Why Does it Take So Long to Settle a NYC Personal Injury Case?

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It can take 12 to 18 months to finish a personal injury case. Sometimes a case can take as long as 24 months to complete.

This is a source of frustration for many of our clients, so we thought we’d take a moment to explain why the process drags on as much as it does.

Both Sides Need Time to Gather the Facts

Gathering facts and evidence can take a great deal of time.

  • We may need to subpoena evidence from the opposing side, or from third parties.
  • We may need to contact experts and schedule time for them to look at the accident site.
  • The full extent of your damages can’t be known until you reach maximum medical improvement, and that takes months. 
  • Witnesses may need to be contacted, scheduled, and deposed.

Nobody is necessarily in a hurry to provide evidence or statements about your personal injury case. The motivations aren’t even always malicious. Sometimes those motives have a lot to do with witnesses having their own busy and difficult lives to deal with.

Settlement Isn’t Simple

The insurance company may drag their feet on offering a fair settlement for any number of reasons. You might have had a pre-existing condition, and they disagree about the extent to which the injury is a brand new injury vs. a mere exacerbation of your condition. 

They may also be looking for ways to push the vast majority of the fault of the case onto your shoulders, or even on a third party’s shoulders, so that they are responsible for issuing a much smaller check. 

The more your case is worth, the longer you can expect it to take. The defendant’s lawyers will want to fight over every last scrap and step of the case. 

Patience Pays

If you can be patient throughout the process you’re likely to walk away with more money. Insurance companies often offer low ball settlements hoping that your own impatience and financial fear will cause you to accept less than you’re worth.

Always speak to a personal injury attorney before accepting any settlement. Also be aware there are resources you can tap into while you wait to help you meet your financial needs while you’re waiting. In fact, your lawyer can be one of those resources, as often your attorney can get creditors off your back while you wait.

If you don’t have an attorney yet, consider contacting us. We have helped hundreds of New Yorkers navigate their personal injury cases. 

See also: 

How is Pain and Suffering Calculated in NYC?

Resources For Personal Injury Clients in NYC 

Will a Signed Waiver Block Your NYC Personal Injury Claim?


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    Mr. Richman is the Managing Member and Founder of Richman Law Firm PLLC. In his role as Managing Member, Mr. Richman oversees the day-to-day operations of the firm and handles the litigation of the most complex legal matters across a vast array of practice areas and disciplines. ​

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