Law Office of Ralph C. Petty

What Factors Can Cause An Auto Accident Case To Be Litigated?


The expectations of the injured person, if not realistic, may cause the case to go to trial. If those expectations are not realistic, or the injured party is not willing to be educated about the value of the injuries, it is difficult to resolve the claim. The injured party must understand that each side has a story and point of view. It is the attorney’s job to inform, guide, and counsel the client on the value of a case. If the case goes unresolved, it must be prepared for trial, which requires expert Salt Lake City Auto Accident Attorney and significant time and expense. In the event of trial, the case may take an additional year, or more.

How Often Do Personal Injury Cases Go All The Way To Trial?

In Utah, the personal injury cases go to trial approximately 10% of the time. Most of the time, people receive a settlement that they feel adequately compensates them for their injuries and that both sides accept.

How Long Do Auto Accident Claims Typically Take To Get Resolved?

If the client’s condition is stable, then the settlement process is usually completed within two to three months. Healing injuries are not stable. Therefore, until the healing process is completed, we cannot start the claim resolution process.

Every case and every individual is different. The first factor that effects the time needed to resolve an injury claim is the physical condition of the injured party. If my client is injured, they need treatment and they need to physically and emotionally recover as much as possible. Before the legal proceedings are started, it is important that my client has time to heal. Because the injury claim can only be pursued once, it is very important that we take the time to allow healing and assess the long term or permanent injuries remaining after the healing process is completed. When my client reaches maximum medical recovery, the doctor will identify any permanent or ongoing injuries. If permanent injuries are identified, we can determine the future medical costs for ongoing treatment and establish the value of the injuries.

Until maximum medical recovery is reached, we can only speculate on the future medical costs and lost income. The length of time that it will take an individual to reach maximum medical recovery will vary from person to person; one person may heal in a few weeks, while another may not completely heal for several years.

We always file the action within four years because of the statute of limitations. Sometimes there are treatments going on even after that four-year period, and we just have to work around it at that point. But after four years, we usually have a good idea of what injuries are healed and which are permanent.

How Long Does It Take For The Client To Receive Funds After A Settlement Is Reached?

Unless Medicare or Medicaid have paid some of the medical expenses, it generally takes two to three weeks for the client to receive funds after a settlement is reached. After a settlement is reached, then settlement and release agreements will be prepared, which could take up to a week. Those settlement and release agreements are then circulated to the parties and reviewed by me and my client. If they are acceptable, then they are signed by me and my client. Then, it may take another week for the funds to be issued in a check, and the check to be mailed to the attorney.

For more information on Factors Leading A Claim To Litigation, a free initial consultation with Salt Lake City Auto Accident Attorney is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (801) 783-1111 today.

Ralph C. Petty, ESQ.

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(801) 783-1111

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