It’s clear that personal injury settlements don’t happen overnight.
If you were in an accident recently, the chances are that you have a million questions. If the accident resulted from another person’s negligence, the big question is, “How long will it take to settle my injury claim?”
When you ask such a question, it means that you have decided against litigation. You may have decided that settlement will work better for you. However, it would be best to work with a personal injury attorney before settling for a compensatory sum.
The length of time it’s going to take for settling a personal injury claim is dependent on a lot of factors. This is because no two accidents are the same. The severity of the injuries, medical history, and treatments are also peculiar to each individual.
Minor injuries are easier and quicker to settle. In contrast, severe injuries with longer treatment times can linger for years. This article will look at the personal injury settlement process and why some personal injury settlements delay.
Why Do Some Personal Injury Settlements Take Long?
Most accident victims who have decided to go for a settlement ask, can it be done quickly? The simple answer is yes. However, going for a quick personal injury settlement has its downside. And it might not be such a good strategy. An experienced personal injury lawyer is in a better position to give you the best advice.
You might have a quick personal injury settlement, but you might be giving up a lot of money. Here are the reasons why a personal injury settlement might take longer than you’d prefer:
Factual Issues or Problematic Legal Issues With Your Case
The value of any personal injury claim is heavily affected by two major factors — liability and damages. That is who was at fault if the accident occurred in an at-fault state, the severity of injuries sustained, and property damages.
If it’s difficult to prove liability, especially when the parties involved and witnesses have a different account of the accident, the insurance adjuster might not make a reasonable settlement offer. In that case, your lawyer must demonstrate a willingness to fight for a better settlement by filing a personal injury suit and employing the services of liability experts to establish that the other party was liable for the injuries.
If the insurer thinks that you have no rights to sue, the chances are high that what they’d offer will be too low, except a judge rules in your favor. Alternatively, suppose the doctors cannot state that the injuries or bodily damages sustained from the accident were due to the other party’s negligence.
In that case, the settlement offer might be small. Until you or your lawyer can get a doctor who can testify that your injuries were caused by the actions or inactions of the other party, the insurer might not make a reasonable offer.
The Settlement Involves a Huge Sum
Another reason while a personal injury settlement might linger is the amount you’re asking for. If it is a significant amount, the insurance company will do their due diligence. They will want to ascertain the following:
- The insurer will want to ensure that you have a strong defense for your claim.
- The severity of your injuries is as you’ve claimed.
- They cannot disprove your claims.
Furthermore, some insurers might want to delay the settlement to see if you’d accept a lesser amount. They do this, knowing that most victims want their payments as quickly as possible.
There’s Still an Ongoing Medical Treatment
Another major reason why personal injury settlements might take longer is if you’re still receiving treatment. Because the extent and severity of injuries affect settlement amounts, you should reach your maximum medical improvement (MMI).
Reaching your maximum medical improvement stage means you’ve gotten as good as you can get. That is to say that the full nature and extent of your injuries and their impact have been ascertained.
How Long Will Personal Injury Settlements Take?
Typically, personal injury settlements are affected by several factors. However, receiving the settlement amount takes a couple of weeks. The actual duration is affected by:
- How long it takes to gather records of all the expenses incurred by the victim, from medical treatment to vehicle damage repairs.
- How long it takes to gather the bills from the attorney. That is, the actual work done by the lawyer, associated costs, travel expenses, postage, etc.
Get a Personal Injury Settlement Lawyer!
As already established, pursuing a personal injury settlement can be quite difficult. Getting an experienced personal injury lawyer helps you get the best representation and the best compensation. We can help you with this at Pinder Plotkin, LLC. Contact us today for a free case review.