HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO SETTLE MY MN PERSONAL INJURY CASE?
How long it takes to settle your personal injury case in Minnesota really depends on the specific facts of your case. As a general rule, our accident injury lawyers recommend you do not settle your case until all your injuries are definitely known, and you have recovered your health as much as you are going to. The reason for this is that you can only settle your case once; you cannot go back later and ask for additional compensation because your injury is worse than you thought. This is true for car accident cases, slip fall, dog bite and all the other injury cases we handle.
In many situations, the case will settle about 12 – 18 months after the accident. However, if the injury is severe or requires surgery, it will take longer for the case to settle because it takes longer to reach that point where your body has recovered as much as it is going to. Generally, your personal injury attorney needs a final opinion from your doctor about the permanency of your injuries, and doctors won’t usually do this until at least a year after the injury or, if there was surgery, a year after the surgery.
Also, settlement will take longer in cases where the insurance company disputes who was at fault in the accident or they dispute that your injury was really caused by the accident. For example, sometimes the insurance company claims that your injury was from a preexisting condition. In these types of cases, your personal injury lawyer may have to begin a lawsuit and the time for settlement of a case through the Minnesota courts will usually take an additional 12 – 20 months while the attorneys prepare the case and the case gets on the court’s trial calendar.
The only way you will be fairly compensated is if you let your attorney collect, document and provide all available information to the insurance company, and if you are not overeager to settle. Although the amount of time it takes for the settlement can be frustrating, we recommend patience. If you are overanxious to get the case settled, you will not get as fair compensation.
Even though it takes a long time to resolve your case, it is important that you contact an attorney soon after your MN accident, so that a proper and complete investigation of the accident can be performed. Allowing the personal injury lawyer to gather information early on will better protect your right in connection with your claims. In many personal injury cases, it is the information we gather the first few weeks after the accident that is crucial, even if it is ultimately not actually used until more than a year later.