When you’re involved in a motorcycle accident in Oklahoma, the journey to recovery encompasses not only physical and emotional healing but also navigating the legal process to secure fair compensation. The timeline of a motorcycle injury case is influenced by various factors, making it crucial to understand what to expect and how to prepare. The legal framework for personal injury cases, including those arising from motorcycle accidents, is structured yet variable. Factors such as the severity of injuries, the complexity of legal issues, and the negotiation process with insurance companies can all impact the duration of a case. A settlement can occur during any of the lawsuit stages.
Motorcycle Injury Case Settlement Duration
The time it takes to settle a motorcycle injury claim in Oklahoma can vary widely. Key factors influencing this duration include:
- Severity of Injuries: Reaching maximum medical improvement (MMI) before finalizing a settlement ensures all future medical needs and bills are accounted for.
- Complexity of the Case: Cases with disputed liability or complex legal issues, such as those involving the comparative fault rule in Oklahoma, may take longer to resolve. A lawsuit will generally need to be filed to get a fair offer, and the settlement offer might not be made until shortly before trial.
Oklahoma Personal Injury Lawsuit Timeline
Pursuing a personal injury lawsuit in Oklahoma involves several stages:
- Immediate Medical Treatment: Documenting injuries from the outset is crucial.
- Hiring a Lawyer: Early legal representation can help build a strong case.
- Case Investigation and Demand Letter: An investigation is conducted, followed by a demand letter to the insurance company. This generally needs to be done after all of the medical treatment is completed.
- Negotiation: We give the insurance company two weeks to evaluate the claim after receiving our demand letter. At this point, it’s time to either settle, or file a lawsuit.
- Filing a Lawsuit: If necessary, litigation begins, marking a new phase in the legal process.
- Discovery: Both sides will conduct discovery. This included depositions and interrogatories (written questions).
- Mediation: Most Oklahoma City judges require mediation before the Pretrial Conference. Most cases are settled at mediation.
- Trial: If both sides cannot agree to a settlement, the case goes to trial.
The actual time frame varies tremendously. The trial date is usually roughly a year after the lawsuit is filed.
Case settled; now what?
Personal Injury Settlement Check Timeline
Receiving a settlement check involves:
- Sign a settlement release.
- Check instructions. All medical and health insurance liens will need to be accounted for.
- Insurance Company Processing: The insurer sends the checks to your attorney.
- Attorney Fees and Expenses: Deductions are made for legal fees and expenses.
- Distribution: The remaining funds are transferred to you, usually within 3 to 4 weeks of settling.
The most common delays with getting the checks after a settlement has been reached almost always have to do with health insurance. Health insurance providers generally have a “right to subrogation,” and a liability carrier will include the health insurance company on any settlement checks unless there is documented proof of an agreed reduction.
How long does a motorcycle injury case take to settle in Oklahoma?
The timeline varies based on factors like injury severity, case complexity, and negotiation dynamics. Cases can settle in a few months to several years.
What is the statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Oklahoma?
Oklahoma imposes a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims.
Can I receive my settlement check directly from the insurance company?
Yes, if a lawyer does not represent you. BUT! The check will likely have all lien holders on it, so you will need to clarify who will get paid from the settlement and request separate checks. If you have a lawyer, the settlement checks are first sent to your attorney, who then disburses the payments to you and the medical providers, and the fees and costs on the case.
What happens if we can’t settle?
If a fair settlement can’t be reached through negotiation, your attorney may recommend filing a lawsuit. If you are interviewing attorneys before hiring one, ask if they will take your case to trial.
Does hiring a personal injury lawyer speed up the settlement process?
While not guaranteed, an experienced lawyer can efficiently handle the legal process, potentially expediting your case. Personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis and only get paid once the case is resolved, so most attorneys have zero interest in slowly handling a case.
Are all motorcycle injury cases resolved through settlements?
While most cases settle, some may go to trial if a fair settlement cannot be reached.
How does the complexity of my case affect its duration?
More complex cases, especially those involving disputed liability, may take longer to resolve. In general, an insurance company is more likely to fight the claim if it can assign some of the blame for the wreck to the plaintiff.
What is maximum medical improvement (MMI)?
MMI is reached when a patient’s condition has stabilized, and no further improvement is expected, which is crucial for finalizing a settlement.
How are legal fees deducted from my settlement?
Legal fees are usually a percentage of the settlement amount, deducted before you receive the remaining funds.
Choosing Hasbrook & Hasbrook: Your Trusted Partner in Personal Injury Claims
At Hasbrook & Hasbrook, we understand the complexities and challenges of navigating personal injury claims, especially those arising from motorcycle accidents. Our commitment to community safety and justice drives us to hold insurance companies accountable and to ensure our clients receive the compensation they deserve. With our experience, dedication to client recovery, and focus on maximizing compensation, we are your trusted partner in pursuing justice. Contact us today to discuss your case and how we can help you achieve a fair resolution.