WHEN SHOULD I SETTLE MY UTAH CAR ACCIDENT CASE? What is Maximum Medical Improvement? “MMI.”


You have been hurt in a Utah car accident. Has it been 6 months and you still don’t have a settlement.  Is it time to settle your Utah car accident insurance claim?

Common Times to Settle Utah Car Accident Cases. When Should You Settle Your Car Accident Case?

Each car accident injury is unique to the injured person.  Yet, there are some common timelines in when a Utah car accident case settled.

Here are some factors when your car accident case settles:

(1).   Your Attorney.   Time to settlement depends on how fast your attorney moves your injury case.

(2).   Multi-Party Car Accident?  Is your case a two car rear-ender or a multiple car pile-up on I-15 in Utah County?  Multiple car involved injury cases take way longer.  Two car intersection or rear-end collisions are easier to settle.

(3).   Who is the Insurance Company.  How difficult is the at-fault liability insurance company?  Some car insurance companies doing business in Utah are harder to deal with than others.

(4).   How severe are you injuries?  Smaller injury cases can be settled faster.  More severe concussions, factures or permanent injuries take way long.

(5).  Max Medical Improvement.  Most importantly.  Have you reached Maximum Medical Improvement.

Common Utah Car Accident Injury Case Resolution Timelines:

Smaller Injury Cases:  Around 4 months if your attorney is really pushing the case.  No lawsuit filed.

Medium Injury Cases:  1 year to settle.

Large, Catastrophic or Litigated Injury Cases:  2 years or more.

Litigated Car Accident Claims versus No Lawsuit Car Accident Injury Claims.  Timelines for Each.

                If you file a lawsuit your case will surely be much longer to settle or get a jury trial date.

If you settle your case without filing a lawsuit you may receive less compensation, but will receive it faster than litigated cases.  Filing a lawsuit has be to worth it.

Here  are the court rule timelines for filed lawsuit injury cases.

Here are the basic timelines for injury claims that are settled prior to a lawsuit being filed.

What is Maximum Medical Improvement (“MMI”)? 

                MMI is where the doctors have done all they can do for you medically.  You can be at MMI by fully resolving your injuries, or be at MMI and still have some permanent injuries.   Until you reach MMI, you can’t generally settle your Utah car accident case.

Why Wait Until MMI to Settle Your Utah Car Accident Case?

                Settling your Utah car accident case before you reach MMI is dangerous because your attorney doesn’t know the true value of your injuries until they know fully what the permanency of those injuries are.

Example.  Muscle Neck Strain Turns Surgical.  You are rear-ended in Saratoga Spring, UT.  Your nagging neck injury isn’t getting better after 6 months of chiropractics and injections.   You tell your Utah personal injury attorney to settle you case.  The day after you settled your doctor tells you that you need surgery.

Settlement Value Prior to Surgery.  Lower.

Settlement Value After Surgery.  Much, Much higher, more like over $100,000.  Surgery type dependent.

Example.  Elbow Fracture.  You are hit head-on in Provo Canyon, Utah.  Your elbow is fractured at the articulating joint area, which is very difficult to heal correctly.  It has been 1 year since the injury and your elbow is still not locking out fully.   After one year your orthopedic physician states your elbow condition is permanent and will never heal.

Had you settled immediately after the car accident your fracture value would have been lower since the insurance companies assume you would fully recover.

The value of your injury case after your doctor indicates that your elbow is permanent has a much higher and more accurate settlement value.

Hiring An Experienced Utah Car Accident Lawyer.

Hiring an experienced Utah car accident lawyer will help you understand when to settle and when to continue to medical treatment or when MMI has occurred.   Settling too early, too fast, often is not good legal advice.   Real, experienced injury attorneys know how to property capture all your damages for a full and fair settlement.

Hiring an attorney who doesn’t really practice car accident injury law day-in, day-out is a mistake.  These dabbling attorneys who normally do divorce will not understand what MMI is or how to value your car accident injury case.

Would you hire your dentist to do your knee surgery?  Or hire a podiatrist to perform surgery on your elbow?  No.  Don’t hire an inexperienced attorney who doesn’t regularly handle Utah personal injury car accident cases.