Many people want to know how long it will take to settle a personal injury case if they hire the best Arizona personal injury lawyer they can find. In fact, as a certified specialist in injury and wrongful death litigation, I am regularly asked by people how long their case will take. Unfortunately, how long a case will take depends on more factors than I could possibly list at this time. However, when we can even start to try to settle a personal injury case usually has one main component. That is, how long until my client who has suffered a serious injury is completely better or they have gotten as much better as they ever are going to get medically. We almost never encourage our clients to settle a case until they have gotten completely better or the doctors have told them they have reached the point where they will not improve any further. The reason is that the plaintiff has the “burden of proof” in proving their case. More importantly, there is only one chance to settle a personal injury case. Therefore, if a case is settled and immediately after the settlement a client realizes they need surgery from the accident, there is no opportunity in personal injury law to go back and get that paid for.
This is very different from Arizona workers’ compensation claims. In those cases, a case can be reopened. There is no such reopening of a case in a personal injury situation. Therefore, until our clients have gotten completely better or have reached the point where they are as good as they are going to be, we almost never encourage them to settle. We want to make sure every single medical bill is paid for by the other side, we want to make sure everything they have gone through and all of the damages they have suffered are compensated for by the other side. Rushing too quickly into a settlement may sound good and there may be lawyers who encourage their clients to do that so that they can look like a “hero” in getting the case resolved quickly. This can be a terrible mistake. They can have terrible, life-affecting consequences for someone who later needs medical treatment that they could have had paid had they simply had a lawyer who was honest and advised them to be patient and wait for the right time to try to settle their case.