No one wants to be in an accident or suffer injuries due to someone else’s reckless behavior. Usually, a personal injury in Kona includes car crashes, slip-and-fall accidents, and medical malpractice, among others.
If you or your loved one has suffered injuries due to someone else’s negligence, you can file a personal injury claim. It can help you recover compensation for your medical expenses, emotional harm, lost wages, and disabilities arising from the said accident.
When filing a personal injury claim, the most common query people have is how long it will take to settle their case. Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this question because each personal injury case is unique. Depending on the circumstances of your case, it may take anywhere from a few weeks to several months to settle.
Let’s see how the process works and what factors will affect the timeline of your personal injury claim in Kona.
A. The Timeline of a Typical Personal Injury Claim in Kona
The timeline of a typical personal injury claim includes the following steps:
1. Medical Treatment
The first step is getting the required medical attention and following through with the treatment advised by your doctor. Your medical records are the key evidence supporting your claim. That’s why you need to focus on your complete recovery and follow the doctor’s advice to the letter.
2. Consultation with Your Lawyer
The next step will be to find a suitable personal injury lawyer and talk to them about your case. Most attorneys offer a free first-time consultation. After the lawyer has decided to take your case, they will investigate it further.
3. Sending the Demand Letter
After an in-depth investigation of your case, your attorney will write and send a demand letter to the other party. Usually, your lawyer will send the letter once you have reached Maximum Medical Improvement or MMI to make sure your claim can cover your expenses.
4. Filing the Lawsuit
In some cases, a personal injury claim in Kona may settle at this stage if the insurance company or the at-fault party finds your demand reasonable. If not, your lawyer will file the lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires.
5. Discovery Phase
During this stage, personal injury law in Kona allows lawyers from both sides to investigate the legal claims, evidence, and defenses. It usually involves cross-checking evidence and witness testimony, and also depositions. The lawyers will request documents from each other and study the case with the possibility of going to trial.
6. Negotiation and Mediation
This is an important step in the case timeline. At this stage, lawyers from both sides will try to negotiate a settlement either themselves or through a court-appointed mediator. Most claims will settle at this stage as trials are often expensive and time-consuming.
Sometimes, all efforts to settle out of court fail, and your case goes to trial. The trial phase can last for a few days, weeks, months, or longer, depending on your case. The court offers a verdict once the trial is over.
B. Factors Affecting the Timeline of a Personal Injury Claim in Kona
Here are the three key factors that will affect the timeline of your case:
1. Severity of Your Injuries
As you can see, severe injuries, such as neurological damage, complex fractures, and disabling physical or mental damage, require a longer time to reach MMI. It is also complicated to determine the long-term effect of such injuries compared to simple fractures and soft tissue injures. In other words, if your injuries are severe, your personal injury claim in Kona will take longer to settle.
2. Amount of Damages
The amount of damages is often the reason behind the delay in settling your case. In most cases, the insurance company is not willing to pay the damages if the amount demanded is high. If you have suffered severe injuries, you will want more money from the insurance company, which they may not find reasonable.
In such a case, the insurance company is less likely to settle until the date of trial is set. Only when they realize that paying the damages is less expensive than going for time-consuming and costly litigation, the insurance company will settle. Sometimes, it will take several rounds of negotiations and even mediation to settle the case before it goes to trial.
3. Complexity of Your Case
Straightforward cases where people suffered minimal injuries or suffered only property damage will settle quickly. It is often more manageable for your personal injury lawyer to collect the required documents, figure out the compensation amount, and negotiate a settlement in such cases.
However, if your case involves severe injuries and requires disputing facts with the help of expert witnesses, your personal injury claim in Kona will take considerably longer to settle. This type of case often needs thorough discovery and research, which is time-consuming.
No two personal injury cases are the same. That’s why, it is difficult to say precisely how long your case will take to settle. The best course of action is to choose a reliable and experienced personal injury attorney and follow their advice when making decisions related to your claim. Hopefully, understanding the personal injury claim process and the factors that affect your case’s timeline will help you make an informed decision.
Call the Experts in Personal Injury Law in Kona
If you or your loved one is thinking of filing a personal injury claim in Kona, talk to the experienced and skilled attorneys at Olson & Sons first. We will leave no stone unturned to help you get the best possible compensation. You can call our Kona office at 808.331.3113 to schedule a consultation.