The length of time it takes to secure a recovery or jury verdict in a car accident case depends on many factors. There is no set time frame requiring that a case be completed after a certain period of time has elapsed. The statute of limitations for a negligence action in New York State is 3 years from the date of the accident. However, that 3-year time frame does not require that the case be finalized. Instead it simply requires that a summons and complaint be properly served so that the action has begun within the 3-year time frame.
There are several factors that determine how long your case could take to resolve. First, the defendant’s insurance carrier and, most specifically, the person handling the case for the insurance company is a huge factor which determines how long your case may take. Certain insurance companies and adjusters can be unreasonable in negotiating settlements. In fact, some insurance companies rarely settle cases and send everything to their attorneys for litigation. Other insurance companies are more prone to properly evaluate a case and offer a reasonable settlement in a timely fashion.
The types of injuries involved in your case also play a roll in determining how long your claim will take to resolve. A case involving lingering injuries with multiple surgeries is usually not resolved until treatment has been completed, or at least, the condition is stabilized.
Other injuries requiring a minor surgery with a short recovery time are often amendable to a faster resolution.
The circumstances surrounding how the injury occurred also dictate how much litigation may be involved. If there is clear-cut liability or fault, the case may be easier to finalize. However, if there is a legitimate question as to who is at fault then it is unlikely that settlement will occur without more extensive negotiating and litigation.
No lawyer can give a specific time frame in which a case will be finalized. However, a general time frame can usually be arrived at after a complete case evaluation and medical record reviews are performed.
If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident and would like to discuss the facts in your case with me, please feel free to contact my office.