Frequently Asked Questions of Personal Injury Clients

March 29, 2018

2 of the most popular questions: How long does this take and how much will I get in the end?

If you have ever been in a car crash, you understand how stressful it can be.  Dealing with insurance adjusters, getting your car fixed, and seeking medical attention – it can seem very daunting.  Clients seeking attorney representation often have many questions, however, there are two very common questions that are very difficult to answer.  One, how long does this process take?  Two, how much will I get in the end?  These questions are difficult to answer because there are a lot of things that can affect the timeline of a case and how much is recovered.

It is difficult to predict how long a case will take to be resolved because there are many factors outside of the control of the client and attorney, which can affect the timeline of a case.  These factors include; liability determinations, injuries, medical treatment, and insurance coverage.  For example, an intersectional crash may create a dispute as to who is at fault.  Sometimes in this instance, filing a lawsuit is necessary if the insurance company is denying a claim, which can take longer than resolving a case without filing a lawsuit.  Also, a case where somebody has sustained broken bones that require months of therapy could take longer than a case where the injuries are not as severe, simply because some injuries require longer recovery.

Similar to predicting how long a case will take, it is almost impossible to know what a client will receive in terms of settlement amount, until the very end.  Much like the timeline of a case, similar factors can impact how much a client will receive out of a settlement.  For instance, a case where there is a lot of insurance coverage may allow a client to be compensated more than a case where there is a small amount of insurance coverage.  Additionally, medical bills change as a client seeks treatment.  It is often difficult to predict what a client’s medical treatment will include at the beginning of a case, so as a client seeks treatment and incurs bills, the amount of the settlement could change as well.

Lastly, it is important for clients and prospective clients to know that a good attorney will keep their client informed of the case and provide straightforward answers to questions.   Some questions, such as the ones discussed above, may not be able to be answered.  Attorneys want to set reasonable expectations for their clients so if you have these questions in mind, please understand why it may be tough to get an answer.