Interviewer: How long will someone's case typically last on average and how long could it potentially last?
Kevin Roach: It's really depends, but most cases I see are resolved within six months to a year. However, there are always exceptions. There are always cases that are going to settle faster than that, and there are always going to be cases that take longer.
To answer the second part of question about the longest that it can take, in Missouri there is a five-year statute of limitations for personal injury cases involving auto accidents. You could wait till it comes right up to the five-year anniversary and file suit, so it could go well over five years. We don't have any cases that have gone that long, but it's possible. Some cases have been going on for two or three years. For ones that are being litigated, sometimes it takes a lot to get to the court.
I would say the overwhelming majority of the cases, from the date of accident, last probably anywhere from three months to a year. That's probably a fair range. A lot of it depends on how long your treatment is, because we try to get everything together once you're released from treatment. That's really when we get all of our ducks in a row.
We get all the lost wages together and we get all your medical bills. We do a thorough review of all your medical bills. We start piecing together a comprehensive demand with any pictures we may have of the injuries and the accident scene, or a diary that you may have.
We put that all together and we try to present it to the insurance company in a way to maximize your settlement, but we can't put all the pieces together until you're released from treatment. Sometimes someone might treat for six months or a year and obviously can't settle until they're done treating, so sometimes the treatment phase is the longest part of the process.
Interviewer: Kevin, should I expect that it's going to be pretty easy to win money if I'm hurt in the collision or do you think it's going to be a battle?
Kevin Roach: It depends. Some cases are easier than others; sometimes you have to battle it out. It just comes down to the facts of your case, your injuries, who is at fault, if there is a clear liability, and what jurisdiction it’s in. A lot of accidents in the city of St. Louis are worth more than a case in rural Missouri, because rural counties are typically more conservative. There are so many factors that factor into whether it's going to be easier or may be little more difficult to get a fair settlement for your injuries, but it's really hard to gauge that.
Another factor is which insurance company you're dealing with. We deal with dozens of different insurance companies on a weekly basis and some of them are lot easier to deal with than others. With some of them, all they want to do is just lowball your case and you just have to file suit on them. Others are more realistic and we have an easier time working out settlements with them.