If you or somebody you care about has been injured due to the careless or negligent actions of somebody else, you are likely entitled to compensation for your injuries and other losses. However, securing compensation in the aftermath of an injury can be complicated, particularly when going up against aggressive insurance carriers or well funded at-fault parties. Often, it is necessary to send a demand letter requesting that full economic and non-economic compensation be paid. Here, we want to discuss how long it could take for a settlement to be reached after a demand letter has been sent.
A demand letter can happen before a lawsuit is filed
In general, a demand letter related to a personal injury claim will be sent before a personal injury lawsuit is filed a civil court. The goal of a demand letter is to request that the alleged negligent party pay full compensation for the injury victim’s losses, including coverage of medical bills, lost wages, out-of-pocket expenses, pain and suffering damages, etc.
However, demand letters can be met with a variety of responses from the other party. There are a few scenarios that could play out in these situations:
The full demand could be accepted by the other party.
The other party could answer a demand with a counter-offer that is lower than the original demand.
The other party could deny the claim altogether.
The demand letter may be ignored.
In the rare case of the full amount of the demand letter being accepted, the claim will likely be paid fairly quickly. However, the much more likely scenario is that the other party will counter the demand with a lower settlement offer or deny liability for the incident. When this happens, negotiations will begin.
The negotiation process after a demand letter
It is strongly recommended that any injury victim works with a skilled San Bernardino workers’ compensation lawyer who can help them with their case. An attorney will be responsible for sending the demand letter in the first place and then dealing with any response from the other party. Most often, this will include extensive back and forth investigations between both parties. The attorney for the injury victim will present a compelling case to attempt to get the other party to offer a fair settlement amount.
There is no set amount of time it will take for a settlement to be reached in these cases. The negotiation process could take months or even up to a year to complete. Once a settlement has finally been reached, it will not take very long for the other party to send the final payment to the injury victim.
However, if the at-fault party or their insurance carrier refuses to offer a fair settlement, it may be necessary for the injury victim to file a personal injury lawsuit. It is important to point out that there is a deadline in these situations. The California personal injury statute of limitations is two years from the day the injury occurred. If a victim fails to file a lawsuit against the alleged negligent party within this two-year timeframe, they will lose the ability to recover the compensation they deserve.