I Have Been in a Car Accident- Just How Long Will My Case Take?
This is the most difficult question for a Personal Injury Attorney to answer, and yet it may be the most frequently asked. It is hard for us to answer this question because there are so many variables and they can often times be case specific. What we can do is tell you everything that will need to be done in order to resolve your case with the insurance company.
Your attorney can do nothing until you have been released from treatment by your treating physician. Typically, the injured party will have been taken to an emergency room by an ambulance. There they will be treated by Doctor’s that bill separately from the Hospital itself. Usually x-rays will be necessary. Some hospitals take and read their own x-rays but most have an outside radiology group that reads the x-rays. This radiology group will bill separately as well. If surgery is required you may also have a separate anesthesiologist bill. If you require rehabilitation, orthopedic treatment, or even dental work as a result of your accident then those too will be separate bills. With each of these bills there will be accompanying records and/or doctor’s notes. We will need all of these in order to be able to present the strongest case to the insurance company for settlement or to a jury for judgment.
Each physician’s treatment time can vary depending on the nature of your injuries, and the nature of the necessary treatments. Once you have been released you will need to contact your attorney, immediately. You will need to discuss each and every appointment, treating physician, and facility that you have used during the time of your injurywith your attorney. If you have received any bills you should deliver, mail, fax, or e-mail those to your attorney. While your accident is the most pressing matter you are dealing with chances are your attorney has many clients and must try to find enough time in the week to give everyone the attention that they need. The more pro-active you are as a client the faster your case can proceed. Your attorney will order all pertinent bills and records and compile them into a file. Once he/she has all that they need your attorney can send a demand packet to the insurance company. Typically the insurance company will take 30 to 90 days to review and investigate the facts of your case.
Delays can exist when the treating physicians and facilities have outsoured their billing and records. Large medical billing companies can take far longer to process a request for documents than someone like you local physician. Once all of the documentation has been collected and a demand sent forth to the insurance company the negotiating process can begin. In cases with only a few medical bills the negotiations can be finished in as little as one day. In catastrophic injury cases the negotiations can stretch out for many days or even weeks. If the situation is such that the insurance company will not be reasonable then a lawsuit may have to be filed. Once the suit is filed with the Court you will have what is known as a discovery period, or time in which each side can collect all the information that they need to present or defend a case. This period is usually six (6) months. Once the time for the trial arrives the trial itself can last anywhere from a single day to multiple weeks.
If you are a Medicaid or Medicare recipient then the entire matter can be drawn out due to the ability of federal programs to subrogate any final settlements or judgments. These steps can be further complicated by any number of un-forseeable complications. The entire process can be overwhelming to someone who does not deal in this business. The insurance companies want this process to be overwhelming and frustrating. They want you to just give-up or take whatever insufficient settlement they present. If you have been injured in a car accident don’t fight these overwhelming odds on your own. If you have been injured in a auto accident call John Mixon and Associates today at (706) 724-9999 or toll free at 1-800- 727-1234. Make our experience your secret weapon. Let us be your car, motorcycle, or big truck accident attorneys today!