Whenever prospective clients speak with personal injury attorneys, they think about compensation and how quickly the case might move. Understandably, an injury can severely hamper your financial situation. However, a personal injury attorney needs to examine several factors before estimating how soon a client might get compensation.
Extent of the Injuries
The severity of a victim's injuries will dictate how long they need to recover physically. Even if a case looks clear-cut, such as a broken forearm following a slip-and-fall accident, you want to know everything before you settle on compensation. Suppose the slip-and-fall victim has undiscovered nerve damage in their wrist. If they settle too quickly, they might only learn about the nerve problems after it's too late to renegotiate.
A personal injury lawyer will almost always want you to take a few months to recover before considering a settlement. This gives time for swelling to go down, and that can reveal additional damage. Also, you will get a better sense of how well your body is healing. Once you know what your medical future looks like, you will be in a better position to settle.
Identifying the Defendant
A personal injury attorney needs to show that a defendant is at fault. Some cases are simple. If the slip-and-fall in the previous example happened at a store, there is a good chance the store's operator is at fault.
However, some cases are more complex. Suppose the store was in a mall. Worse, the incident happened at the threshold between the store's area of responsibility and the mall's open area. A personal injury attorney may need to study the store's relationship with the mall to determine who is liable.
Investigation and Reports
An injury case requires evidence. Depending on the circumstances, a personal injury lawyer might need to wait for reports from cops and first responders. They may also need to obtain surveillance videos from the defendant and neighbors. Lawyers might want to interview witnesses.
Investigation takes time. Your attorney may need to contact an expert to learn more about a specific problem. Suppose an incident involved a machine that activated at the wrong time. Your lawyer will want to investigate the specific machine and any known problems with the model in general. Also, they will want to check maintenance and repair logs.
Both sides rarely reach an agreement immediately. If the insurance company wants to wrap things up quickly, you might need months to settle. However, an angry defendant could fight the case for years.
For more info, contact a local company like Siben & Siben LLP.Share