Life gets turned upside down when you suffer an unexpected injury. Suddenly, everything from your ability to work to taking care of simple daily tasks is a hundred times harder. This can take a toll on your emotional health.
If your injuries were the result of another person’s negligent or reckless behavior, you may be entitled to financial compensation. The process of securing that compensation is a little different depending on the type of accident that led to your injury. For example, you cannot refer to the timeline for a car accident injury case if you are dealing with medical malpractice or a slip and fall injury.
This may leave you wondering just how long your personal injury case will take. While factors unique to your own situation will influence the timeline, you can also consider how long a generic case normally takes.
How Long Car Accident Injury Settlements Take
Texas follows an at-fault system for car accident liability. This means that whoever is at fault for causing a car accident is also responsible for covering the costs of any resulting damages, including both physical injuries and vehicle damage.
You have three options for compensation in an at-fault system. These are:
- File a third-party claim with the insurance company of the driver who caused your accident.
- File a claim with your own insurance.
- File a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver.
You might need to file with your own insurance company if the other driver did not have insurance, was underinsured, or fled the scene of the accident. This is covered by uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
An underinsured driver is someone who has insurance coverage, but not enough to sufficiently cover all the expenses associated with a claim. All Texas drivers are required to carry a minimum of 30/60/25 liability coverage. This is coverage for $30,000 in injuries per person up to $60,000 total per accident, and another $25,000 in coverage for property damage.
Dealing with an uninsured driver or one who has less than the minimum required liability coverage can make your personal injury case take longer.
The majority of personal injury cases are settled outside of court via negotiations. Complex cases or those with many different factors might be more likely to go to court.
Ultimately, you can expect your personal injury claim to conclude in anywhere from a few weeks to several months. The average is closer to four to six weeks.
How Long Medical Malpractice Settlements Take
According to the New England Journal of Medicine, it takes about five years to settle a medical malpractice claim. There are a lot of factors that go into a medical malpractice lawsuit, and they are often much more complicated than something like a car accident injury case.
Successfully settling a claim requires a significant amount of time, knowledge, and dedication. Here are just a few ways in which a Houston medical malpractice attorney can help you move forward with this process:
- Establishing a doctor-patient relationship, which is one of the first and most crucial steps in a malpractice claim.
- Collecting evidence that your doctor violated the standard of care when treating you.
- Securing the input of another medical expert to corroborate the claim that your doctor was somehow negligent or reckless with your care.
- Gathering important documents, including your medical records, insurance information, mental health records, prescription medication history, medical bills, proof of lost wages, and more.
While five years might be average for a medical malpractice claim, your own case might have unique or challenging issues that can take longer to settle. For example, it might take longer if you have especially complex medical issues or if multiple providers were negligent in your care.
Since it can take years to fully settle a medical malpractice claim, it is usually better to get this process started sooner rather than later.
How Long Slip and Fall Injury Cases Take
A slip and fall case can take anywhere from a few months to years. The length of a claim can vary on a number of different factors, including where your accident took place. While all property owners have a duty of care to visitors, there are different paths toward proving fault for fall injuries that occurred on commercial, residential, and government properties.
For example, a commercial property owner might be liable for a slip and fall injury if they or their employees:
- Caused the dangerous condition, such as a wet floor, ripped carpet, or uneven flooring.
- Knew about the dangerous condition but did nothing to fix it or warn visitors.
- Should have known about the dangerous condition, as any reasonable person in the same position would have.
Residential property owners like landlords might be liable for a tenant’s slip and fall accident if they:
- Had control over a dangerous condition that caused the accident.
- Did not repair the dangerous condition despite having the finances and ability to do so.
- Should have foreseen that not fixing the dangerous condition would lead to an injury.
The process for holding someone liable in a slip and fall accident on a government property can differ drastically. Rules are often different between local, state, and federal governments.
Moving Forward With a Personal Injury Claim
The statute of limitations for car accidents, medical malpractice, and slip and fall accidents is two years. This means that you have two years from the date of your accident, doctor’s negligent behavior, or injury to file your claim. While this might seem like a lot of time, it will pass by much faster than you realize.
The years following a serious injury are typically focused on recovery, leaving what can feel like little time for anything else. This is where getting the help you need can make a life-changing difference.
While it is impossible to say for sure how long your personal injury claim will take, at The Mejia Law Firm we can say with confidence that we will be by your side every step of the way. Contact us today for an opportunity to discuss your situation with one of our knowledgeable personal injury lawyers.