How long will it take my personal injury case to resolve?

personal injury caseQ How long will it take my case to resolve?A.  An attorney can only give a general timeline for how long a case will settle, because there are several things that he does not know at the onset of an injury case.
A primary consideration is how long it takes for the client’s injury to become stable or what the docs call “permanent and stationary”. No-one knows how long this will take in the beginning, neither the client, the doctors or the attorney. This is because Doctor’s use a differential diagnosis (an educated guess) when first diagnosing and then prescribing treatment for an injury. They may feel a cervical strain is what is wrong and recommend physical therapy of chiropractic treatment to start.
If after 3 months or so, the injury does not appear to be healing well, the original doctor may send the client to a specialist such as an orthopedist or neurologist. This specialist may order a CT scan or MRI and based on the readings of those tests may find that a cervical epidural injection or other procedure is warranted.
If that injection still doesn’t resolve things then other tests and treatments may occur.
It is not unusual that the course of treatment that eventuates is surgery can take 4 or more years.
It is not beneficial to you in most cases, to settle when you’re unsure of what your permanent condition will be or what future medical  treatment you will require. Also at issue is whether you will be able to return to work in some capacity in the future or whether your work life expectancy will be shortened.
An exception may occur if the costs of your medical treatment and wage loss already exceed the wrongdoers insurance policy limits. Your attorney should find out those policy limits in most of those cases and then obtain recovery even if you aren’t done treating if the wrongdoers policy limits aren’t enough.
An attorney, however, has no power whatsoever to make an insurance company do the right thing at the onset. He can argue with them, show them proof etc, but many times they simply play hardball and refuse to pay.
All the attorney can do in those circumstances is to file your lawsuit and move it toward trial, It is only a jury that keeps the insurance industry in line . A properly prepared case with a strong attorney and a good client gives a lot of motivation to insurance companies but NOT until the case is close to or in the middle of trial.
There used to be bad faith law in California to keep insurance companies in line, but that law has been overturned. A real shame.
Most people think that insurance companies act fairly until they get in the middle of an accident case and can see with their own eyes how unfairly they act.

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