Upon reaching maximum medical improvement or being discharged from medical treatment, immediately notify your attorney.
After notifying your attorney you have completed your medical treatment, your medical records, medical bills, and other pertinent documents are requested from your providers. Depending on the provider, these documents take anywhere from several weeks to several months to obtain.
Upon receiving the pertinent documents, your attorney drafts a settlement demand to initiate the settlement process. The settlement demand contains the facts of your case, your injuries and treatment, and any pertinent supporting documents. In many instances the requested settlement amount is much higher than what the insurance company is willing to pay, so please do not consider this figure the settlement amount of your case.
The insurance company typically responds to the plaintiff’s demand letter with a “counter offer” and the negotiation phase begins. This phase may be as short as a couple of weeks or as long as a few months.
The time-frame for settling your case (after your medical treatment is completed) will vary depending on the case’s complexity and the extent of your injuries. This process can range from a couple of weeks to a few months. Several external factors may also affect how long it will take for your case to settle, and include:
- The number of files the insurance adjuster is handling;
- The time of year (some months may be busier than others); and
- The internal claims process of the particular insurance company is (e.g. the number of supervisors they require approval from)
Although we try to settle most of our cases outside of the courtroom, if the insurance company is not willing to provide fair compensation for your injuries, we then file a lawsuit on your behalf and enter the litigation process. This process can be very lengthy.
As opposed to the initial stages of your case, after completing your medical treatment, your attorney is typically able to provide a range of what your case may be worth. This does not mean this is the amount the insurance company will pay, but we strive to obtain the highest possible compensation for our clients.
Your settlement amount is intended to compensate you for all or any of the following damages:
- Medical bills (past and future)
- Lost wages, including overtime (past and future)
- Out of pocket expenses (transportation charges, prescriptions, etc.)
- Pain and suffering
- Physical disability
- Permanent scars
- Emotional trauma
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of love and affection
- Mental disability
After my attorney and the insurance company agree upon a settlement, how long will it take before I receive my money?
It usually takes between two and six weeks to sign all the documents, receive your check, and distribute the funds.
Our goal is to always obtain an adequate sum of money so you are compensated for your injuries. Since case costs, medical liens, and other expenses vary substantially from case to case, the money you will receive generally comprises 45 to 75 percent of the total sum. Keep in mind that this amount is typically much higher than what you would have received without the help of an attorney.
This literature may be considered attorney advertising or an offer of professional services, according to rule 1-400 Rules of Professional Conduct by the State Bar of California. The information does not constitute a guarantee, warranty or prediction regarding the outcome of your potential legal matter.