Why Do Personal Injury Settlements Take So Long?
Personal injury claimants often find their cases to take longer than expected. Should you blame your lawyer, or an insurance company? Oftentimes there’s no one to blame. Many factors can affect how long a personal injury case takes. Some cases simply take longer than others to settle, but here are some of the leading factors that can affect the progress of a case:
Injuries and Recovery
If you haven’t fully recovered or stabilized, it’s hard to determine how much compensation your claim is worth. You should therefore reach maximum medical improvement (MMI) before settling. When you reach MMI, your attorney can assess the scope of your injury and its long-term impacts. The challenge here is there’s no formula for calculating MMI. Even if someone else sustained the same type of collision and injury, their outcome can be completely different than yours. Waiting can mean the difference between being fully compensated for your injuries and paying thousands more out of pocket.
Insurance companies often present the greatest legal challenges. Their goal is to pay the lowest settlement amount possible, and an insurer often draws out the process to accomplish this. An insurance company may dispute liability, damages, and even the value of your case even if liability is clear to you and your car accident attorney. Getting an insurer to accept their client was negligent or reckless can take time. Settlement negotiations present a completely different set of challenges. Your personal injury attorney will fight for you and manage such legal issues as efficiently as possible, but often requires time to achieve a favorable outcome.
Extent of Damages
The more extensive your injuries and damages, the more time a case is likely to take. Insurance companies use various tactics to delay cases hoping the plaintiff will simply give up. For example, adjusters may ask for only a few details at a time, since asking for everything at once would give them all the pieces of the puzzle. Insurance companies may keep changing adjusters assigned to the claim. An adjuster may also try to convince you the best option is to go through your health insurance to pay medical bills.
An insurance company may also conduct their own investigation, especially in high-value cases. Its independent investigation will cover every last detail to determine if your injuries were exaggerated, your credibility can be questioned, and your defense is lacking integrity. They will proceed until they can prove the above or determine your case is credible, but the process can take a bit of time.
Plaintiffs are often discouraged in the process and may be tempted to settle early. Waiting and sticking it out can lead to higher settlements; motor vehicle accident cases have led to million-dollar settlements that have rewarded clients for their patience and compensated them for lost wages, medical bills, and numerous expenses.
No matter what, don’t expect a personal injury case to be resolved in just a few weeks. Your California car accident lawyer will fight for your rights, and FCA Legal Funding will assess your case to determine a pre-settlement funding offer, so you can afford to fight and be patient. We provide direct legal funding that requires no out-of-pocket payments. Unlike a loan, repayment is based on the time you use the money, the length of your recovery, and how long it takes for your case to settle. To learn more, call 310-424-5176 or apply online to receive legal funding in as little as 24 hours.