Personal Injury On Monday, February 7, 2022
If you get injured in an accident and wish to pursue financial compensation, it is normal to want the financial recovery process to move as quickly as possible. No one wants to wait an exorbitant amount of time for the money that they need to pay off debts and move forward from an accident. Although every personal injury case is unique, most follow relatively the same timeline in Connecticut.
All personal injury cases have certain steps that must be taken before the claimant files a lawsuit. These steps occur as early as while the victim is still at the scene of the accident. It is important to collect information and evidence while still at the scene of your accident, with the goal of proving that the other party is at fault.
Evidence may include photographs, surveillance footage, eyewitness statements and a police report. You should also go to a hospital in Connecticut right away for professional medical care. Finally, you should take the time to hire a personal injury lawyer for representation before initiating a claim.
Connecticut’s statute of limitations gives a victim two years to file a personal injury claim, in most circumstances. Filing sooner than the end of your two-year deadline, however, can expedite the claims process. Filing right away increases the odds of important evidence and information still being available, such as accurate eyewitness statements. It also speeds up your personal injury claim as a whole, allowing your family to recover compensation sooner. Finally, filing a lawsuit right away can help you avoid missing your deadline if it is shorter than two years – such as Connecticut’s one-year deadline on government claims.
The next step once you file a claim is accident investigation. Multiple parties will most likely wish to investigate the incident, including your lawyer, the insurance company and the police. The investigative process typically takes no longer than 45 days; however, an insurance company has the right to extend this timeline for a complex investigation. An investigation typically involves returning to the scene of the accident, interviewing those involved, requesting copies of relevant records and documents, and obtaining evidence.
If an accident causes significant injuries, the victim must wait until he or she reaches the point of maximum medical improvement (MMI) to continue an injury claim. This is the point at which the victim’s doctor believes that he or she will improve in health no further. It is important to wait until the point of MMI, as this will allow you to fully understand the extent of your injuries and the cost of necessary medical care (including future treatments). Waiting for this point, however, could take several weeks or months.
Once the victim and insurance company are ready to proceed with a claim, settlement negotiations will occur. These negotiations could take a few weeks or several months, depending on the case. Complications such as liability disputes and catastrophic injuries may add time to the negotiation process. Obtaining fair financial compensation, however, is worth taking extra time to negotiate with an insurance company.
If settlement negotiations fail to bring a satisfactory settlement, the personal injury case may need to go to trial. While a settlement typically takes three to six months, all of the phases of a trial – including discovery, mediation and the trial itself – can take a year or longer in Connecticut. This is because the case must wait until an appointment opens up in the local courthouse. If a positive verdict is reached, a check will typically be sent to the plaintiff within 30 days.
For more information about the timeline of your specific personal injury case in Connecticut, contact Loughlin & FitzGerald, P.C. for a free case evaluation.