How Long Does It Take to Settle A Personal Injury Claim?

Almost all victims of Chattanooga or Georgia car accidents want to know one thing.  How long will it take Dennis and King to get them a settlement check in the average Georgia or Chattanooga (Tennessee) car wreck case?

At Dennis and King, our Chattanooga personal injury attorneys understand why you need the answer to this question.  You want to put the trauma, pain and aggravation of your car crash behind you.  And, like most people, you want to get as much money as you can for your car accident injuries as quickly as you can.

What are the four steps to getting a good settlement offer for your car crash injuries?

  • You must have completed all of your medical treatment so that you have reached maximum medical improvement.  Treatment for your accident related injuries may be as short as one day or several years.  However, if you suffered something called “soft tissue injuries” from your Chattanooga car wreck, the usual treatment time is about six weeks to four months.
  • Dennis and King always orders your initial medical bills as soon as you hire us to represent you.  Once you have finished treatment, for your Georgia or Tennessee car wreck, Dennis and King will order the rest of your medical bills and medical records.  If you lost time from work, Dennis and King will verify in writing how much time you lost.  The final collection of medical records usually takes about four weeks.
  • Once we get all of your medical records, bills and lost wage report, we write a very detailed letter, describing your injury and the pain and inconvenience you suffered because of your Tennessee or Georgia car wreck.  This takes about a week. 
  • The insurance company responds to our demand for settlement for your car wreck case with a first offer in about two weeks to thirty days.

Let us take a closer look at these four factors determining how quickly a Tennessee or Georgia car wreck case to settle.

You Must Finish Treatment or Reach Maximum Medical Improvement 

This means one of two things:

  1. Either you have fully recovered from your car wreck injuries and need no more treatment; OR
  2. You have reached maximum medical improvement.  This means that you might need medical check-ups from time to time for your car wreck injuries, but there is nothing more doctors can do to improve your condition.

What If You Can’t Financially Wait to Finish Treatment or Reach Maximum Medical Improvement

Some clients simply cannot afford to “wait and see” whether or not their car wreck injuries will require more advanced treatment, like surgery.  Unfortunately, more advanced treatment like surgery can really slow down settlement of a car wreck or other personal injury claim.

The Tennessee and Georgia accident lawyers of Dennis and King have an alternative solution to this problem.  We simply ask the doctor to give us an estimate of the cost of the surgery or other recommended procedure.  This can really speed up the settlement process when we have a client facing surgery or more advanced treatment for their car wreck related injuries.  

The key to settling quickly even though surgery is involved is knowing the doctors treating your car wreck related injuries. Because Dennis and King are not based; in Atlanta or Alabama like some of the big TV “settlement mills”, We know many of the doctors in the Chattanooga area, and more importantly, we know how to reach the doctor to get a report that will convince the insurance company it needs to include these future expenses in the settlement amount.

Getting All of Your Medical Bills and Records

What is the key to getting your case to settle as quickly as possible?  Having an experienced Chattanooga accident lawyer like Tricia Dennis or Russell King personally working as hard as possible to collect your medical bills and records and getting them to the insurance company as quickly as possible.

If your Chattanooga car accident lawyer is going to settle your case quickly and for the most money your car wreck attorney must gather all of your wreck related medical bills and records.  Unlike some law firms, Dennis and King believe it is their personal responsibility to gather quickly your medical bills and records.

Your medical bills and records are one of the main keys to a fast and generous settlement.  The medical records must show in detail, every injury your Georgia or Tennessee car wreck caused.  The insurance company bases most of its evaluation of your car wreck case and how a doctor described your car wreck injuries.

Are the Records Always Enough to Persuade an Insurance Company to Pay Out a Generous Settlement?

Maybe.  In most cases, the doctor’s findings and injury diagnoses in his or her medical records are enough.  However, sometimes, we need the doctor to supplement his record, such as stating future surgery is more likely than not or emphasizing the cause of the injury is the car wreck.

How Long After Dennis and King Sends a Demand Letter/Package, Will the Insurance Company Make an Offer?

After Dennis and King sends the settlement demand with all of your medical bills and records and any other information highlighting your loss, the insurance company adjuster will take a few weeks to evaluate your claim.  For most claims, this will be about two to three weeks.  At Dennis and King, part of the personal service we offer is aggressively following up with the adjuster to keep your case front and center, and moving along.  

How long can the insurance company take to respond to our settlement demand?  Unfortunately, in Tennessee, there is no rule requiring the insurance company to respond.  In Georgia, the insurance company must respond to the demand within 30 days.

Keep in mind, in both Tennessee and Georgia, insurance companies owe very few duties to car accident victims that are not their own insureds.  The goal of all insurance companies is to pay you as little as possible.  They don’t have to be fair with you, no matter what their TV commercials say.

How Long Does Settlement Take If My Car Wreck Injury is Serious?

We realize that if you have read this much, you will wish to settle your case quickly.  But, if you have a very serious car wreck injury, you probably will need to sue the driver to get the most money for your case.

At Dennis and King, we never insist that a client file a lawsuit, even though we tend to get a bigger fee if you do sue.  (Remember, we work for you.)  We understand that sometimes a client needs to get their money quickly.  Just understand, generally, the quicker you settle your serious personal injury case, the more money you will leave on the table.  When Dennis and King files a lawsuit (and that is who you get, Tricia Dennis and Russell King—not some kid just out of law school like the ”settlement mills”)  we often get an offer that is many times more that the offer made by the insurance company before we filed suit.  Lawsuits in serious injury cases puts fear into an insurance company because they are afraid of what a jury may do.  This fear of the unknown can help persuade an insurance company to pay more settlement money for your car wreck case than they would have paid before filing suit.

What Should Happen When the Insurance Company Makes a Settlement Offer?

We first need to tell you what should not happen.

  • First: you should never take the insurance company’s first offer unless it is for policy limits.  
  • Second: you should never allow your lawyer to take any settlement without first getting your approval.

One of the worst practices of a big TV “settlement mill”  is accepting an offer without getting the client’s permission first.

When the insurance company tells us that an offer is the final offer and if we want more, we will have to sue in court, we bring our client in to discuss the settlement offer.  We explain, in detail, the pros and cons of settling your Tennessee or Georgia car wreck case with the insurance company.  Then, we do what you tell us to do, because, we work for you.

What If You Decide to Settle Your Case?  How Long Before You Get the Settlement Check?

Some insurance companies use every excuse to delay getting a check to the injured car wreck victim.  You need your Chattanooga car wreck lawyer to push the insurance company to get the check to you as quickly as possible.  We know you need your money quickly.  So we push the insurance company hard to get the check out as soon as we accept the settlement.

How Will Settlement Happen if You Filed Suit and Your Case Is In Court?

Once you file a lawsuit in your car wreck case, it can settle anytime. However, there are a few points on the road to court when settlement is most likely.

  • Right after you or your lawyer filed suit. Now the insurance company knows how serious you are with some insurers, this can lead to an immediate and meaningful increase in your offer.
  • A pre-trial conference right after the discovery phase is over. This is when your lawyer should propose mediating your case.
  • On the courthouse steps. Insurance companies are most reasonable when trial is about to take place.

Remember, a serious injury case can settle anytime. These are just the three most usual times for settlement.

How Long Does It Take to Settle a Personal Injury Claim Chattanooga


Get Paid Fast!

You have bills that need to be paid. We work with your insurance company to get you a settlement for your injuries fast. If you’ve been injured we can get you the money you deserve.


Medical Treatment

If you’ve been injured, you need medical treatment from a licensed physician. At Dennis and King, we connect our clients to our network of specialists to get you back on the road to recovery.

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Personal injury 

In almost all personal injury claims, insurance companies will offer you significantly less than what you deserve. It’s tempting to accept the first offer, especially if you are in a great deal of pain and unable to return to work. But if you’ve already taken a devalued settlement from the insurance company and your medical bills start to pile up, there’s little legal recourse to ask for more. That’s why it’s crucial to involve a Chattanooga personal injury lawyer before you even file a claim.

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Car Accidents

Chattanooga car accident lawyers Tricia Dennis and Russell King have recovered millions of dollars in Georgia and Tennessee for car and motor vehicle accident victims like you.  If you or a loved one has been injured and need help with your medical bills, then you have come to the right place.   Auto accident victims and their family members in East Tennessee and North Georgia can confidently rely on the experienced auto accident attorneys at Dennis and King. We are the law firm that has compassionately, yet effectively, helped victims and their loved ones navigate the aftermath of difficult situations.

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Trucking Accidents

Truck accidents in the United States are on the rise. Recent statistics show that almost 150,000 people are injured in truck accidents each year, and 6,000 people are killed. The regional area of Georgia and Tennessee is a crossroads and a center for car manufacturing, river traffic, and other industries. Large trucks, semi-trucks, 18-wheelers, and other commercial vehicles are constantly on the road. This has a downside as frequent truck accidents occur on I-75, I-24, I-59, Highway 153, U.S. 27, Amnicola Highway, Corridor J, and other roadways. If you or a loved one has been injured in a Georgia or Tennessee truck accident, you may be eligible for substantial compensation.

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Motorcycle Accidents

Experienced Chattanooga motorcycle accident lawyers Tricia Dennis and Russell King are avid fans of motorcycles, but they also realize how serious motorcycle accidents can be. With over 75 years of combined experience, Dennis and King Injury Law knows the legal process to achieve fair compensation for motorcycle crash victims. Contact one of our lawyers today to learn more about how to start your motorcycle accident claim.

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ATV Accidents

Under both Tennessee and Georgia law, ATVs are not authorized for use on paved road, but children continue to bring ATVs on to our roads and highways. Georgia and Tennessee laws also prohibit the carrying of passengers on most ATVs, require children below the age of 16 to take approved ATV training courses, and require kids younger than 16 to wear helmets, eye protection, and over-the-ankle boots when operating ATVs. However, these requirements apply only when ATVs are operated on public lands, leaving kids essentially without protection when riding ATVs on private property.

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Bicycle Accidents

The most tragic type of bicycle crash is a bike-car collision. Cyclists are completely defenseless traveling on 30-pound bikes when they’re surrounded by 3,000-pound cars and trucks racing by them. Pedestrians, defective bike parts, recalled bike helmets, and other ineffective bicycle safety equipment can also cause bicycle accidents. Bike accidents can result in wrongful death or serious injuries such as broken bones, amputation, traumatic brain injury, neck, back, and spinal cord injuries.

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Boating Accidents

One of three factors usually cause boat accidents: an inexperienced boater, an intoxicated operator, or a boat malfunction. More than a third of both fatal and non-fatal boat accidents are alcohol-related. It is estimated that boat operators with a blood alcohol content of .10 or higher are 10 times more likely to be injured or killed in a boat accident than sober operators.

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Nursing Home Abuse

No one ever expects a family member or friend to be the victim of abuse or neglect in a nursing home. However, abuse and neglect do occur every day and in many ways.

Dennis and King are Chattanooga nursing home abuse attorneys who will fight to recover all that you and your loved one deserve. With our experience in nursing home negligence matters, we thoroughly and carefully assess each individual case. We prepare each case for either settlement or trial in order to obtain compensation for injury, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. We help victims and their families hold these facilities accountable.

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Premises Liability

Premises liability is a vital facet of personal injury law, placing responsibility on property owners for maintaining a safe environment. When accidents occur due to negligence or hazardous conditions on someone’s property, victims have the right to seek compensation. This encompasses incidents like slip and falls or inadequate security leading to assaults. Dennis and King excel in handling these complex cases, tirelessly pursuing justice for our clients.

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Free Strategy Session

During your initial strategy session, we will assist you in creating a strategy in how to best pursue your claim, whether it be the result of a car accident claim, 18 wheeler injury, or, other kind of personal injury claim.

There are 5 points to your free claim strategy session:

  • First, we will listen to your story. You will have a chance to tell everything to someone who wants to hear what happened to you.
  • Based on the information you provide, we will give you our best advice on both what claims you have and the next steps you should consider to go forward with your claim.
  • If you claim is something that we think we can help you with, we will explain the services that we can provide for you, and what the next steps are that we should take. We will start working immediately.
  • If your matter is something that we do not think we can help you with, then we will attempt to put you in contact with another lawyer that might be able to help you.
  • Either way, what should happen is we will put to rest some of the unknowns that you may be experiencing. We will start to shed light on what you can expect and how to best pursue the benefits you deserve.