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How Long Does It Take to Settle a Personal Injury Claim in Ontario?

Filing a personal injury claim can be a nerve-wracking experience. While you wait for the legal details to play out, you may wonder how long it could take to reach a settlement. During this time, it’s normal to feel upset, anxious, and confused. But it’s important to remain patient. 

Fair compensation is meant to cover various medical expenses and lost wages. While these costs may seem straightforward, several factors, such as case intricacies, and the type and severity of the injury, can affect the length of time to settle. As a result, a personal injury claim can take months or years to resolve in Ontario.

In this article, we’ll explore the factors that can impact the settlement timeline, the dangers of rushing it, and the potential of going to trial instead of settling a claim.

The Average Settlement Timeline

If you’ve been offered a settlement agreement by the party liable for your injury, you can accept the compensation at any time during the personal injury claim process. However, determining an average settlement timeline in Ontario is incredibly difficult without knowing the intricate details of the case. At Bergeron Clifford, our expertise has shown us that the average timeline is approximately two years. 

However, each claim is unique, which means each lawsuit will need various resources and details that may take time to acquire, not to mention the need to connect with the defendant’s legal team. Cases are ongoing processes that are not resolved overnight.

Factors that Influence Timelines

It’s possible that the settlement process can be resolved in less than a month. But in many instances, it can take up to two years. For the most part, the timeline hinges on the extent of the personal injury. There is also the possibility of going to trial if both parties cannot agree to a settlement. Below, we examine several factors that can influence the time it takes for a personal injury settlement to conclude.

The Severity of the Injury

One of the most important components to determining the amount of time it will take to settle a personal injury case is injury recovery. It’s critical for the victim first to understand the full extent of their injury and the time they will require to recover. Accepting a settlement offer too early might not cover the costs of future treatments.

It is best to wait until your doctor, or a medical professional can present conclusive results about the different recovery options available to you and how many sessions you’ll require to live life as close to how you did before the accident. This can potentially take months to determine, especially if you’ve suffered a catastrophic injury.

Settlement Value

During the initial stages of deciding on a settlement, there’s a likelihood that insurance companies will present a lower offer than what was expected. They may question the extent of the injury, how it happened, or your ability or inability to work because of it.

Standing your ground, providing the right evidence, and determining liability can help you and your legal team reach a fair settlement value. However, this will inevitably cause the settlement timeline to be extended. At our firm, we encourage our clients to trust us to make the right calls when declining early settlements. We know what fair compensation looks like after balancing the details of your personal injury case. If you decline what is initially offered, the potential for going to trial may increase.

Type of Accident

There are various kinds of personal injuries that victims can make a claim for. Each has specific parameters surrounding their accident that can impact the timeline of arriving at a fair settlement. Some accidents take longer to investigate, especially if public transportation is involved. Incidents with more than one party liable for someone’s injuries can also elongate the settlement process. 

Additionally, if more than one person is injured, this can result in a longer timeline to reach a settlement. Each injured party could have received damage different from the others involved in the accident. If it results in a class-action lawsuit, getting fair compensation can take years. Furthermore, if the accident results in the wrongful death of someone with dependents, then a greater investigation is required to uncover how much money should be awarded to those individuals.

Dangers of Rushing the Timeline

Rushing the time it takes to receive settlement money can be detrimental to you, your family, and potentially your ability to recover from the injury. It’s normal to be intrigued by the initial value of the settlement in an effort to secure the money you need now and do away with the stress of your lawsuit. But listening to your lawyer’s legal advice to decline initial offers is paramount for your long-term well-being.

Accepting a settlement that doesn’t fully cover expenses such as physical therapy, mental health counselling, medication, or lost wages can substantially impact all areas of your life. At Bergeron Clifford, we offer our advice based on our experience with similar cases. Ultimately, our goal is to get a settlement agreement that’s in your best interest.

The Potential for Going to Trial

Declining a settlement offer always comes with the risk of going to trial, especially if the liable party is in denial about the recovery cost. However, even if your case goes to trial, the opportunity to settle is never off the table. Both parties can agree to a settlement anytime during the personal injury claim process.

Invest time into doing your research on lawyers from whom you’re interested in getting legal representation. Ask questions about their experience in pursuing settlement agreements, their specialties in personal injury law, and their previous experiences of going to trial. We’re happy to provide all of these details during an initial consultation with our potential clients to set their minds at ease and reassure them that we can handle their unique case.

Trusting The Process

Most personal injury attorneys, including the team at Bergeron Clifford, have spent years working with a myriad of clients. Each case has unique circumstances surrounding the injuries’ severity and the accident that caused them. It is vital that you trust your lawyers to navigate you through the process. They’ll know when you’ve received a fair settlement offer or when it’s time to go to trial

Working with a Seasoned Personal Injury Lawyer

Bergeron Clifford’s personal injury lawyers have a successful track record at reaching fair settlements and winning cases that end up in trial. From spinal cord injuries, and slip and fall accidents, to complex brain injuries. Our attorneys are experts in getting accident victims the compensation they deserve. 

If you or a loved one has experienced a personal injury, reach out to us, and we will get started on an action plan that puts your needs first.

Contact Bergeron | Clifford LLP

Let us help you if you have been injured anywhere in Eastern Ontario. Contact us at 866-384-5886 or fill out our online form. We can meet at any of our office locations, including Kingston, Ottawa, Whitby, Carleton Place, Perth or wherever is most convenient for you.

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