Individuals involved in personal injury lawsuits may find themselves asking why their case is taking so long. The answer to that question is likely multi-faceted, but there are usually four basic factors that come into play regarding the length of such a case. Hopefully, this information will help shed light on the legal process and bring some peace of mind to litigants.
When an individual is the victim of an accident caused by another person’s negligence, the injured party deserves to receive compensation for the losses incurred. One of the big questions in the mind of a person who is considering filing a personal injury lawsuit is this: How long will the entire process take?
There is no easy answer, and the numerous factors that may affect the length of a lawsuit must be considered. If the full extent of all losses is clear and no one is disputing liability, the case could potentially be settled in a shorter period than a case involving serious injuries and damages. Generally, if an individual is willing to take less compensation than he or she deserves, a lawsuit can settle quicker. However, most people are not satisfied to settle for a smaller amount than they deserve.
To help determine how long an injury case might take, one needs to understand the various aspects of a personal injury claim that can slow down the settlement process.
4 Factors Slowing Down Personal Injury Lawsuits
Length of Medical Treatment
The full extent of a person’s injuries may not be apparent right away in the aftermath of a personal injury accident. It may take quite a while to ascertain the full scope, and in very serious cases, a victim may still be undergoing medical treatment years after the accident.
If the attending physician believes a patient has not healed completely, the doctor will not release the patient from treatment. In order for a personal injury lawsuit to be finalized, the victim must be released from all medical treatment, then the medical records must be sent to the lawyer. Information taken from these records will be included in the letter demanding compensation.
It is obvious that an attorney can’t request medical reimbursement until the client is released from a doctor’s care. A victim, however, should not be rushed through treatment just to facilitate the filing of a lawsuit. The injured party must take the amount of time necessary to recover, because, after treatment stops and the lawyer requests a settlement amount, there is no opportunity to go back and ask for later medical costs to be compensated. It is more important to get the best medical treatment possible than to get a fast settlement from an insurance company.
If an accident victim’s injuries are fully treated and resolved in a short period of time, an attorney can start the negotiation process sooner. However, if months or years are required for the injured person to recover, it is understandable why the negotiation process will be delayed.
A Large Amount of Compensation is Involved
When large amounts of compensation funds are involved, insurance companies often try to delay payment of the settlement until every tiny detail of the case has been investigated. During this thorough investigation, they will want every minute detail of damages and liability.
It will then be incumbent upon the injured party’s attorney to prove the following to the insurance company:
- The injuries are serious and are the result of the accident.
- The injured party is a credible individual, and the insurance company can not damage the victim’s credibility.
- The insurance company does not have a defense against the suit.
Often, large insurance companies try a stalling tactic to see if the injured victim will simply tire and give up, accepting a lower settlement. When people are terribly injured and desperately need the money to which they are entitled, insurance companies may try to use leverage in an attempt to exploit the victim’s desperation and get the party to do a quick settlement for much less money.
Is the Defendant Cooperating?
The defendant in a personal injury lawsuit rarely ever owns up to having committed a mistake and almost never offers to pay the compensation due to the victim. The defendant’s insurance company, in many cases, tries to avoid paying any money at all if possible.
The insurer attempts to place blame on the victim and often tries to get the injured person to say something that will release the insurance company from its responsibility to compensate the victim. This is one very important reason why it is crucial to speak with an experienced injury attorney before having any conversation with an insurance adjuster. Additionally, a qualified legal representative will be able to keep things moving when the defendant’s insurance company uses a stall tactic to delay the settlement process.
Whether the Case Goes to Trial
When a personal injury lawsuit is filed, one of the main goals is to settle the case before it goes to trial. If this fails, there will be more expenses, a lot more hassle, and a longer period of time before everything concludes. For example, a judge will need to hear the case, a courtroom will be required for the actual trial, and a jury will have to be convened to hear the evidence and decide a verdict. Additional legal filings are needed and expert witnesses will be required to help substantiate the facts.
Taking a case to trial does not guarantee a successful outcome for the victim. Should the jury decide against the injured party, there would be no monetary compensation for the victim’s injuries and damages. Generally, attorneys prefer to use their skills and legal experience to negotiate with an insurance company and come to a satisfactory agreement favoring the victim, all without taking the case to trial.
Is Your Lawsuit Settlement Taking Too Long?
Contact The Legal Funding Group to apply for a settlement loan. You can get cash for your lawsuit within 48 hours to pay your bills and daily expenses. Legal funding is an option people may use to get cash for their case before a settlement is reached or while they wait for their settlement award to be processed. Eligibility to be approved for a loan is not based on your credit score or income. Instead, your eligibility is based on the strength of your case.
Call (912)-777-3997 or fill out a quick online application to get approved.