The two most often asked questions an injury attorney hears are:
- How much is my claim worth?
- How long will my case take?
These concerns are inevitable when pursuing any kind of damage or personal injury because, as the victim, you want to know if filing a claim is worth your time and aggravation. We understand. Unfortunately, the answers to these questions may not be as straightforward as you would hope.
Personal injury claims are not formulaic. There are no codes or special schedules that can determine how one claim will compare to the next. As a result, there is no set sum, claim value, resolution, or time period that any attorney can guarantee right out of the gate. Therefore, if an attorney responds with anything other than an estimation based on past cases when asked how long it will take to receive your compensation, you need to walk away. Without knowing all the facts of your case, it’s impossible, unethical, and manipulative to suggest a guaranteed timeframe—especially if that frame seems particularly short.
Rather than taking advantage of your desire to resolve your claim quickly, a reliable attorney will take the time to discuss your case in detail to determine potential factors that may prolong your case, cause delays, or affect your claim’s eligibility. These factors include:
- Statute of limitations. A “statute of limitations” is a state law that sets a specific time limit on your right to file a lawsuit. These windows vary depending on the type of accident and damages you’ve suffered. In most injury cases, Tennessee allows a victim or his family one year from the accident date to file a claim. If the collision resulted in a death, this period begins on the date of death, rather than the accident date (if different). If you file outside of this window, the court will most likely dismiss your case altogether.
- Liability. Whether it’s an injury lawsuit or a wrongful death claim, the investigation stage and negotiation period will depend on whether the allegedly-at-fault driver’s negligence was the only cause of the accident. Since Tennessee is a comparative fault state, determining the percentages of liability for each party involved can take time.
- Court orders. Many jurisdictions require accident victims and defendants to participate in mediation and settlement conferences as part of the civil court case process. If the parties involved are unwilling to compromise, retain varied recollections of what happened, or exhibit unruly behavior against one another in court, the judge may order additional conferencing, depositions, or mediation which can drastically prolong a case.
If you have questions or concerns about when you should pursue an injury claim, don’t allow yourself to be bamboozled or sweet-talked by empty promises and manipulations. Contact our motorcycle accident attorneys today and see how we value your time and trust more than your pocketbook. Call us today to schedule your FREE case review and see how we can help you build a strong and viable claim.
GriffithLaw has extensive experience helping motorcycle riders receive compensation for their injuries. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation, please call our Franklin law firm today.