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Timeline of a Personal Injury Case According to a Minneapolis Personal Injury Lawyer 

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Timeline of a Personal Injury Case According to a Minneapolis Personal Injury Lawyer 

If you are wondering, “How long will my personal injury case take?” you are not alone. This is one of the most common questions personal injury victims ask. Many are anxious to recover compensation for medical expenses and lost wages. Understanding this, personal injury attorneys work tirelessly to expedite your claim while demanding the full compensation you are entitled to. 

A Minneapolis personal injury claim will go through several phases. The type of accident you are involved in, the extent of your injuries, and other factors can affect the potential timeline of your personal injury case. Here are the various steps of a case and an overview of how long each may take to complete. 

Seeking Medical Treatment 

Seeking Medical Treatment 

The most important thing to do after a personal injury incident is to seek medical treatment. Seeking medical treatment promptly can ensure your injuries are properly diagnosed and treated. It can also begin establishing a link between the accident and your injuries.

Your personal injury lawyer will probably not recommend trying to settle your case until you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI). This is the point at which your doctors do not expect any further significant recovery from your condition and where your condition has stabilized. 

MMI is also a legal concept. At this point, your personal injury lawyer can more accurately estimate the need for additional medical treatment and its projected costs. 

Filing a Claim

After an accident, you will likely file a claim with the insurance company. For example, if you are injured in a car accident or truck accident, you might file a claim with your liability insurance provider. 

Insurance companies in Minnesota are subject to certain deadlines after receiving notice of a claim, including:

  • 10 business days to acknowledge claims not related to health insurance 
  • 10 business days to respond to communications that reasonably indicate a response is requested or needed
  • “Promptly” to provide necessary claim forms and instructions to file a claim
  • 30 days to complete an investigation 
  • 30 days to accept or deny a claim 

The insurance company can prolong these deadlines when it reasonably needs more time to investigate the claim. 

Investigating the Accident

After you have filed your claim with the insurance company, it will appoint a claims adjuster to your case. This person is responsible for gathering additional information about the accident, reviewing the applicable insurance coverage, and investigating the accident. 

Insurance companies will do everything they can to minimize the value of a claim to protect their profit margins. Your personal injury lawyer can conduct an investigation to obtain evidence to establish liability and damages. 

This investigation may involve:

  • Reviewing accident reports
  • Interviewing witnesses
  • Looking at pictures of the accident scene
  • Reviewing available video surveillance
  • Reading property damage reports

In some cases, a personal injury lawyer may hire accident reconstruction experts to use scientific data to create visual representations of how the accident likely occurred. In such situations, the investigation may take longer than usual.

Preparing a Demand Letter

Several months into your claim (or possibly longer), your personal injury lawyer can begin to draft a demand letter. 

This letter states:

  • The details of the accident
  • Why the insured is responsible for the accident
  • The amount of compensation you are willing to settle your case for
  • Your intent to pursue financial recovery through litigation if your demands are not met

At this stage in the case, your lawyer should be able to calculate the value of your claim based on:

  • The medical bills you have already incurred
  • Your future medical expenses you can reasonably anticipate
  • Car repairs or property damage expenses
  • Out-of-pocket expenses
  • Reduced earning capacity 
  • Pain and suffering

The insurance company will review the demand letter and discuss it internally.

Negotiating for Fair Compensation  

Your personal injury lawyer and the insurance company may not agree on the claim’s value. Your personal injury lawyer wants to maximize your financial relief so that you have the funds necessary to rebuild your life after a devastating accident. The insurance company wants to protect its investors by minimizing the amount of financial payouts it makes to claimants. 

For these reasons, your lawyer and the insurance company may go through several rounds of negotiations before they agree to a final settlement amount. 

Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit

If the insurance company does not agree to a fair settlement or denies your claim, your next action is to file a personal injury lawsuit. The general deadline to file a personal injury case in Minnesota is six years after the accident. 

However, if you are suing your own insurance company, such as if they acted in bad faith in denying your claim, you will be subject to the terms of your insurance contract, which may only provide for 12 months to sue. Also, there are other times when you may have a shorter window to file a lawsuit, such as if your claim is against the government. 

An experienced personal injury lawyer can review your case and explain the deadlines that apply. 

Litigating Your Case

Sometimes, the insurance company will agree to a settlement after a lawsuit is filed. If your case is not resolved shortly after filing a lawsuit, it will proceed through the litigation process. This process can take several months or longer as it involves many steps, including discovery, pre-trial motions, and settlement conferences. 

The case can be settled at any point during this process. If it doesn’t, it goes to trial. The parties can each present their own witnesses and evidence, and a judge or jury determines the verdict. 

Protect Your Rights By Contacting an Experienced Minneapolis Personal Injury Lawyer Today

If you were injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, Hall Law Personal Injury Attorneys can discuss your legal rights and options, along with a potential timeline for your particular case. Contact us today at (800) 292-1979 to get started with a free case review. 

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