The trauma and force from a collision can often leave the drivers and passengers of the cars involved severely injured. If you are currently in a position where you are suffering from major injuries after a collision, you might wonder when the right time to settle your accident would be. Do you settle right away, wait a little while, or wait until you are fully healed and recovered from your accident? Here are several factors you should consider as you decide when the right time is to settle.
What Are the Statutes of Limitations in Your State?
The first thing you should look into is something called the statutes of limitations, and you must make sure you look up this information for your state, as all states have different laws and rules. For example, Indiana offers a two-year time frame, while Michigan offers three years. What this rule means is that you must file a lawsuit or formal settlement process by the end of the time frame your state offers if you want to collect money.
For example, if your accident took place on August 15, 2018, you would have until August 15, 2020, to file proceedings against the other party if your state has a two-year time frame. If you fail to file by the last day of the statutes of limitations, you cannot file a case against the person. In other words, you waive the right to pursue collecting compensation for your injuries. Because this rule exists, you may not be able to wait until you are fully recovered before you initiate a case against the other party, simply because you might not be fully recovered by the end of this time frame.
What Is Your Prognosis?
Secondly, you should consider your prognosis for the injuries that occurred from the collision. A prognosis is an expert guess as to the long-term or permanent effects of your injuries. If your doctor expects a complete recovery from your injuries, he or she will tell you this as your prognosis and will explain the approximate length of time it will take. The doctor will also tell you what types of treatment you should get to ensure that you fully heal as quickly as possible.
When the prognosis does not look good for you, it may mean that you will suffer injuries and effects from the injuries for the rest of your lifetime. If this is the case, you may never be fully recovered from the incident.
In many cases, lawyers will recommend waiting to file a lawsuit until a person reaches the point in time where they are as good as they can get after the accident. This point is called maximum medical improvement (MMI). If you can wait until you reach this point, you will have a better idea as to the effects of the injuries for the future.
What Will Your Future Be Like with These Injuries?
Finally, with taking your prognosis into consideration, you will need to determine what you expect your future to look like with the effects of the injuries that you will have to permanently live with. Knowing how your injuries will affect you in the future will help you determine a more accurate value for your compensation, and that is why you may want to wait a while before pursuing compensation for the accident.
Additionally, before you decide when to settle, you really should consult with a legal expert about your case. The best type of legal expert to go to is an auto accident attorney, as this type of lawyer will have experience, knowledge, and expertise in this particular branch of law. Get in touch with a lawyer such as David Helfand PA to learn more.