Determining the length of a personal injury case is no magic equation, but one thing is for certain: it will definitely take time. How much time depends on the severity of the injury, the prognosis for treatment, the length of time before maximum medical improvement is reached, the settlement you are going for, and many other factors.
If your goal is to walk away quickly, you can usually settle out fairly early with a low-ball offer from the opposition and this can be accomplished in as early as a few weeks or a few months. If, however, you goal is to maximize your settlement to ensure every aspect of your personal injury case is reviewed and compensated, then you are looking at some lengthy time periods. The average time it takes to settle a personal injury case is two to three years. Keep in mind, however, that this is different for each case, as each personal injury claim will have its own unique factors and circumstances.
In order to maximize your settlement potential, you will need to plan on a lengthy investigation into the facts of the case by both parties, as the opposition in the case will want to thoroughly review all of your medical records, medical bills, facts of the injury or accident, and treatment and prognosis. Maximum medical improvement can take days, weeks, months, and even years to reach. The length of your case is entirely dependent upon the length of time it takes for you to reach MMI (maximum medical improvement). Generally speaking, MMI can be usually be reached within months following the initial injury.
Once MMI is reached, a few more months of investigation will take place, as the legal counsel for the opposing party will be delving into employment records, medical records, related bills and other miscellaneous, yet pertinent, information. Once this has been accomplished, it will take a few more weeks for a settlement offer to be presented and an agreement drafted. If everything goes smoothly and an agreement is reached, you can expect an additional few weeks for checks to be cut and then delivered. An overall estimate for a settlement to be reached subsequent to MMI being proven is three to four months.
Having good legal representation is often the difference between a long, drawn-out process and an efficient turnaround for your New Jersey personal injury claim.