining how long it takes to settle your personal injury claim. However, once your doctor(s) say that your health is at a point where it was pre-accident, then we can begin negotiating with the insurance company.
At this point, you might be thinking, “Should I wait to hire a personal until after I’ve healed?” Absolutely not! In fact, the sooner a personal injury attorney is involved, the more time they have to begin crafting your case.
Ordering Your Medical Records, Bills, and More!
Boulton Law Group only requires one thing of its clients after they hire us: Focus on their health and healing!
In the meantime, Matt and his legal team will be tasked with building the most convincing and powerful case on your behalf. While you are healing, a majority of our efforts will be concerned with attaining appropriate case documentation, such as:
- Medical records
- Medical bills
- Police report(s)
- Witness statements
- Wage loss documentation
- Traffic camera footage
- Accident scene evidence
Again, depending on the complexity of your case and the severity of your injuries, it may take some time to track down, order, and receive certified copies of some or all of these items.
More importantly, whatever documentation and evidence are collected on your behalf must be artfully presented to the insurance company in the form of a professionally written demand letter.
Writing the Demand Letter for Your Case
Some people hear the word “demand” and they think of an aggressive letter filled with snarky language. In reality, a proper demand letter prepared by an experienced personal injury attorney is quite the opposite.
Think of your demand letter as a well-told, convincing story about your accident, your injuries, and the overall effect this incident has had on you. To be effective, our office believes a demand letter should be equal parts factual and personal and presented in a professional, non-combative manner.
Having prepared thousands of demand letters on behalf of injured clients, Matt will be able to determine what should go in the letter and what should be excluded.
The demand letter Matt prepares on your behalf will lay out your entire claim, the theory of liability, compensation request(s), and provide the insurance company with a deadline for response.
It is typical to give the insurance company approximately one month to respond to an initial demand letter, however, we have also witnessed much quicker replies.
Insurance Company Negotiations
Once the insurance company replies to our initial request, we have officially entered the negotiation phase. Unless the insurance company fully meets our initial demand, this is the part of your settlement timeline in which Matt and the insurance company will have regular communication with one another regarding the terms of the settlement.
There are a number of ways the negotiation phase can play out, but no matter what happens along the way, our legal team will keep you informed so that there are no surprises.
As mentioned above, the insurance company may accept the terms of the demand letter as is, or there may be a period of negotiations that last for weeks or months. If Matt believes the insurance company is dragging its feet and not being reasonable, he may also recommend filing a lawsuit and taking them to court.
In short, the timeframe of your personal injury settlement will vary depending on how the insurance company responds to our requests. However, once we enter negotiations we can begin to better determine how long it may take before you actually receive your settlement check.
When Can You Expect a Settlement Check?
Given that Boulton Law Group’s experience, it is fair to say that many of our clients’ cases settle within 8-10 months, however, you don’t want to mark your calendar just yet. It’s important to remember each case is unique, and the circumstances of your case could mean a much quicker settlement or one that takes longer.
Once your case is settled, it takes approximately 4 weeks to receive the official release and check. Boulton Law Group’s legal team will stay in contact with the insurance company throughout this time to make sure there are no further delays.
Ultimately, the cases that take an especially long time to settle are ones that may involve complicated liability matters and extended forms of medical treatment. Even then, it’s rarer to see a case settlement take longer than a year unless a trial is required.
Are You an Injured Hoosier with Questions About Your Case?
If you are an injured Hoosier who has questions about the timeline of your injury case, we can help. Matt has more than 20 years’ experience helping accident victims navigate the personal injury claims process.
Additionally, Boulton Law Group maintains an exclusive focus on personal injury law, including cases such as:
- Car accidents
- Semi-truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Dog bites
- Slip and falls
- Nursing home abuse
- Negligent security
- Wrongful death
No matter the size or type of personal injury, we also offer a Zero Fee Guarantee. This promise means that you will never pay for a legal consultation and our firm receives no payment until after we win your case. It’s just one way we work to ensure you Get Treated Like Family.
To speak to Matt today, call 317-350-2680. Or if you prefer to write to us with your story, please use our confidential contact form.
We look forward to learning how we might be able to help you!
Attorney Matt Boulton is an award-winning personal injury attorney with more than 20 years of experience helping seriously injured people throughout Indiana reclaim what was taken from them. His firm was created for for the client who expects exceptional service and passionate, successful legal representation.