What Is the Timeline of a Personal Injury Case in Kentucky?
If you are at the very beginning of a personal injury case in Kentucky, it is normal to wonder how long your case will take to resolve. While every case is unique, there are similarities in how Kentucky law deals with personal injury claims, including the general legal process. Find out how long it may take you to receive a personal injury settlement based on the steps of a claim and the factors that can affect your timeline.
What Are the Phases of a Personal Injury Case?
If someone else caused your accident in Kentucky, you may have the right to hold that person or party responsible. You can do so by filing an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit, then going through the steps that it takes to hold one or more parties accountable and recover fair financial compensation. In general, these steps include:
- Recovering from the injury. First, you will receive medical care for your injuries. You should do this immediately after your accident. Then, you will need to wait until you reach the point of maximum medical improvement. This is the stage of medical recovery where your doctor believes you will not restore your health any further.
- Filing the claim. When you are ready, you can hire an attorney to help you file your personal injury claim. You will need to file the required paperwork with the correct courthouse within Kentucky’s statute of limitations. This is one year from the date of the accident, in most cases, or two years for a car accident case.
- Investigating the accident. The insurance company that receives your claim will investigate the accident and request proof of your injuries and losses, such as medical bills and receipts. In Kentucky, insurance companies have 15 days to acknowledge a claim and 45 days to settle the claim and make a payment. The insurer may extend the investigative period, however, with a valid reason.
Once your claim is filed, you or your lawyer will negotiate a settlement with the insurance company. This may require some back and forth as you present counteroffers to achieve a fair outcome. In the unlikely event that your personal injury case cannot reach a settlement, you will have to go to trial. This can extend your timeline by several months to a year or longer.
How Long Does the Average Personal Injury Settlement Take?
On average, a personal injury settlement in Kentucky takes around four to six weeks from beginning to end. Keep in mind, however, that no two cases are exactly alike. Many cases take longer than several weeks to be completed. Some of the factors that can affect your timeline are the severity of your injuries, how long your accident takes to investigate, if you encounter any complications, whether you go to trial, and if there is a liability dispute.
What Can You Do to Speed Up the Claims Process?
It is important not to rush the personal injury settlement process. While you may be impatient to receive your settlement and move forward with your life, failing to take your time can result in accepting less than you deserve – making it harder to afford future necessary medical care. Rather than saying yes to the very first settlement offered by an insurance company, be patient and work with an attorney to achieve the best possible case results.
An attorney can help you expedite the legal process while still protecting your rights. An attorney can quickly complete legal paperwork for you, for example, and avoid common mistakes that can draw out the claims process. Your lawyer can also access copies of medical records and other evidence pertaining to the accident, eliminating wasted time. Finally, hiring a lawyer can result in a greater upfront settlement offer, as an insurance company will know that it cannot take advantage of you. Start your case with a free consultation with a Kentucky personal injury lawyer at Hendy | Johnson | Vaughn | Emery to learn more.