Recovery after an injury takes time and is different for each person. Before settling your case, it is important that you have reached maximum recovery from your injuries and assess any long-term impacts of your injuries on your activities and ability to work.
Speaking with our Accident Injury Lawyers at James H. Brown & Associates will help you understand the claims process and why months or years may be required to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
Why Do Personal Injury Lawsuits Take So Long?
The answer is that personal injury lawsuits are complicated. Many factors go into how they progress. Your injury lawyer on your behalf, and your insurance company must consider many factors before settling, and some of these elements take time to determine. Things such as your injuries, whether you make a complete recovery, whether you can work or how soon you can return to work, is the liability disputed, and much more play into how long your personal injury case will take. Below, we will go into detail about many of your injury law case factors that impact the duration it takes to reach a settlement.
Focus on Your Recovery
You may require treatment from several healthcare providers, such as your family doctor, specialists, physiotherapists, and chiropractors. Speak with your healthcare providers to determine the best treatment plan to recover from your injuries. Follow up with your doctors and health care providers regularly while you are recovering from your injuries.
For a number of months following the accident, we will gather the medical documentation and evidence required to advance your case. Many people have never been in a car accident before or have never had any serious injuries. Others have medical conditions that have become worse from a car accident. Your lawyer will review your medical charts to calculate the damages, and the amount of money you will receive for the losses you have suffered.
Negotiation and Calculating Damages
Throughout the claims process, there is on-going communication and negotiation with the other driver’s insurance company. Offers are typically exchanged. Your lawyer contacts you to discuss offers and get your instructions on whether to accept the offer. For more information on how damages are calculated, refer to our Blog.
Statement of Claim
In many cases, a Statement of Claim is filed in the Court of King’s Bench of Alberta. A Statement of Claim is a legal document that formally starts the lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
In Alberta, typically, a Statement of Claim must be filed within two years from the date of the accident, or you lose your right to sue. There are some exceptions to this, for example, if the injured person was a minor at the time of the accident. Make sure you understand your options and legal rights.
If the claim is not resolved directly with the insurance company, the opposing lawyer may want to ask you questions about your injuries and how the accident happened. Your lawyer will discuss with you the questioning process so that you are prepared.
In some cases, liability is disputed. In other words, the other driver or person responsible for the accident has not accepted fault. In these cases, there are often additional documents exchanged and expert reports.
Claims may go to mediation. Mediation is a dispute resolution process in which a mediator facilitates discussion and the exchange of offers among the parties involved. Most often claims are resolved before trial, through mediation or another dispute resolution process. Remember that claims can take a number of months or years after the accident to reach a settlement, depending on the severity of your injuries and whether there is a dispute over who is at fault for the collision. Speak with one of our experienced Accident Lawyers today to understand the steps in your case.
Your lawyer will discuss with you offers of settlement so you can make an informed decision. Your lawyer will help you understand how damages are calculated. Once your file settles, your claim is discontinued in court if a Statement of Claim was filed. Remember that once you have accepted a settlement, it is final, and you cannot later sue the at-fault driver or at-fault party again for more money. You are in full control of what happens with your settlement process, if you wish to settle, or have your case continue you have the final say.
At James H. Brown & Associates, our experienced team of Accident Lawyers fight for you and help you understand the process so that you are confident in your settlement.