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After a motor vehicle accident, most people involved just want to put the memory behind them. Injury victims, however, can find it difficult to move on when they’re left to cope with costly medical expenses, time away from work and property damage.
The Cincinnati personal injury attorneys at Young, Reverman & Mazzei work hard to achieve fair financial resolutions for injury victims as fast as possible. While most cases can be settled within a year, the process sometimes takes longer depending on the unique circumstances of the case and whether the case goes to court.
Most personal injury cases are resolved outside of the courtroom, but sometimes it’s necessary to take a claim to court in order to recover the money injury victims need for long-term medical costs, lost wages and other damages.
Why Does it Take So Long to Settle an Injury Case?
Personal injury cases related to traffic crashes often take a few months to a year to investigate and settle. This complex process focuses on establishing key elements that include:
- Liability: Determining fault is often subjective, and it can be complicated if multiple drivers played roles in the accident that caused the injuries
- Damages: The long-term costs associated with some injuries can be difficult to calculate, and insurance companies may present injury victims with inadequate settlement offers or attempt to extend the negotiation process in hopes that injury victims will settle for less than they actually need
- Evidence: Documentation related to the collision and resulting injuries must be collected and scrutinized; this includes, but is not limited to, police reports, medical records and witness statements
The extent of a crash victim’s injuries and associated medical care may also delay a timely resolution. This is because one of the goals in personal injury claims is for the injury victim to attain what is referred to as “maximum medical improvement,” or the state in which the victim’s condition can’t be further improved upon. This allows your attorney to understand the scope of the injuries as well as their likely long-term effects on your quality of life.
What is a Personal Injury Lawyer’s Role?
The job of your personal injury attorney is to maximize the compensation available to you and take care of the “heavy lifting” while you and your family focus on recovery. Your attorney will lead you through the process, beginning with the submission of what is called a “demand package.”
The demand package includes medical records, property damage bills and other evidence relevant to your claim. Depending on the severity of the injury, the demand package is generally submitted within a few months of the injury victim reaching maximum medical improvement.
The insurance company typically responds with a settlement offer within a couple months. If your attorney believes the settlement offer is unfair, he or she will negotiate the amount. Initial settlement offers are rarely sufficient to cover victims’ long-term needs.
If a just settlement can’t be reached, your lawyer may recommend filing a lawsuit. While going to court can extend the timeframe of your case, it can also lead to greater compensation.
How Many Personal Injury Cases Go to Court?
A vast majority of personal injury claims are settled through negotiations. According to data from Black’s Law Dictionary, only about 4 to 5 percent of all personal injury cases go to court.
The Cincinnati personal injury attorneys at Young, Reverman & Mazzei strive to achieve fair settlements on behalf of our clients, but we also have the resources and courtroom expertise to take your case to trial if insurance company settlement offers are too low.
If you were hurt or a loved one was killed in a motor vehicle accident caused by a negligent driver, please call us today at 513-721-1200 or contact us online to arrange your free consultation. Our attorneys are dedicated to helping injury victims from the greater Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio, areas as well as our neighbors in Dearborn County, Indiana, and in Boone County, Campbell County and Kenton County, Kentucky.