How Long Does a Personal Injury Claim Take?
It is impossible to say exactly how long a personal injury claim takes to complete, as every case is different. It could be anything from two months to two years or more. If you have very serious injuries, or the other side insists on going to trial, then you’ll likely face delays. However, it’s worth seeing the process through to the end, rather than accepting an early settlement. Otherwise, you won’t receive the full amount of compensation.
How long does a tort claim take to settle?
Personal injury claims are types of ‘tort’ claims. You can make a personal injury claim if you’ve been injured because of someone else’s negligence. If you’re thinking about making a personal injury claim, then you’d probably like to know how long it’ll take to get your compensation settlement. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to answer this question precisely. No two claims are the same. Some are very straightforward and will settle relatively quickly. This is typically true where:
- Your injuries have fully resolved; and
- The other side (the defendant) admits fault; and
- The defendant’s insurance company makes a reasonable offer of compensation, which we advise you to accept
Other claims require much more time. It may be a year, two years or even more before you receive your cheque in the post. This is typically true where:
- Your injuries are serious
- The defendant denies fault
- The defendant insists on taking the matter to trial
- The defendant’s insurance company does not make a reasonable offer of compensation
Why it’s better to wait
Of course, the longer your claim lasts, the more frustrating it will be. Understandably, you’ll want to put the legal process behind you and move on with your life. Because of this, you might be tempted to accept an early settlement offer. However, it really is better to wait and see the claim through to the end. If we’re pursuing a claim on your behalf, then it’s because we think you’ve been wrongfully injured and your case has a good prospect of success. If your claim is facing a delay, then there’s probably a good reason for it.
For example, it could be that…
Your injuries haven’t yet resolved, or you don’t know what the prognosis will be. It’s vital not to settle until you’ve recovered as much as possible. Otherwise, you won’t know the true extent of your injuries, meaning your claim may settle for less than its true value.
The defendant is dragging their heels in the hope you’ll accept a lower settlement. This is a common tactic used by insurance companies, but it’s important not to concede. You only get one chance to claim compensation, so you need to get it right.
We’re negotiating a compensation settlement with the insurer. This often involves a lot of back and forth, with offers and counter-offers being made. We won’t stop until we reach a sum that we consider acceptable.
Your claim is going to trial and we need to prepare your case. It’s rare for a case to go to trial, but if it does, please don’t worry: we only pursue claims that we think we will win. It may be the best opportunity for you to receive the compensation you deserve.
It’s just the normal personal injury claim process. Personal injury claims are hardly ever fast. We need to investigate the claim in full. This means getting medical reports on your injuries and calculating the true cost of your financial losses. This takes time, but it is time well spent, as it ensures you receive the maximum amount of compensation. Remember, a quick settlement is not necessarily a good thing!
The injured person is under the age of 19. Minors have until the age of 21 to bring a claim. The process can be started before they reach adulthood, but sometimes it can be better to hold out until the full extent of their injuries is known. This is particularly pertinent where babies are harmed, as disabilities often do not manifest fully until they are older.
Speak to our Vancouver personal injury lawyers
We appreciate that making a personal injury claim is a daunting prospect – especially if it’s going to take months (or even years) to conclude. However, you can rest assured that we’ll do all the hard work for you. We’ll always strive to settle your claim as soon as possible, but not at the expense of your compensation settlement. We want to ensure that you are properly compensated for your damages and will do everything we can to make sure this happens.Go back to Blog