When a prospective client arrives for the first appointment with a personal injury attorney in Las Vegas, Nevada, one of the first things they want to know is: how long will it take until the case is settled? This is understandable. As you are recovering from your injuries, accumulating medical care expenses, hospital bills and various pocket expenses, you want to repay them as soon as possible without getting into debt. Yet, this is extremely difficult, since you are missing time from work and your paycheck has stopped coming in.
It would be tempting for anyone to accept a quick settlement from an insurance adjuster. But the reality is that you should be patient and let an experienced personal injury attorney in Las Vegas negotiate your insurance claim. In most of the cases, the settlement amount negotiated by a lawyer is several times bigger than the adjuster’s initial offer and properly covers all your economic losses.
The Most Important Elements that Determine the Duration of a Case in Nevada
On the average, personal injury cases settle between three and six months. However, some cases can take up to two years – which is the Nevada statute of limitations for taking legal action in a personal injury case.
The factors that influence the time it takes until a personal injury attorney in Las Vegas, Nevada will settle your case are:
1. The Type of Personal Injury Case
The term personal injury covers many different types of acts of negligence, such as:
- Car accidents
- Trucking accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Defective products.
Each type of personal injury case has its unique complexities, such as determining the liable party or parties and the proportion of fault of all the parties involved in the event. When big corporations, such as trucking companies or retail stores are among the liable parties, a case may take longer to settle. These companies rely on big insurance companies and lawyers to fight back your attempts to win financial compensation for your damages.
2. The Extent of Your Injuries
Your personal injury attorney in Las Vegas will tell you that they will be able to calculate your total economic and non-economic damages once you reach the point of maximum medical improvement.
What does this term mean? It represents the moment when your doctor can state that your condition is not expected to improve any further. This is when you will stop certain treatments, enter into rehabilitation and physical therapy and know whether you can return to work.
It is important to wait until this point, because many personal injury accident victims are left with permanent injuries and disabilities. They may have to:
- File for disability support under the workers’ comp scheme
- Retrain for a new type of work
- Purchase assistive devices (wheelchair, walking frame) and make modifications to their home
- Hire home care services.
All these are economic losses resulting from another person’s negligent action and they need to be included in your claim.
3. The Value of Your Claim
Insurance companies will generally delay reaching a settlement when the total claim amount is very high. Of course, they will not pay anything above the maximum coverage amount, but they still try to reduce your settlement as much as possible.
An experienced personal injury attorney in Las Vegas will be patient and conduct negotiations for a reasonable period of time. Trying to hurry up a settlement is not a good idea. The insurer will stick to a lowball offer, which you can take or leave. However, by presenting evidence of their client’s fault and the extent of the injuries you suffered, the lawyer will be able to win the fair compensation you deserve.
The Timeline of a Personal Injury Case
To make things clearer for you, our personal injury attorneys prepared a typical timeline of a personal injury case, including the actions being taken by your lawyer, as well as by yourself.
Moments after the Incident
Your first priority after any kind of accident must be your safety and wellbeing. Call 9-1-1 to report the accident (if applicable) and ask for an ambulance. You need medical attention as soon as possible, even if you do not believe you are seriously hurt. Some injuries will show symptoms hours or days later.
However, if you go to the hospital or to your doctor two days after the accident, the insurance adjuster will quickly claim that you suffered the injury in a separate incident, at a later moment. Thus, they will deny your claim and make it harder for the personal injury attorney in Las Vegas, Nevada to win your case.
Days after the Accident
Depending on the severity of the injuries, you may spend several days or several weeks in hospital. During this period, you will be probably contacted by the fault party’s insurance company. The adjuster will try to offer you a quick settlement or convince you that you do not have a case.
You should refrain from discussing your case with the adjuster and you should definitely not accept the settlement offer. Instead, schedule an appointment with a personal injury attorney in Las Vegas and obtain a case review.
Weeks after the Accident
Once you’ve hired a personal injury law firm, the attorney will start investigating your accident, collecting evidence and preparing your claim. The attorney will wait until you reach the point of maximum medical improvement. This is important, because, once the attorney sent the letter of demand, they cannot modify the amount requested in it.
This is for your own benefit – to obtain the maximum compensation amount you are entitled to. Once the personal injury attorney in Las Vegas, Nevada sends the letter of demand, the negotiations with the insurance company begin.
Most insurers will settle a case during these negotiations. In some cases, the attorney may have to state that you are prepared to file a personal injury lawsuit. While several insurance companies will go to trial hoping for a positive outcome for them, the majority will want to avoid the supplementary costs of a court case and will finally settle your case.
Months to Two Years after the Accident
As the statute of limitations of two years approaches, the personal injury attorney in Las Vegas will decide whether they should continue negotiations or instruct you to file a lawsuit. An experienced lawyer knows when insurers are trying to buy time until the expiration of the statute of limitations. Thus, they will recommend filing a lawsuit with sufficient time to prepare your case, including:
- Reviewing the evidence
- Finding new evidence, if possible
- Reaching out to eyewitnesses
- Explaining to you how to act when called to give your testimony before the judge and jury.
Let an Experienced Personal Injury Law Firm Win Your Case!
Nettles Morris was founded by a team of personal injury attorneys with a combined experience of 30 years working for insurance companies. We know how they treat cases like yours and what to do to counteract their tactics.
We will not charge you any fees until we win your case, so schedule a free case review with us as soon as possible: 702-410-6239!