Visitor Question

How long should a personal injury settlement take?

Submitted By: Donna (Greensboro, NC)

My mother was rear-ended twice while sitting still at a traffic signal. The man hit her, backed up and tried to flee, hit her a second time, backed up and tried to flee again, then wrecked into a tree. It has been over 4 years and her attorney just told her to expect to go to trial in about 7 to 9 months!

This seems like it’s taking longer than it should. Should she get another lawyer? How long does a personal injury case like this take to resolve? Is there any way to speed up the process? Thank you for any information you can give.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Donna,

It is our policy at not to interfere with the attorney-client privilege. To do so would be wholly inappropriate.

Generally speaking, personal injury settlements for “soft tissue” injuries shouldn’t take more than a few months up to a year or so. Soft tissue injures can include whiplash, strains and sprains of muscles, tendons and ligaments, minor abrasions, bumps and bruises, and the like. The time can be extended if a lawsuit is filed.

For more serious “hard injuries” such as fractures, head trauma, disfigurement, back injury, serious burns, and the like, a settlement can take anywhere from a few months to more than a year. However, if a lawsuit as been filed, it can take several years.

Four years sounds a bit excessive for a personal injury settlement or trial. Another 7-9 months is even more excessive. It sounds like it may be time to consult with another personal injury attorney. Here’s how to find a good injury attorney for your case.

In fact, speak with several personal injury attorneys. Fortunately, most won’t charge for an initial office consultation. Ask your present attorney to give you a copy of your mother’s file. You may need your mother to ask the attorney, inasmuch as she is the actual client.

Asking for a copy of the file may prompt the attorney to take some action to quickly settle the claim. However, at this point, consulting with another attorney is probably your best bet.

Learn more here: North Carolina Car Accident Guide

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney.

Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call 888-972-0892.

We wish you the best with your claim,


How Much is Your Injury Claim Worth?

Find out now with a FREE case review from an attorney…

  • Your Accident
  • Your Claim
  • Contact Info
  • Your Evaluation

Leave a Comment

Don’t ask a personal injury question here – comments are not reviewed by an attorney. Ask your question on this page. Required fields are marked *