Personal Injury Settlement: How Long Does It Actually Take?

August 11, 2022

When most people get into a car accident, they automatically assume that they’ll be able to sue the other driver for a ton of money. Part of this is due to television dramas and movies where they show plaintiffs walking out of a courthouse with a multi-million-dollar settlement. In the real world, it doesn’t work out this way. Accident victims can only sue the other party for injuries and losses they actually suffered. It isn’t enough that you were in an accident. It doesn’t even matter how egregious the defendant’s behavior was. The only thing that matters is what damages you can prove. Your Columbia injury lawyer understands the law. They also understand that some of their clients have unrealistic expectations.

Here, we’ll discuss why so many personal injury cases settle. We’ll also explain what kinds of damages you can expect to receive in your personal injury case. Finally, we will discuss how long it takes to settle a personal injury case and why it’s often the best option when compared with a trial.

Settling Your Personal Injury Case is Best for All Parties Concerned

What you may not realize is that more than 95% of all personal injury lawsuits eventually settle. Any Columbia injury lawyer worth their salt knows this. That’s why we always explain to our clients from the start that there’s a good chance their case will settle.

Sometimes, this isn’t what they want to hear. When you’ve been hurt because of somebody else’s negligence, you’re angry. You want your day in court. What you don’t realize is that settling is in your best option. It isn’t just a way to let the defendant off the hook.

As your personal injury attorney in Columbia will explain, there are several benefits to settling your case. These include the following:

  • Trials are expensive and time consuming. It can be years before your case goes before a judge. During that time, your attorney will have to prepare your case. This costs a lot of money. Even if you win your case, you’ll have to pay all of these costs back.
  • You could lose if you go to trial. Just because you think you have a strong case, that doesn’t mean the judge or jury will agree.
  • Even if you get a judgment, that doesn’t mean you’ll ever get paid. Unless your judgment is against a defendant whose insurance company is footing the bill, your judgment may grow dust until it eventually disappears from the defendant’s credit history.
  • You may be deemed partially responsible for your accident. If this is the case, your damages will be reduced by your percentage of fault. Depending on how high this percentage is, you may walk away with less than what you could’ve settled for.

For these reasons, it usually makes more sense to negotiate a settlement than it does to go to trial.

It Takes a Lot Longer to Go to Trial than it Does to Settle

When you settle your case, you’ll walk away with a lump sum of money. Even if it takes a year to negotiate a fair settlement, that’s still a lot faster than waiting for trial. As stated above, it can take a year or two to go before a judge. Even then, the judge is still going to make you go to mediation. No judge wants their docket clogged with cases that should have settled months earlier.

Even under normal conditions, it can take a year or longer to get your trial date. With the backlog that was caused by COVID-19, the wait is even longer. In many Columbia injury lawyer’s opinion, it doesn’t make sense to drag things out, especially as there’s no guarantee that you’ll win.

Your Total Settlement Will Be Less than Your Personal Injury Lawyer in Columbia Originally Demanded

One thing you need to understand is that, when you settle, you don’t receive your full demand. The whole point of an out of court settlement is to compromise. Your personal injury attorney in Columbia, Georgia is going to have to concede a portion of your damages in order to get the defendant to negotiate.

While there’s no way to know for sure how much your case will settle for, you don’t have to worry about being shortchanged. Your Columbia injury lawyer always has your best interests at heart. They won’t encourage you to accept a settlement that won’t make you whole.

As long as you go into the process understanding that your lawyer’s job is to make you whole, you shouldn’t be too disappointed.

Call and Speak to an Experienced Columbia Injury Lawyer About a Settlement Right Away

When we first meet with potential clients, one of the first things they ask us is how much their case is worth. The second question they ask us is how long it’ll take to get their money. In a perfect world, we would be able to tell our clients exactly how much they’ll get in their settlement. We would also be able to tell them exactly how long it’ll take to get their money. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world. When your Columbia injury lawyer sues somebody, it takes time.

Not only do the courts give the defendant plenty of time to answer your initial complaint, but it takes months or years to get to trial. This is why we usually recommend that our clients settle their personal injury cases. Not only is it less expensive, but it also takes a lot less time than waiting for trial.

If you’ve been injured in any type of accident, you should contact our office. Sit down with one of our personal injury lawyers in Columbia, Georgia. They can answer any questions you may have and give you an idea of what your case may be worth. They can also give you a general idea of how long it may take for your case to settle.