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How Long Does It Take to Settle an Injury Claim?

People often ask why personal injury lawsuits take so long. An injury claim that is settled too quickly often results in meager compensation. Insurance companies maximize their profits by reducing the value of claims. This is not a favorable scenario for an accident victim. That first offer may not even be enough to cover your hospital bills. If you are willing to wait, further legal procedures can help you recover more. So, how long does it take to settle an injury claim?

Infographic: How Long Does It Take to Settle an Injury Claim?
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File your Injury Claim through a Lawyer

If you want to negotiate a higher amount, you need to hire an experienced accident lawyer. This will help speed things up, especially when dealing with tricky insurers out there. One of the oldest tactics is delaying the response. We have seen claims that took a few years to settle due to unresponsive insurance companies. The liable party will take your claim more seriously if you have a lawyer who is willing to take the case to trial.

Average Time of Court Settlement

In general, there is no specific timeframe for injury settlements. There are a lot of factors that surround personal injury lawsuits. Each case is unique, and so are the people involved. You may be willing to wait for a trial, while the liable party offers to negotiate. You may also need more time to find witnesses to prove your claim.

There are instances where the liable party delays the settlement. Sometimes the insurance company takes too long in its evaluation of the claim. For this reason, we may hold them accountable for unfair claims practices.

A personal injury claim is considered a tort case. When personal injury cases go to trial, it takes a significant amount of time. According to a published legal study, it takes an average of 486 days or 16 months for tort cases to resolve. Around 69% of tort cases were disposed within 540 days of filing. Hence, you may need to wait for a year or two to recover your injury claim. Yes, it takes a lot of patience, but the settlement will typically amount to more than the first offer.

Legal Procedures of an Injury Claim:


Filing the Case

In Arizona, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim (statute of limitations). When you are dealing with pain and suffering, you may hardly notice how fast time flies. Are you missing days from work due to your injuries? Do your medical bills cost thousands of dollars after the accident? Then it is time to hire a lawyer immediately. It is crucial to start the case right away.

Process of Discovery

The Discovery Phase is one of the reasons an injury claim takes too long to settle. This legal process takes months or even longer than a year for complex cases. If you are wondering why, here are some of the things involved in this process:

  • Evidence collection – Your lawyer will dig deeper into your case. This is where you gather police reports, medical records, and other important documents. Depositions and recording of witness statements also happen during discovery.
  • Disputes – Some arguments and collected evidence may be irrelevant to the case. Your lawyer may need to investigate further to strengthen your injury claim. Furthermore, when the liable party denies fault for the accident, it slows down the settlement process.
  • Accident reconstruction – Your lawyer will seek experts to provide a clearer visualization of the accident. These people can help clear details that require technical knowledge.

Settlement Negotiations for your Injury Claim

Most lawsuits settle before trial due to the amount of time and resources required. Both parties may reach a resolution through negotiation, arbitration, or mediation.

One of the most important factors in an injury claim is your eagerness to receive compensation. Would you rather accept a smaller amount? If you are willing to compromise, you may be able to receive your settlement faster. But the real question is, would it be enough to get your life back to normal? This is where we can help you. Our expertise in negotiations often results in the best possible compensation that our clients can get. Insurers know that we are ready to go to trial if necessary. This increases the likelihood of obtaining a good settlement value for your injury claim.

Based on our experience, an injury claim is typically settled two to four months after the completion of the victim’s medical care. Since every case is different, this timeframe may be shortened or lengthened due to many factors.


When both parties do not agree to a settlement, the case goes to trial. This is scheduled after the end of the Discovery Phase. During the trial, both parties will present their arguments. A lot of motions will also occur, along with court hearings.

There are other factors that may also affect the length of litigation:

The type of accident

Slip and fall cases may settle faster than complex cases due to their simplicity. Much of the evidence is clearly left at the scene, often spilled liquids or defective flooring. Car accidents may be resolved faster, too, with traffic footage and witnesses on the road. However, complex cases such as construction accidents or assault and battery may take longer to prove.

Amount of Injury Claim

Simply stated, lower amounts are quicker to settle, such as claims below $100,000. Higher claims, especially the ones reaching millions of dollars, are usually disputed. If the injury claim is higher than the amount offered by the liable party’s insurer, we will take it all the way to court.

Severity of Injury

Sprains and broken bones have a higher chance of recovery. Hence, medical and rehabilitation costs can be determined in a shorter period. Meanwhile, long-lasting injuries such as permanent disabilities and head trauma can be a struggle. Anticipated medical treatments may prolong the case as the liable parties would question the amount of the claim.

Court Backlog

Court backlog may also affect your chances of receiving your injury claim. Depending on jurisdiction, some courts experience a slowdown in proceedings. Hearing schedules may also change unexpectedly when courts have an overload of cases.

A thoroughly reviewed case results in a better and higher settlement. Our goal is to recover maximum compensation for our clients in the shortest time possible.


Filing a lawsuit may take longer, but it is worth the wait. With the help of a skilled accident lawyer, you can get what you truly deserve. The settlement awarded by the court will be enough to cover not only your hospital bills. Your lost wages and pain and suffering will be compensated too.

A thoroughly reviewed case results in a better and higher settlement. Our goal is to recover maximum compensation for our clients in the shortest time possible.  


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