Factors That Affect a Personal Injury Claim Processing Time

Glenn Honda | | Personal Injury

Most people are eager to get healthy and move on after an injury. But moving forward can be hard when an injury leaves you with expensive medical expenses, lost wages, and other challenges. In Hawaii, you could be eligible to cover those losses through a personal injury claim.

When consulting a personal injury attorney at Recovery Law Center, a common question arises from potential clients: “How long will it take to resolve my claim?” The truth is, it varies. The timeline of a personal injury case can be influenced by numerous factors, ranging from the claim’s complexity to the insurance company’s response. While some personal injury settlements may be reached in just a few months, more complex cases, especially those heading to trial, could span months or even years.

Consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney like Recovery Law Center is necessary to understand the expected duration and ensure a tailored approach to securing compensation for the injured party.

Factors That Affect the Timing of a Claim

Various factors may impact the timeline for a personal injury claim, including:

  • Type of case: Some cases are more complicated than others. For example, truck accidents often result in the most catastrophic injuries. However, the trucking industry is governed by state and federal regulations. When preparing your case, your personal injury attorney must investigate how these laws work together. Alternatively, your lawyer may only need to apply Hawaii laws to other personal injury claims.
  • Parties involved: Lawsuits involving multiple parties typically take longer to resolve if your attorney has to negotiate with several insurance companies. Every insurer will try to downplay their policyholder’s role in the accident.
  • Damages: The greater the injury, the higher the claim’s value. A high-dollar case will take longer to settle.
  • Level of cooperation: Negotiating a personal injury settlement is easier if both parties are flexible. A lawsuit may be the best option if the at-fault party refuses to cooperate.

How Long Will My Case Take?

An experienced personal injury lawyer aims for full and fair compensation for their clients. What it takes to reach that result varies based on the facts of the case.

Most personal injury cases are resolved in settlements with the responsible party’s insurance company. That’s usually the best-case scenario for everyone because it avoids the costs, risks, and publicity of a trial.

However, insurance companies don’t usually offer fair settlement offers to claimants without a fight. An adjuster will investigate the case and seek reasons to deny or minimize your settlement offer. The more stubborn the insurer is, the longer it could take to resolve your case.

How Can I Speed Up the Process?

You can improve your chances of a timely resolution to your claim by:

  • Hiring a personal injury lawyer: An attorney can prepare your claim, file it, and represent you in all communications with the insurance company. This can prevent you from some of the pitfalls that drag out a case, such as submitting incomplete documentation.
  • Being honest: Tell your lawyer everything you can about the accident, even if you think you may be partly to blame. This can help avoid surprises that set back your case or paint you as a dishonest plaintiff.
  • Limiting what you say: Avoid talking about the case with others or on social media. Refer the insurance company to your lawyer if they call.

What are the Types of Settlement Negotiations for Personal Injury Claim Processing 

lawyer judge reading documents at desk in courtroom working on w

Settlement negotiations for personal injury claims in Hawaii, like those in other jurisdictions, typically follow several key stages and can involve various strategies or types.

Here’s a breakdown of the common types of settlement negotiations that may occur:

  1. Informal Negotiations: Before any formal legal action is taken, the parties involved may attempt to resolve the issue through informal discussions. This often involves the injured party (or their attorney) and the at-fault party (or their insurer) trying to reach a mutually agreeable compensation amount.
  2. Demand Letter and Response: Before formal negotiations begin, the injured party’s lawyer usually sends a demand letter to the insurance company of the at-fault party. This letter outlines the case facts, the damages suffered, and a specific monetary demand for settlement. The insurance company then responds, potentially leading to further negotiations.
  3. Mediation: Mediation involves a neutral third party who helps the disputing parties try to reach a settlement. The mediator does not make decisions for the parties but facilitates dialogue and compromise. Mediation is often quicker and less expensive than trial, allowing the parties to retain control over the outcome.
  4. Arbitration: Similar to mediation, arbitration involves a neutral third party. However, unlike a mediator, an arbitrator can determine the settlement amount after hearing from both sides. Arbitration may be voluntary or mandatory depending on any existing arbitration agreement.
  5. Litigation and Pre-Trial Settlements: The claim may proceed to litigation if the parties cannot agree to a settlement through the above methods. Even after a lawsuit is filed, negotiations can continue up to and during the trial. Settlements at this stage are typical, as both sides may wish to avoid the uncertainty and expense of a trial.
  6. Structured Settlements: If a settlement is reached, the payment can be structured over time rather than paid in a lump sum. This can benefit both parties in various ways, such as tax advantages for the recipient and payment flexibility for the payer.
  7. Settlement through the Insurance Claim Process: Insurance claim procedures and policies often heavily influence the negotiation process. The insurance company assesses the claim by evaluating the injury, liability, and damages, which sets the negotiation stage.

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer in Hawaii

The attorneys at Recovery Law Center are passionately committed to helping injured individuals on Oahu achieve justice. Suppose you’re dealing with the aftermath of an accident. In that case, whether as a resident or a visitor on vacation, our experienced personal injury lawyers are here to assist you in navigating your personal injury case and securing the financial recovery you deserve.

Several processing time factors can influence the duration it takes to settle your claim. Understanding one of them is crucial, as each personal injury case depends on the circumstances of the case. This emphasizes the importance of skilled legal guidance to expedite your path to recovery.

Schedule a consultation with us so we can provide you with legal assistance for your claims process.

Glenn T. Honda

For over 29 years, attorney Glenn Honda has helped people injured in accidents throughout Hawaii get the best outcome for their case, whether it’s maximizing their settlement, or balancing costs and risks vs. putting the whole experience behind them. As the founding attorney of the Recovery Law Center, he is passionate about helping his clients with their physical, emotional and financial recovery. Mr. Honda will fight to get you coverage for your medical bills, lost wages, damaged property and other costs related to your accident.

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